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In this ultra-competitive digital age with nonstop rising trends, traffic alone is not enough. Traffic alone is no longer a reliable measure of digital marketing performance. Instead, you need to measure how much bang you get for your buck—how many clicks you earn against the total traffic. Essentially, you’ll want to get as many clicks as possible per Google Ad dollar spent.
This is called your click-through rate (CTR). On digital marketing channels where you pay-per-click such as Google Ads , it’s all the more crucial to drive optimal CTR. Any less than that should be a sign to rethink how you’re spending your ad dollars.
So, how does your CTR measure up? There’s always room to grow and earn more clicks than ever across your Google Ads campaigns. Let’s go over the ways you can improve your Google Ads CTR.
Recap: What is The Click-Through Rate in Google Ads?
The click-through rate on Google Ads is the ratio of clicks to impressions. It’s the percentage of the traffic that took a desired action, essentially indicating how successful an ad is and how efficient your marketing spend is. For instance, if you get 1,000 impressions but less than 50 clicks (under 5%), your CTR indicates a potentially low ROI. Because of this, the CTR is one of the most crucial metrics of campaign success.
Why CTR Matters in Google Ads
Essentially, your Google Ads CTR measures how well your campaigns are performing. The higher your CTR, the more clicks you get from impressions—essentially, the less you spend per click.
A higher CTR can also lead to more conversions, since you have more potential customers on your site taking desired actions, such as filling out a contact form. An optimal CTR also can help you obtain high-quality leads, thanks to quality, relevant ads that reach the right customers. And as a result, you’ll also enjoy a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
What is a Good Google Ads CTR?
So, what does an optimal CTR really mean—and how can you increase yours to thrive in the ultra-competitive Google Ads landscape?
Generally, a good Google Ads CTR is somewhere between 3% and 5%. However, depending on your industry, the average CTR can range from 4% to 6%, or even higher at 7% or 9%.
These numbers provide a benchmark to base your Google Ads performance on. Since your CTR can be affected by targeting a low-performing keyword in the same ad group that has a high CTR, it’s important to look out for these factors to maximize your budget.
How to Improve Your Google Ads CTR
So, now that you know why the CTR matters in Google Ads and what a good CTR is, let’s move on to how you can improve yours. Here are the top strategies for boosting your ads’ CTR and getting more value from every impression.
1. Structure your campaigns and Google Ads account
Before making changes to your ads, the first step to improving your Google Ads CTR is doing due diligence. Look at your existing account: are the campaigns clearly identified, with a unique objective?
Keep in mind that your Google Ad account should be divided into unique campaigns, each with their own ad groups targeting one or related keywords. A poorly structured ad account may reflect a low CTR due to mixing low- and high-performing keywords in one ad group.
2. Target keywords smartly
A good keyword strategy is the backbone of every Google Ads campaign and optimal CTR. Simply, you need to bid on the right keywords based on your target audience, campaign goals, and budget to garner a high CTR and increased conversions .
The best types of keywords that increase CTRs are:
- Commercial intent keywords: Used by customers with an intent to purchase, rather than informational keywords. Customers who are ready to buy—and the best ones to target—typically use keywords like “best [product name]” instead of “what is [product]”?
- Branded keywords: Target competitor, partner, and other brand names to reach more audiences and capture highly competitive traffic,
- Local keywords: Similar to local SEO , bid on location-based keywords to reach customers in specific target markets looking to buy local.
Additionally, look out for negative keywords or searches that you don’t want your ad to show for. Make sure to identify negative keywords to avoid using up your ad spend.
Similarly, don’t bid on broad-match keywords. While they trigger your ad every time the keyword or a similar phrase is searched, they usually trigger irrelevant searches that don’t result in clicks, which only hurts your CTR. Instead, target specific keywords that signal a stronger intent to buy to capture more clicks from customers that are most likely to convert. While this will narrow down your audience, you’re guaranteed a higher ROI.
3. Keep audience targeting narrow
This may go against your instinct; after all, wouldn’t you want to reach as many customers as possible through Google Ads?
Well, not exactly. There’s a difference between broadly targeting audiences, reaching as many people as possible and targeting specific audiences with a serious intent to buy. One of them yields qualified leads and higher conversions, while the other can even result in irrelevant searches and wasted ad dollars.
To maximize the cost-per-click and the cost of customer acquisition, refine your audience targeting. Set specific demographic criteria, and tailor ads to cater to them. This helps increase your Google Ads CTR, even with fewer clicks.
4. Pay attention to ad copy
Copy is always king in any ad campaign, and even more so in paid search. Your Google Ads should have original and compelling copy that responds to their search and provides the information they need to click.
Here are some tips for writing ad copy that increases your CTR:
- Include the main keywords in the ad headline and description naturally
- Add a clickable, action-oriented CTA that gets customers to “buy now” or “download today”, while reinforcing value, such as “start saving now”
- Keep the ad copy as close to popular searches as possible, since customers typically click on ads that closely reflect their search
- Promote a special offer in the headline.
5. Optimize the Ad Extensions
For many marketers, the bulk of Google Ads management is in setting up ad groups, keyword bidding, and developing each ad. But did you know that optimized Ad Extensions can also increase your CTR?
Just as you would design multiple conversion pathways, you’ll first need to create as many opportunities for customers to click. Relevant Ad Extensions help drive interest and motivate clicks, thanks to the additional information available about your unique offering.
6. Watch how you use dynamic keyword insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion can be a marketer’s best friend when managing Google Ads, but it also has limits. While it allows Google to automatically insert keywords that triggered your ad into the ad copy or headline, it’s not a perfect solution to increasing your CTR.
Typically, ads enhanced through dynamic keyword insertion may have a higher frequency, but only for the top 15% of Google Ad accounts. Though it yields slightly higher early returns, it’s not a substitute for following the best practices of creating Google Ads.
7. Conduct A/B testing and optimize, optimize, optimize
Google Ads are never static. Bids go up, campaigns evolve, and customers’ needs change. To keep your CTR trending upwards, you need to continuously invest in your Google Ads and keep them relevant. Optimize each ad with new headlines and descriptions to reflect the most crucial searches you want to target.
With each iteration, make sure to A/B test . You can do this directly on Google Ads by allowing Google to learn which headline and description combo that customers best respond to, and show what’s most relevant. In addition, you can also use a combination of ad types, such as search ads and responsive ads, for ongoing market learning and campaign optimization.
8. Monitor your Quality Score
Lastly, keep an eye on your Quality Score , Google’s rating of your ad, keyword, and landing page (s) quality. The more relevant and optimized your ads are, the higher your Quality Score and subsequent ranking.
This means that more people can click on your ad, in turn, signaling to Google that it’s relevant, and, therefore should be shown more. Over time, this also means you can bid less than your competitors but still rank higher than them because Google prefers relevant, high-quality ads like yours.
Boost Your CTR with Our Google Ads Agency
When you spend per click or impression, you’ll want to get every dollar’s worth. You need a healthy click-through rate to make sure that you’re getting the best value from your Google Ads campaign. More importantly, you’ll want to ensure that these clicks do lead somewhere more productive and tangible: to conversions.
At Consultus Digital , our Google Ads experts place a premium on CTR’s. We work hard to make sure that you get the results you need. Our full-service approach to Google Ads account setup, and campaign development and launch is centred on driving a higher CTR. Our goal is to get you the highest-quality clicks from customers ready to buy. Through our approach, you can always count on us to follow best practices and ensure that your campaigns evolve with the latest developments.
Do you want to learn more about ways to increase your Google Ads CTR, or have more tips to share? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our Google Ads agency in Toronto.