5 Simple Strategies to Improve Google Ads Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Improve Google Ads Click-through-rate

The #1 grievance of digital marketing advertisers on Google Search platform is that they are paying too much per click. High pay-per-click (PPC) implies, low click-through-rate (CTR) and therefore higher cost per acquisition (irrespective of the goal being sales or leads). As an advertiser, wherein the competition is so steep to be on top of the search engine page results, a lower click-through-rate implies lesser traffic, leads or sales.


A higher CTR for sure has its advantages: higher traffic (maybe, conversion rate too), better quality score and lower cost-per-click (CPC)


So how do you improve your campaigns click-through-rate, especially if you don’t have massive budgets on Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords)?


Here are our five practical tips and strategies to improve the Google Ads Click-through-rate (CTR) of your Google Search campaigns:

1. Use Ad Extensions


Make full use of the ad real estate. With ad extensions, you can showcase additional information, features, services, contact details or specific links to specific pages in your website.


Ad extensions are free to add. Google Search network offers a number of ad extensions ranging from reviews, price extensions, contact details. 


The ad extensions make the ad copy appear bigger and therefore the ads stand out. The more information you can share in your ad, better the chances of the ad being more relevant to your target audience and therefore better the chances of increasing clicks.

Types of ad extensions, popularly used:


Structured snippet extensions


Structured snippet extensions show information below the ads. You can choose from a list of pre-defined headers.


Here's a list of available headers:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programmes
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Models
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Service catalogue
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types


Google Ads Example

Google Ads


Sitelink ad extensions


If you want to take people to specific pages on your website- then sitelinks are the answer.


Whether it’s the contact us page or specific products or services, sitelink ad extensions further help in getting a potential customer take specific action.


Google ads allows up to 4 sitelink extensions to be shown in your ad, though you can create more and the algorithm chooses up to 4 to show.


Sitelink extensions can be added at both campaign and ad group level.


Google Ads example


Call extensions


According to Google Ads Support, “Call extensions let you add phone numbers to your ads, which can significantly increase click-through rates. When your call extensions show, people can tap or click a button to call your business directly. That means more customer engagement with your ads, and more chances for you to get and track your conversions.” 


So, if you are a business dependent on calls for leads- this is ideal for you. Restaurants, dentists, cosmetic services, gyms, and florists are some popular businesses that can benefit from call extensions.


The biggest advantage of this extension is that a customer can immediately make a phone call to your business, whether on their mobile or by using software such as skype.


Call extensions encourage a customer to take action there and then, so if you don’t offer 24/7 call support, be sure to set business hours.


Other ad extension types


Depending on your advertising objective, you can choose from location, messaging, price or product review extensions.


2. Add negative keywords


While adding relevant keywords is important to increase your AdWords CTR, adding a list of negative keywords is equally significant.


So, what are negative keywords and how can adding them help?


Negative keywords help advertisers stop wasting ad spend on irrelevant keywords. As a result, you’ll be reaching the right, quality target audience and get a lot less random clicks on your landing pages.


Since negative keywords exclude search terms not relevant to your business, you are showcasing relevant ads to a relevant audience.


Your CTR is the percentage of searchers who viewed your ad and then clicked on it, excluding search terms that aren't relevant to your business will help you trim down on uninterested impressions, and therefore increase click-through-rate on your PPC ads. 


3. Use Dynamic Keywords Insertion In Ad Text & Keywords in Display URL


Using keywords in headlines, descriptions or display URL is a sure-shot way to improve Quality Score. And a good Quality Score means more chances of the algorithm triggering your ads for relevant searches. 


According to Google; " Keyword insertion can help improve your ads’ relevance to potential customers by automatically updating your ads with the keywords in your ad group that caused your ads to show."


Using keywords in the display URL.


Most advertisers leave the display URL empty; this is a lost opportunity. Putting a relevant keyword in the display URL not only helps increase search query but also click-through-rate.


See the example below when we searched for ‘beds near me’.


The ad with the keyword in the URL displayed first. Time and again, we’ve seen search results with keywords in display URLs have a better click-through-rate.


The second ad doesn’t display any keyword in the URL and looks more general. 



4. Know Your Audience and Get Creative With Your Ad Copy


This might seem like a no brainer and yet is most under-utilized. Do your research and check out what your competition is saying in their ads. Make sure your ads carry your brand’s tone of voice that’ll resonate with your target audience.


Check out these ads for the search ‘Yoga classes Melbourne’


Which one stands out for you and why? While writing ad copy make sure, you ask the question, ‘How can I focus on my audiences search intent?’ Focusing on your audiences will help you come up with ideas and write better, engaging, and creative ads. This will eventually help in improving the ads click-through-rate.


Google Ads


5. Bid Higher


Maybe, you’ve tried all the techniques and hacks and still, your CTR is low. Check your Search Impression share, your ads page position. If you’re not showing in the top 3 results on page 1, you're pretty much losing to competition. Increasing your bids can help get your ads a better position, therefore better Impressions and Clicks. An improved ad position will lead to an improved CTR. But this might also lead to an increase in cost.


The golden rule with paid traffic is to keep testing. Same goes for improving the click-through-rate of your campaigns. Don’t be afraid to test copy, headlines, URL paths in your ads.


Want to track you Google Ads CTR along with all your other PPC metrics?


Try DashThis for free!
Veena Gandhi

Veena is a growth-driven marketer at Digital Street. She has over 14 years of advertising experience and has led million-dollar campaigns for companies like Leo Burnett, McCann and FCB.

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