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Ten Ways to Improve Your AdWords Click-Through Rate (CTR)

April 3, 2015

One of the best ways to save money on your AdWords campaign is by improving your click-through rate (CTR), or the percentage of viewers who actually click on your ad.

A higher click-through rate leads to a higher Quality Score -- a grade Google applies to your AdWords keywords and ad groups. When you have a high Quality Score, you pay less for better ad spots. Here are 10 steps you can take to improve your AdWords click-through rate:
  1. Include promotional offers, attractive adjectives, and calls to action in your ads. People are more likely to click on your ad if you tout a special promotion, like free shipping. Also, words like “save,” “easy,” and “new,” and calls to action like “buy now,” “reserve today” and “call now,” can prompt a click.
  1. Put your keywords into the body and title of your ad. The keywords people type into Google appear in bold when found in search results. People are more likely to click on ads that contain the keywords they have just typed than ads without them.
  1. Include your price in your ad if you are selling a product or service for a good value. Not only may it incite more people to click on the ad for more information, but it also could lead to more conversions down the line.
  1. Make sure your keywords are highly relevant to your product or service. If they aren’t, people won’t click on your ad. For example, if you sell red wine vinegar but your keywords are just “buy” “red” and “wine,” don’t expect many landing page hits. People searching for “buy,” “red” and “wine” are more focused on finding that perfect bottle than your vinegar.
  1. Use negative keywords to limit untargeted impressions. Say you sell brand new cell phones. You don’t want your ad to appear when people search for refurbished cell phones. Thus, by setting “refurbished” as a negative keyword you can keep that from happening.
  1. Simplify your ad. If your ad is too wordy people won’t want to read it. Try to pare down the copy in a way that doesn’t compromise a sufficient description of your product. Get rid of words like “Click Here” and “See (a specific link).”
  1. Capitalize the words in your display URLto make them more readable. If you are a distributor of Swiss chocolate, for example, and your website is wesellswisschocolate.com, write the display URL as WeSellSwissChocolate.com. People are more likely to click on your ad if they immediately know what you’re selling.
  1. Test out different types of ads (text, banner, local business), different keywords, and different layouts, to see which features generate the highest click-through rates. Once you have this information you can focus on using those ad characteristics.
  1. Get rid of abbreviations, unless they are obvious. Advertisers may shorten words so they can fit more of them into an ad. But in doing so they compromise users’ ability to easily understand the ad, and their desire to click on it.
  1. Try using a seasonal headline in your ad, even if you offer your product or service year-round. That may give customers a sense of urgency and newness, prompting them to click the ad. If your company sells wrought iron furniture, for example, your headline could be “Thanksgiving Wrought Iron Furniture Sale.”

 Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/3366720659/