Increasing your CTR shouldn’t be rocket science, a few small tweaks here and there typically does the trick. Here are my six fast and easy ways (each one can be done under 5 minutes) to help you lower your costs while optimizing your Adwords campaigns. Ready, set, prepare for liftoff…
1) Use Ad Extensions
Enhance your ads by using extensions. You can include additional information about your business like your location, phone number, product, sitelinks and social (which associates with your Goolge+ page). There is no cost to implement this and Google reports that ad extensions can increase CTR by about 30%!
2) Create A Relevant Display URL
This takes seconds to do and is often forgotten. The display URL can be different than your destination URL as long as it is within 35 characters so chose your words wisely to market your product. Use uppercase for the first letter of each word so it clearly stands out. For example: www.SanFranciscoMovers.com
3) Have Catchy Headers
Unless you are offering some blowout deal, I don’t recommend including the price in the ad. Instead mention the discount “save $20″ or a bonus offer such as “free delivery” or “buy-one-get-one -free”. If a special event or holiday is coming up, mention it in your headline.
4) Refine Your Negative Keywords List
I learned this the hard way by not including a comprehensive list of negative keywords in my campaign and ended up overspending very quickly. CTR can drastically be lowered by search queries that don’t relate to your product. If you are not offering something free or discounted, make sure you add “free” and “discount” to your list of negative words. Research and comparison shopping keywords should also be added if they are irrelevant to your offer (ex. what is, how to).
5) Focus On Long Tail Keywords
You won’t get a ton of searches but you can expect that when someone clicks your ad, they are serious and really interested. Plus long tail is way less competitive so you get higher CTR with a lower bid.
6) Test 2-3 Different Types Of Ads Per Ad Group
Tighten up your ad groups with fewer, but highly relevant keywords. A common mistake is to dump truck too many keywords into an ad group. Make sure your keywords are mentioned in the ad and pause keywords that receive a low quality score.
At the end of the day, a higher CTR usually indicates that your CPC will be lower due to higher Quality Scores. But remember that increasing CTR does not always translate to higher conversions . The key is to have a good sales funnel and a compelling offer targeted toward relevant consumers.
This post originally appeared in ReveNews (June 2013).