Does your Click-Through Rate (CTR) need a boost? A low CTR (<0.25) on one keyword can negatively affect your entire campaign. It hurts your relevancy score, meaning that you will have to bid higher for the same ad placements. Here are some tips to get you back on track.
- Prune your campaign regularly.
I work in social media, so I have the time to “prune” my campaigns every single month. By prune, I mean stop every ad with a CTR below 0.25 and start new ones. As the months go by, I feel that I develop a good feel for what kinds of ads and keywords lead to a high CTR and what kinds do not.
- Make your ad the official ad for your products or services.
Internet users are looking for the quickest path between them and a product. Generally, they will try to click on the most “official”-looking ad there is. I recommend the following:
- Make use of ™ or ® symbols. Trademarks are an easy way to make your ad look official. They are also easy to obtain. If you are selling your own products or services, trademark the hell out of them. Trademarks can be filed with the Patent Office in bulk: about $400 for one class of products or services. On the other hand, if you are selling someone else’s goods and services, ask them for permission to use their trademark on your ads.
- Make your URL visible. You should have an official-sounding URL in the first place. Placing your URL in the ad subject line, for example “Montana adventure tours – montanaadventure.com.” This shows people that the ad is for a real site that can sell them the product for which they’re looking.
- Use extensions. Use product extensions to display photos of your merchandise or your logo.
- Make several landing pages.
Use extensions to add sitelinks for specific landing pages to your ads. Each landing page should be focused on a different product or service. This will increase your ad’s visibility and encourage shoppers to click. This will have the added bonus of increasing each landing page’s Quality Score.
- Link reviews if your reviews are good.
Ad extensions can usually include links to aggregated Google user reviews. If your average review is 4.5 to 5 stars, use it. Otherwise, it’s not worth the space.
- Remember that CTR is not sales.
A popular tactic among bloggers is to “flame-bait,” or post something controversial to get hate clicks. Some businesses come dangerously close to doing the same, using ads that are unrelated to their business.
With PPC advertising, any similar tactic is the equivalent of taking money out of your wallet and lighting it on fire, except even less entertaining. CTR improves your ad’s relevancy, but you’re paying for those clicks. It is far better to have one $4.00 click that ends in a sale than 400 $0.01 clicks that don’t. Whenever you do anything to increase your CTR, keep the sale in mind.
Ryan is the Paid Search Manager at TechWyse Internet Marketing. Prior to joining TechWyse he spearheaded paid search initiatives for Staples Canada. You can find more of writing pay per click musings at www.techwyse.com/blog