Understanding PPC: 5 Simple Ways To Increase Your PPC CTR

Jul 21 By Aziz Kamara

Maintaining a high CTR is the crux of almost any campaign which will determine either success or failure.

Since the mechanics of quality CTRs can vary depending on the type of traffic, I thought it might be a good idea to explore methods used to create high-ctr ads in PPC traffic.

In PPC traffic, a great CTR will mean a great quality score. A greater quality score means better traffic. Better traffic means better conversions, and better conversions means better ROI. Needless to say–if you can increase your CTR, you’re golden .

Emotional/Sensory Short Stories

It’s important to keep in mind that with a lot of pay-per-click ads, there isn’t a large amount of space. With only a few lines of copy, tapping into the user’s emotions to get them to act can be incredibly difficult, but that doesn’t mean you should just use stats. Remember that in most cases, benefits are more alluring than features. A short, emotional story can go longer than a quick list of stats.

We’ve illustrated a few different methods available to help with creating attention-grabbing headlines and effective copy in our previous posts; but another useful method in creating compelling ads involves a strategy called the Swiss Army Knife strategy.

One strategy illustrates the use of sensory queues to place the user in the right state of mind for action:

Filter Out Low CTR Keywords First

One of the largest contributors to your ad’s CTR is the set of keywords in your campaign. Thus, properly removing bad keywords is crucial to success.

Sometimes, marketers will attempt to target keywords with very low competition and for very good reason–low competition should mean easier to get clicks. However, the leap from a keyword to your offer can be too great and your ad will appear completely out of context and can receive less clicks than if you were to target a little more broadly.

Another major mistake some people make when filtering out bad keywords is that they first remove low-volume keywords, then split-test copy with their high-volume keywords. However, while this approach may result in more traffic, it’s not always an efficient use of your efforts.

A great alternative way to filter out bad keywords is to first establish a baseline for your campaigns, focusing primarily on CTR for your account or a campaign group. After filtering out every keyword that first didn’t meet your baseline CTR, only then would you focus on your higher volume keywords.

Bidding On Branded Terms

Bringing up your weighted quality score in a PPC campaign isn’t always easy. A great quality score means better placement, and better placement means better CTR. Luckily, you don’t always have to be clever with the terms you’re bidding on to do that. One great way to increase your quality score quickly is to bid on branded terms.
This can prove to be useful in cases wherein users have some kind of awareness about a brand or company and hop onto a search engine to check it out further. When they search for particular brand, your ad appears and becomes immediately relevant to their search.

Additionally, you can bid on your brand’s competitors. This is a great way to inform the user that you can offer them something even better than what they were initially looking for in perfect context.

Ad Extensions and Formats

PPC_Ad_ExtentionsFrom “Live Chat” icons, to Site Links, to location extensions, to subscription extensions, communications extensions and many more, there’s a complete myriad of ways that you can get your users further involved with your ad and increase your CTR. Of course, certain extensions will have certain implications so it’s a great way to test whether or not you can increase the click-through rate of your ads.

Additionally, there are various ad formats like Product Listing Ads and Sponsored Listing Ads which when combined take up to 85% of the above-the-fold space and where the top 3 sponsored ads make up for around 40% of all clicks in a search window. Needless to say, it can be incredibly advantageous to explore the different types of ad formats as well.

One thing to note: since there are such a variety of ad extensions, you may want to check how tested your ad extension is before you run wild with it. The magical ad extension has yet to surface.

Adjusting Bids

Lastly, one way you can increase your PPC CTR is by increasing your bids. While Google reports that CTR is normalized by ad position, that’s not always the case. You may find that raising your bids will actually increase your quality score by improving placement and allowing your ad to get more clicks.

However, this can be a dangerous game. There’s only so much more that your ad can improve by bid alone, so keep an eye on your overall CPC (cost per click) while increasing your bids so that you’re not wasting money.

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