How To Improve Your Click Through Rate (CTR)

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AdWords is a number’s game. This article explains why CTR is important and how to improve yours.

What is CTR

CTR is the percentage of viewers that actually click on your ad. CTR is different from impressions, which is the number of people who view your ad, whether they click through or not.

By improving your CTR with AdWords, you achieve the following:

  1. Increase your traffic.
  2. Lower your CPC (thanks to the Rank = CPC * CTR equation).

The click through rate (CTR) is crucial for your success. You should always try to improve it.

What Is a Good CTR

A good CTR is certainly above the 0.05% rate that AdWords asks you to maintain in order to keep your ad running for each keyword. If your CTR gets lower than that, your ad is disabled after it receives a thousand impressions. Certainly, 0.05% is not enough. But it’s hard to tell what is good and what is bad CTR beyond that.

CTR depends on the following:

Keyword popularity

Suppose your CTR for a keyword like “shoes” is 1.5 %. Is that good or bad?Usually, a general keyword like that is also very popular. These kinds of words generate a lot of impressions, but the percent of people that actually click on ads is low. In this circumstances, your 1.5% CTR is good. If you choose “repair jogging shoes” instead, you’ll probably get fewer impressions on this one, and fewer clicks, but still, a much better click through rate. This second keyword is not so popular, but it is much more targeted.When comparing two similar keywords — a general and a specific one, you should see a big difference in the CTR they get as well as in their conversion rates. A keyword that has both low popularity and low CTR is actually low value.

Your competition

To follow the same example, we expect a popular keyword like “shoes” to have a tough competition. This means higher CPC , and fewer chances for you to get clicks. But it’s very possible that few people are bidding on “repair jogging shoes” — if any — and in this case you have all the viewers of your ad to yourself.

There’s no low, high or average CTR. You have to take into account the circumstances mentioned above. And beyond that, consider the quality of your ad, your bids and your daily budget, because these too can influence your CTR.

How Keywords Strategies Influence CTR

General keywords generate a lot of impressions but few click-throughs and even fewer conversions, because they can’t really filter the potential customers. Specific keywords on the other hand are more focused, therefore they have more power to select potential clients.

Ways to use keywords for increasing your CTR:

  • Avoid using very general keywords (shoes).
  • Focus on using targeted keywords which describe your actual products or service in a rather specific way (repair jogging shoes).
  • Collect all related keywords in targeted Ad Groups.
  • Create ads that are highly targeted to the keywords in that Ad Group.

There are two other very important areas to take care of if you want high click through rates: your ad copy and your ad position.

Remember, you can watch this and other AdWords Tutorials on our Youtube channel too.

Further Reading: We recommend reading How To Control Your Ad Position next, or select from one of the many tutorials below.

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