Improving Adwords CTR

Improving your Adwords CTR (Click-Through-Rate) is important to improve your quality score, lower your CPCs (Cost-Per-Click), and continually have engaging ad copy.  In our 4 week test, we’ve been able to increase CTR by 832% since launch (0.25% to 2.33%).  I believe our CTR can continue to improve, but here are a couple of easy items to check when working on improving your CTR.

4 weeks: starting at 0.25% to 2.55%

1. Match Types – Limit Broad Match

Most advertisers recommend running on all three match type (Broad, Phrase/BMM, and Exact).   By running across all three match types with the same keywords, you’ll be able to capitalize on the highest amount of traffic while paying less for your targeted exact match keywords. However, when it comes to improving CTR consider limiting your broad keywords and focusing on adding more keywords to exact match.

2. Adding Negatives

At Scripted we found that running ‘writing service’ on broad may not be the most efficient and targeted keyword.  Yes, Scripted is a writing service, but that doesn’t mean every search query related to writing services is going to be best for our services.  A great way to find potential negative keywords (and additional keywords) is through the “Keyword Details” tab and see all search terms.  This will only give you a list of all the queries that resulted in a click, but you can figure out which keywords will not result in a conversion.

Our goal for Adwords is to drive more business registrations, not drive more applications to become a writer.   This is difficult because the term, ‘hire writers’ may come from businesses as well as writers.  I was able to see that we were getting clicks on terms such as ‘job search Spanish writer’, ‘job search writer’, ‘writer work Denver’, and ‘writing jobs in Utah’.  It became apparent that we can easily limit some of the traffic of writers by implementing negatives such as ‘jobs’ and ‘work’ and ‘job search.’  Another good policy is to negative out any words around ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ as we’re looking for paying customers, not discount customers.

3. Add Sitelinks

4 Sitelinks: More Opportunities for a Click

Sitelinks are pure gold when it comes to improving your CTR, but the kicker is that you need to bid high enough to have your ads appear in the top section of the results.  This is at most the top 3 positions.

You’re allowed to have up to 6 sitelinks showing and up to 12 sitelinks to submit.  Although you can direct the sitelinks to the same URL, sitelinks are a great way to help users find what they’re looking for off of your ad instead of through your website.  Lastly, having sitelinks takes up space on the search results page which results in more clicks.

4. Ad Copy – Relevant with a Strong Call to Action

Ad copy that is matching the language of a user’s search query will lead to the highest CTR.  Break up your ad groups so that you’re allowed to target different types of search queries.  For example, when people are searching for ‘hire writers’, our messaging will target ‘Hire Qualified Writers.’  However, when users are searching specifically for ‘web content writers’, our messaging is “Hire Content Writers” or “Need Web Content?”  Segmenting adgroups can be tedious at first, but the effort will be worth it when you see the results.