When managing a Google Ads account, one of the metrics you should pay attention to is the click-through rate (CTR). This metric shows you how many users click on your ads in a certain period.
Whether incredibly high or surprisingly low, CTR is something you need to be working on constantly. But before doing that, you first need to know:
- What Google Ads CTR is and how it works
- What’s considered good and bad CTR
- What you need to do to improve it
Read along to find out.
What is Click-Through Rate (CTR)?
Your click-through rate is the percentage of user impressions that lead to a person clicking on an ad. That sounds overly complicated, right? Let's try to put it in simple terms.
CTR is the percentage of people who are clicking on your ad, as opposed to looking past it or ignoring it.
You can calculate CTR by taking the total number of clicks and dividing it by the number of impressions (how many times an ad has been seen). Here’s a quick example. Let’s say you have an ad with 1,000 user impressions and 100 clicks, your CTR then is 10%.
Click-through rates are useful for benchmarking your advertising. It’s something you can monitor over time and it will tell you how well your ads are performing.
To understand how to improve CTR, one must understand the goal of PPC campaigns. Every PPC campaign aims to attract users to a website and motivate them to take certain actions (sign up for a service, leave their email, or make a purchase). If your ad fails to do that, it will have a low CTR.
What's Considered Good Click-Through Rate (CTR)?
So what is considered a good click-through rate? It varies from industry to industry. It's important to know your industry CTR, so you can know whether your Google Ads campaign is successful or not.
Let's say, for example, your CTR might be just 3%. Since the number is pretty low, you might feel like your campaign isn't performing well. But if the industry average is only 2%, you're doing great.
According to recent Word Stream research, some of the average CTRs are:
- B2B: 2.4%
- Dating & Personals: 6.1%
- eCommerce: 2.7%
- Real Estate: 3.7%
- Technology: 2.1%
The average click-through rate for Google Ads is about 2-6%. Some people see this and think, "Why even bother?" But keep in mind that you can get a 500% increase in your ad's impressions with one simple change.
If you're only getting 10 clicks per 100 ads shown, you can increase your number of clicks 2-fold simply by improving your CTR to about 5%. This results in 20 clicks per 100 ads shown.
When it comes down to it, you have to consider that even if you don't improve your click-through rate, other factors will come into play regarding the effectiveness of your ad.
For example, many advertisers see their click-through rates drop as the day goes on and they aren't getting as much traffic. This could be for several reasons:
- The product or service you're advertising is only relevant to specific demographics.
- People are looking for other things online before making a purchase decision.
- Users aren't connecting with content featured on your landing pages.
Let’s see what you can do to make real improvements to your CTR.
8 Tips to Improve Google Ads Click-Through Rate (CTR)
If you don't structure or manage your Google Ads account properly, your CTR won't be anything to write home about. In doing that, you'll only help your competitors with their CTR. As a result, your traffic, ranking, and sales will all suffer.
You need to do everything in your power to avoid that.
But what can you do anything about Google Ads CTR if you're not experienced with it? It's surprisingly easy. Here are 8 practical tips to improve ad relevance and achieve above-average CTR.
1.Make Quality Score Your Priority
Quality score is Google's measure of how relevant your ad is to the searcher's query. It evaluates how well your ad text answers a user's search query, bids, landing page quality, historical CTRs, and more.
The higher your Quality Score, the lower your CPC will be. And the lower your CPC is, the more clicks you can get for your ad. So what's a good Quality Score?
In 2013, Google introduced the minimum Quality Score. It means that if your landing page has a very low score (1-3), you won't be able to run your ads.
What's the average Quality Score? If you're targeting low-intent keywords, the average is 7. However, for high-intent commercial keywords, it's between 8 and 9. If it falls below 4, your CPC will skyrocket.
Google Analytics can show you which specific campaigns or ads have lower Quality Scores, so it's easier for you to improve them. You can also look at your account's history to see how each keyword is doing and what you need to do to improve it.
2. Target Low-to-Medium Keywords
When doing keyword research, most people will pay too much attention to search volume. The keyword search volume shows you how many users are searching for the phrase you're looking at.
Focusing on popular keywords makes sense, right? You want to reach as many people as possible. Although it may seem counterintuitive, high-volume keywords are not the best option. That’s because while they come with a lot of potential users, they also come with lots of competitors.
Meaning, too many people are already targeting them.
The best option for you is to use relevant keywords with a low-to-medium amount of clicks because they will skyrocket your CTR. Some people recommend focusing on long-tail keywords because you have a greater chance of improving your CTR that way.
However, they're less competitive and usually don't have as many monthly searches.
For example, if you target "digital camera," more advertisers are competing for this keyword, so the competition is high. Short-tail keywords like "Panasonic digital camera" would be a better option and would improve your Google Ads performance.
In addition, avoid using too broad keywords, because they'll only get a handful of people to your website.
