In a previous post, I went through some ways you can use “strong” words in combination with strong call to action words to improve your PPC click through rate (CTR). Since that post, there have been some updates to the AdWords quality score algorithm and as such, CTR plays an ever important role. In fact, it is my opinion that incremental CTR increase is the most important part of any PPC marketing campaign as it is one of the few factors you can directly influence to increase your ad position and reduce your cost per click (CPC). Remember to always be A/B split testing your ads and never leave an adgroup with only a single ad.
Below, I outline five examples of ways you can increase your CTR without doing anything technical or magical. The ads are fabricated but the data is not. The ads are as close to the original as possible. Besides, you’re going to test the theory yourself anyway right?
1) Trademark Symbol/Registered Symbol.
While I have been using this method myself for years, Brad and Amber make some great points on this very topic. Not only can special symbols be used to increase your PPC CTR, but they can also be used to increase your organic SERP CTR. I could not agree with Ian Lurie more on his blog post predicting that organic CTR will matter a LOT in 2009.
2) Price In Headline
Adding the price in the headline is a great way to increase CTR. Be careful with this one though, if you’re not the cheapest, you’re CTR will suffer.
3) Seasonal Headlines.
Doesn’t matter if your product is not seasonal. If you sell blue widgets all year around, a headline like “Easter Widget Sale” will work great. There are so many different holidays, festivals and events that this can be used with. If you’re targeting locally, even better.
4) Trademark in Display URL Subdomain
While you can’t use most trademark terms in your ad copy, you can use them in your display URL. Amber has a great post on why AdWords allows trademarks in the display URL here. Using the trademark in the display URL some argue confuses potential clickers into thinking that it is the “official” site of the trademark holder. Be careful with this one too… Google knows when a visitor clicks the back button on their browser!
5) The exact Keyword in the Headline.
An oldie, but a goodie. We all know that search engines BOLD your keywords when they match the search query. Having tightly knit adgroups will allow you to take advantage of this without having to use dynamic keyword insertion.
Remember, CTR for quality score reasons is only calculated on the exact match of the keyword and is only counted on the Google search network. This means that any increase in CTR from Dynamic Keyword Insertion does not improve your google quality score. CTR on Google search partners does not contribute to your quality score calculations.