The Blog of Scott Chapman
Copywriter & Sales Conversion Expert

My top 10 ways to increase your Adwords CTR

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Increase your advert’s click-through rate and you’ll get more targeted visitors out of your impressions for more sales. It’s as simple as that.

Pushing the CTR percentage up as high as it will go can not only increase sales, but also improve your advert’s quality score and bring the CPC (cost-per-click) of your Adwords campaign down.

Whilst you can improve your CTR with changes to your keywords and bids, your advert generally has the most influence, and this is where copywriting plays such a crucial role.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 ways to increase your Adwords CTR and also increase your sales conversion rate in the process.

1). Include your keywords in your adverts

In your advert text, include the keywords which people will be searching for when they see your advert. For example, if you’re selling strawberry jam and have that phrase in a keyword, then also include it in your advert copy.

This not only helps your advert to grab the attention of people looking for this product, but it also helps your advert to be more relevant to your keywords – thereby improving your quality score for reduced CPCs.

2). Use dynamic keyword insertion

When you include the term {KeyWord:#######} in your advert’s headline, Adwords will automatically include the keyword which the person has searched for within the advert’s copy. If you replace the hashes with a similar keyword, then Adwords will display this default keyword if the search keyword the person has used is too long to be displayed in the advert.

For example, if we use chocolate this time:

Buy {KeyWord:Chocolate}
chocolatewebsite.co.uk
Creamy milk chocolate
Free UK delivery

If someone searches for ‘dark chocolate’, their advert would appear to the searcher as follows:

Buy Dark Chocolate
chocolatewebsite.co.uk
Creamy milk chocolate
Free UK delivery

However, if someone searched for “Gourmet chocolate variety box”, then the advert would only display the default keyword you’ve chosen as the keyphrase searched for is too long for the headline:

Buy Chocolate
chocolatewebsite.co.uk
Creamy milk chocolate
Free UK delivery

3). Use numbers

Tests have shown that numbers are a fantastic way of bringing attention to your adverts. Include numbers relating to quantities, savings, discounts, improvements and anything else you can think of.

4). Ask questions

Asking a question to the searcher engages them and can draw more attention to your advert. For example, instead of saying “buy dark chocolate” try “do you want to buy dark chocolate?”.

5). Capitalise the start of words

Capitalise the start of words to make them stand out and get noticed more. You can either capitalise the headline only or all of the text including the two description lines underneath.

6). Use negative keywords

When you’re on your keyword list, click “Details” and then “All” under “SEARCH TERMS”. This will show you exactly what people have searched for to find and click your advert. If you notice any keywords which aren’t relevant to your product or service, simply add them to your campaign as NEGATIVE keywords, and if a user includes this word in their search, your advert won’t be displayed.

One good example of this is the use of “jobs” in service-based searches. For example, if you’re selling an telemarketing service, you want your advert to appear for “telemarketing” but you don’t want to waste clicks on people searching for “telemarketing jobs”.

7). Tightly focus your ads

Use campaigns and ad groups to make your ads as relevant as possible to your keywords. If you have a product or service which goes by a few different names, then create an ad group for each name with adverts and keywords tailored to each one.

8). Use your USPs

Tell searchers why they should use you by explaining your unique selling points in your adverts. Good examples include free delivery, same-day dispatch, free estimates and anything else which makes you stand out over your competitors.

9). Use ad extensions

Adding advert extensions can increase the amount of space your advert occupies, thereby making it more noticeable. Ad extensions can also improve the usability of your advert by helping searchers find what they need in a more efficient manner. For example, you can include your telephone number and site links within your advert.

10). Split-test!

Always split-test your adverts. Run at least 2-3 different adverts in every ad group and compare their CTRs to find one which one performs the best. If you keep doing this, with subtle changes to each advert, then you can slowly but surely push the click-through rate higher and higher. Many of the tips in this article present easy ways to split-test alternative versions of your adverts.

However, remember that a higher CTR doesn’t always mean more sales

I could create an advert which says “OH MY GOD LOOK AT THIS!” which would probably get a lot of clicks due to sheer curiosity. However, this doesn’t mean that the clicks will be targeted visitors who are interested in my products or services.

When each click costs money, you have to look at quantity AND quality to strike that perfect balance. Make sure your advert brings in as many clicks as possible, but also make sure that your advert screens every potential visitor, so they know exactly what they’re going to see when they visit your site. This increases the likelihood of bringing in target prospects who will be interested in buying your products or services.

One good example of this which I spotted a while back involved high-end kitchen refurbishments. The advert actually stated “from £10,000”. At first, this may seem like Adwords suicide, but whilst it may reduce the overall number of clicks from the advert, at least the owner will know that every visitor who has clicked the advert is willing to pay at least £10,000 for a kitchen refurbishment. This avoids any clicks being wasted on people who are only willing to pay a much smaller amount.

Whilst I can’t say how successful this Adwords campaign was in-terms of sales, it’s certainly a technique worth exploring to make sure that your website visitors are the right kind of visitors you’re looking for.

Check back for more Adwords improvement tips coming soon.


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