3. Target the Right Ad Groups and Campaigns
In Google Ads, an ad group contains two or more ads, which share similar targets. You can use ad groups to organize your ads by a common theme. In most cases, ads are organized by the product type the user wants to advertise.
How many ads can you group? As many as you want. Of course, you don't want to overdo it. Most advertising experts recommend you start with 3 ads in each ad group.
What do ad groups look like?
Again, let's say you have a blog with articles related to digital cameras. In that case, you can target "Canon digital camera" keywords in one ad group. While in another one, you can target long-tail terms like "Olympus digital camera."
You can also create separate Google Ads campaigns for different groups of keywords. That way, you'll be able to target visitors with different interests at the same time.
This could help you improve your Quality Scores and increase CTRs as well. This is a great way to make your ads more targeted and relevant to users' searches, which will also improve Google Ads CTR.
4. Make Use of Negative Keywords As Well
Your goal isn’t to reach the widest audience. It’s to reach a specific group of consumers, interested in what you have to offer. They will give you their clicks and subsequently, their money.
To narrow down the user pool to only your target audience, you need to add negative keywords. These negative keywords are phrases similar to the ones you're targeting, but they aren't relevant to the people you're trying to attract.
Excluding negative keywords will eliminate irrelevant users from your ad campaigns and increase ads' click-through rate.
Let's say you're selling DSLR cameras. You should omit any individual keywords containing the phrase "video camera" to prevent people from seeing products they're not looking for.
By creating a negative keyword list, you'll be able to weed out irrelevant search queries and ensure that your ads are in line with the search intent of your audience.
5. Put Promotions in Your Titles
Are you often running promotions or offering limited-time offers? If the answer is yes, then you need to use your ad campaigns to spread the word about them.
Mentioning time-sensitive promotions and promo codes will inspire more clicks since people will want to know more about it. Besides increasing the CTR it will also result in a conversion boom.
Research shows that headlines including numbers achieve a 200% better CTR and nearly 25% higher conversion rates.
When talking about limited offers, make sure to use elements of "FOMO advertising." FOMO stands for "Fear Of Missing Out" and this advertising technique is used to create a feeling of urgency in consumers to convince them to perform the desired action. In this case, click on your ad.
6. Write Question-Based Headlines
Two-thirds of small-to-mid-sized businesses out there use Google Ads. If you're aiming for the global market, it means you have thousands of competitors. Instead of focusing too much on creating a catchy title, focus on asking a question that directly addresses the search intent.
Don’t run an ad that offers the "best Canon camera store in [location]." Try asking the customers "Are you looking for the best Canon camera store in [location]?" and you’ll see better results.
A simple adjustment like that can increase CTR significantly.
Don't believe us? Research from Social Influence indicates that headlines in the form of questions receive 150% more clicks than regular ones. Furthermore, by including the word "you" in your headline, you can potentially grow the number of clicks by 175%.
Sometimes, a small change can mean a lot.
7. Always A/B Test Your Ad Copy
When you're done with your ad group, it's time to finally test out which ad copy works best. This is the only way to create a higher converting ad copy.
Yes, the old A/B test is back, but this time you can do it even faster thanks to Google Ads' new "Ad rotation" feature. It will run two ads at the same time for 90 days. If that's not enough time to see which ads are better, you can try the experiment for longer.
By checking out which ad variation performs better on CTR, you can make your final decision about which ad copy is best.
Split testing is an easy way to find out which headline, description, or image works best for your target market. You can even test different ad copies against each other. Run them side-by-side with all the elements being identical. After two weeks, you create new ads to test out different elements.
Conversion tracking is essential when you want to check which ad copy brings in the most conversions. Otherwise, you won't know if it's working or not. Use this opportunity to learn more about what works well for your target audience and boost your Google Ads CTRs in the future.
8. Take Steps to Eliminate Click Fraud
Analytics play a big role in CTR optimization. The problem is, up to 50% of clicks on Google Ads links happen on accident or are completely fake. In most cases, these clicks come from web crawlers and bots.
Why would someone program bots to click on your ad? It's hard to tell. If this happens to you, there's a chance one of your competitors used bots to skew your analytics and deplete your advertising budget.
How can you tell that someone is messing with your ad campaign? When low-performing ads suddenly start bringing in a lot of traffic, it's a good sign.
What can you do to ensure your numbers are real? You can use anti-click fraud software, which will prevent bots from repeatedly clicking on your ads. If your traffic is looking suspicious, you can contact us for consultation.
Keep Your Ads Fraud-Free and Your CTR High!
No matter how much experience you have with Google Ads, you're now aware that having a high click-through rate is key to success. Improving CTR requires not only writing a great ad copy but also:
- Insert keywords and exclude negative keywords
- Writing relevant titles that contain questions
- Test all of your ads and re-tool them when needed
Most importantly, you need to take steps to protect your ads. Luckily, our tool can help you protect your hard invested dollars from fake clicks.
Make use of our free trial, give our tool a go, and experience all of the benefits it offers. If you have any possible questions, don't hesitate to contact us.