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Top 13 Tips to Improve Click Through Rate (Updated)

Anthony Neate   —   26 July 2012   —   Creative & Design

*Things move pretty quickly in the world of PPC, so for your reading pleasure, have a look at this updated post from last year with a few new additional tips to increase those CTR's!*

“If you build a PPC Campaign correctly, targeted traffic will come”

Ray Liotta in Field Of DreamsThat’s what Ray Liotta said in the 1989 classic ‘Field of Dreams.’ OK, I added a few words in to make it relevant to this post, but in essence we can take what he said and use it as inspiration for building highly relevant, better performing PPC campaigns.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) is one of the most important factors in ensuring a good performing PPC campaign. Not only does it give a clear indication of the relevance of the traffic that you’re generating, it is also one of the defining factors of Quality score. This means that by increasing your CTR, you could get more out of your clients’ money!

The primary focus at Access is to gain qualified, targeted clicks to our clients’ sites; therefore having a relevant and appealing advert is a must. Below are 10 simple tips which can be implemented into your campaigns to increase your CTR:

1. Use Highly Targeted Keywords

Although broad, generic keywords can generate masses of visitors to your site, the likelihood is that the majority of this traffic won’t be interested in the services that you offer. Long tail keywords will generate far better leads, and save lots of money in the process. My tip is to forget about the broad match option (unless you are raising brand awareness). Use phrase match keywords and utilise the ‘see search terms’ tab on Adwords to expand your exact match keyword library over a period of time.

2. Use Negative Keywords

An absolute must! Use negative keywords to remove those unwanted clicks.

3. Use Prices… If You Can!

If your client offers the best prices, include them in your ad copy. This can increase your CTR greatly, but make sure THEY ARE the cheapest prices around, or else your CTR may suffer.

4. Keywords in the Title/Body

Google bolds those keywords when appearing in search results so using the very keywords in the ad copy will make them get more clicks. Dynamic Keyword Insertion can also be used to increase CTR.

5. Inter Capitalise Your Ads

Make your ads stand out and look more professional by capitalising the first letter of each word (apart from ‘and’, ‘of’, ‘if’ etc).

6. Use CTA’s In Your Ads

Use a call-to-action verb such as "buy," "sell," or "sign up" in your ads whenever you can to tell potential customers what they can expect to do on your site.

7. Trademark or Registered Symbols

CTR is proven to increase by using these after a company or product name to gain the trust of users and add professionalism to your ads.

8. Use Vanity URLs

Customise your display URL to make it more relevant to your ad. For example, if your ad is promoting lawnmowers, you might want to use /lawnmowers.

9. Customise Your Locations

If your campaign is targeting a specific location, customise the area that your ads get served to. If you deliver a service in Manchester only, there is not much point displaying your ad for related searches in the whole of the UK. By doing this you will save money and increase the number of targeted leads generated.

10. Account Structure

Finally, and most importantly, make sure your account is well structured. Make sure that your ad groups are categorised by product or theme and ensure that they are split down as far as they can be. Having 5 - 10 keywords in each group is ideal, and will make optimisation a much easier task.

11. Sitelink Extensions

Sitelinks are a way in which users can be taken to deeper pages of your website quickly and easily. For top ranking ads, you can show further links below your main ad (up to 6 further links). This has not only proven to increase CTR, but also represents a way of increasing conversion rates, by taking users to key pages such as contact forms.

There are also location, call, product and social extensions available. Select the ones which apply to you as these should be taken advantage of.

12. Bid on Your Company Branded Keywords

Not only will this lead to a higher CTR across your whole campaign, but doing this will also set the benchmark for higher quality scores and lower costs.

13. Use DKI

Dynamic keyword insertion allow you to automatically add a user’s query into your ad text which instantly makes it more appealing to them, which in turn means more clicks. However, to ensure that you don’t target lots of irrelevant traffic this still requires you to apply thought to what messaging you should use.

It’s important to state that not all of these tips will be able to be used in every campaign. However, at least 3 – 5 should be used consistently, and by doing so, you will greatly improve the relevancy of your campaign and in turn your CTR.

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