Sunday, November 22, 2009

The 5 Secrets That Can Increase Your AdWords Click Through Rate

Your AdWords click through rate (ctr) is an important statistic for any advertising campaign. A good ctr will reward you with a higher Quality Score. And the better your Quality Score, the less you'll pay in bids, saving you money.

It may suprise you to know that improving ctr is easy. Yet incredibly, many advertisers don't pay it much attention.

What Is Click Through Rate?

You're probably wondering how Google calculate ctr values for your account? Well, there is no great mystery. Your AdWords Click Through Rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on a keyword or ad by the number of impressions.

For example, imagine your ad has shown 100 times and was clicked on 4 times. Your click through rate would be 4/100 or 4%.

Keep in mind that any ctr above 1% is acceptable, 5% is good and a 10% ctr or more is excellent.

If you're like everyone else, you'll easily be able to name two instances where Google measures ctr. But, what most people don't realise is that AdWords measures ctr in five different ways. And each has an impact on your Quality Score.


Everybody knows that all your keywords have a ctr. To improve any keywords ctr, you need more people to click on the ad that your keyword triggers.

You can achieve higher keyword ctr by:

+ bidding more so your ad appears higher on the results page.

+ writing a new ad that is more appealing to your audience.


Every ad in your campaign also has its own ctr value.

To improve an ads ctr:

+ Add more relevant keywords to the ad group so your ad gets seen more often.

+ Write an ad that is more appealing to your audience.

Campaign / Account

Many AdWords advertisers don't realise it, but Google also measures the ctr of all your campaigns and your entire account.

The easiest way to improve your campaign's ctr is to remove keywords that are not performing. Try removing all keywords that have less than 200 impressions a month and don't convert.

Why is this important? Consider this example:

Picture a campaign that regularly gets 1000 impressions a week and 50 click through's. Your campaign's ctr is 5% (50/1000).

Now, let's suppose that 20 of your keywords get 150 impressions and 5 click through's a week between them. None of these keywords are converting, so removing them from your campaign is going to do no damage to your sales.

You now get 45 clicks per week and 850 impressions. The ctr for your campaign is 5.3% (45/850).

This represents an increase of 0.3%. A small rise, but every increase in efficiency can be significant. And if the keywords are not contributing to your sales, then they are not useful anyway.


Many advertisers, when they experience problems with their Quality Score, believe they can fix the problem by closing their account and opening a new one, They are shocked when this makes no difference.

The fact of the matter is that AdWords tracks your domain performance and will apply a low Quality Score to all the keywords in your new account if you haven't fixed the underline problem.

The reality is that you should never try to trick AdWords into giving you a good Quality Score, it won't work.

Historical Keyword Performance

The fifth characteristic of any AdWords campaign for which Google record ctr is the historical performance of your keywords.

Millions of people use AdWords, and trillions of keywords have been tried in advertising campaigns. There are few keywords that have not been tried previously by other advertisers.

The ctr that others have achieved with any keyword you select will have a big influence on your Quality Score.

I know what you're now thinking, how do you know if the keyword you're about to select has a poor historical ctr?

Start by typing the keyword into the "Traffic Estimator" tool. This will tell you how many clicks your keyword might expect per day. Multiply this value by 30 to determine how many clicks your keyword will get per month.

Now switch to the "Keyword Tool" and enter your keyword again. This tool will return the number of searches you'd expect per month.

Divide the number of clicks a month by searches and you'll get Google's ctr for that keyword.

If a keywords ctr is low then beware. Google is trying to tell you that your chances of success are small.

The important thing is that if your keyword has a low historical ctr, but you're certain it's right for your campaign, then you can still use the keyword. And if you start to achieve a good ctr, then your Quality Score will soon rise and your bid prices drop.

Last Thoughts On Ctr & Quality Score

All five measurements of ctr are important to the success of your AdWords campaign. And each can be improved by the changes you make.

The 2 most important things to remember when using ctr to improve Quality Score are:

+ Ctr is only part of the Quality Score equation. To improve, you'll need to work on every part of the equation.

+ Google reviews performance over time. If your AdWords click through rate for any keyword or ad has been poor to date, then it may take a week or two for any changes you make to fully take effect.

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