If you want to get the maximum results from your advertising efforts on Google you need to master this one skill: Crafting ads with a high click-through rate.

In this article you will learn: 

  • How to calculate your CTR and all the basics you need to know
  • Why it is important to have a high CTR in Google Ads 
  • What a good CTR in Google Ads is
  • 9 ways to increase your CTR in Google Ads

What is Click-Through Rate (CTR?)

You probably already know what CTR is, but just to make sure we all are on the same page we will do a quick recap. 

CTR, short for Click-Through Rate, in Google Ads is the number of clicks your ad received divided by the number of impressions your ad has.

CTR = Click / Impressions  = % 

That means that if your ad has been viewed 100 times (impressions) and clicked (click) 5 times, you have a 5% CTR. 

Now that we have the basics under control, let’s jump right into why it is so important.

Why Is It Important To Have a High CTR in Google Ads?

Having a high ad CTR is highly beneficial in many ways. The most important one is that it helps you get a higher QS (Quality Score) and as we know, the QS of your ad is one of the factors Google looks at when calculating your AdRank and therefore your position in the ad auction. 

That means that having a high CTR will bring more traffic to your website (and more conversions) and reduce your cost per click. Because, the higher the QS, the cheaper the clicks.  

One important thing to keep in mind when you are striving for the highest possible CTR is that clicks are not the most important KPI. When you are increasing your CTR, you are increasing your traffic, but if that does not result in more conversions – does it really matter? Make sure to also look at your conversions and how they correlate with your work on increasing the CTR of your ads. 

What is a good CTR in Google Ads?

You might be wondering what a good CTR for your ads will be and it’s not that easy to answer. It will vary a lot from industry to industry. A great rule of thumb is that a good CTR is one a little better than you had last week. 

But since you probably are wondering, the average CTR on Google Search Network is somewhere between 2-3%. So if your ads are around that number there is very likely a huge chance for improvement.

9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Google Ads CTR

1. Remember who you are writing for and what you want to tell them 

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who is going to read this ad 
  • What is the message I want to send 

It is almost impossible to write a good ad copy without answering these questions. 

If you don’t have your target persona in mind when writing the ad copy, it’s very likely to not appeal to them. CEO Sarah and postman Tom are probably going to respond to the same message in a different way. So think about what is important for your target persona and how you make sure to mention those things in your ad. 

2. Decrease the number of keywords in your ad group

A common mistake is you have too many keywords in the same ad group. Let’s say you have 20 different keywords in the same ad group they will all trigger the same ads. The problem here is that it is very hard to write one relevant ad for 20 different keywords. 

The fewer keywords in an ad group, the easier it is to write a killer ad with high relevance. Higher relevancy = higher CTR.  

3. Put an offer in the headline

A good rule in life is to always say the most important things first. The same goes for writing ad copy. If you have a special offer or a promotion going, make sure it is mentioned in your headline – don’t let it hide in one of the two description fields! 

The reason for this is quite obvious when you think about it. The headline is the first thing the searcher will see when they see your ad. Another reason is that our attention is drawn towards special offers and deals – because we all want to save money.

Implementing this if you already have any offers running should take you less than a minute. Is there any reason not to do it? 

4. Put your keywords in the Display URL 

An often forgotten part when setting up an ad in Google Ads is utilizing the Display URL field. The Display URL is the URL that is visible in the ad. One of the best parts about this is that the URL does not need to be the same as your landing page URL, you can write whatever you want! 

That means that you can customize each ad with a URL that is hyper-relevant to the keyword the searcher is using. Just take a look at this example, which one stands out the most? 

5. Create a sense of urgency 

Creating urgency is an important and super effective persuasion technique. When putting pressure on users and making them feel like they need to act fast, they are more likely to do it. 

So if you have an offer for a limited time, limited supply or any other element that you can use to create urgency you should highly consider using it in your ad copy. 

One of the ways you can create urgency in your Ads is using the Countdown Timer in your ads. The really cool thing with the countdown function is that it helps to make your ads dynamic and responsive. They will change every time it is viewed – since it is counting down the time! This is a great way to boost your CTR if you have an offer that is expiring. 

To add a countdown to your ads all you have to do is type: {=CO in the headline or description and a pop up will guide you through the steps you need to take.  

Remember that you should never fake urgency, it is easy to get caught and it can really hurt your brand in the long term. 

6. Utilize all relevant Ad Extensions

Using Ad Extension makes your ads stand out and helps you get more “real estate” in the search results. Another great thing about ad extensions is that all the extra information you will be able to provide will make it easier for the searcher to understand what you’re offering for them. 

As you can see the ad extensions really can be a game-changer on how relevant your ad can be for the searcher, so make sure you implement all the relevant ones for you. 

A bonus when using Ad Extensions is that they are also a factor in calculating your AdRank, so using more Ad Extensions will help you get clicks cheaper. 

7. Consider raising your bids 

Probably not what you want to hear, but increasing your bid can significantly impact your CTR. So make sure you regularly review your bids to see if they need to be increased. 

Your bid is an important factor for Google to determine your AdRank that is being used in the action. So if your AdRank is low, you will get a low position. 

If your ad is not showing up in one of the top placements on the first page of Google, it is time to raise the bid. Making sure you are above the top organic search results will increase CTR significantly. 

8. Pause non-performing ads 

We are sorry to say this, but not all your ads are going to be winners. So making sure to regularly evaluate all your ads is part of your optimizing routine. 

Having a bad performing ad will decrease the performance of that keyword. If your ad does not meet Google’s expected CTR, then they will start giving it less visibility resulting in an even worse CTR. 

So you are better off turning low performing ads off and creating a new one instead. 

Here is a super effective strategy you can use to always make sure your ads are improved. First, make sure every ad group has 2-3 ads, then depending on the number of impressions you get check your ads every 1-4 weeks. When you are checking your ads you should pause the lowest performing and make a copy of the highest performing one with a small change. That way you will always remove a low performer and increase chances of improving one of your winners.  

9. Negative keywords

This last tip to increase your CTR has nothing to do with your ad copy or the look of your ad. But it might be one of the most effective things you can do. 

Adding negative keywords helps your ads to now show in non-relevant searches. 

Let’s say you sell new televisions, you probably should add the words “free” and “used” as negative keywords, to make sure your ads are not shown when people are looking for a free TV or a used one. 

If you already have ads running, go to the “Search Term”-report and see what searches your ads actually are shown on. Add the search terms you see that are irrelevant to the negative keyword list.  

As you have seen in this article there is no magic “Increase CTR”-button and it will take time to improve it. 

But you can do it and we believe in you. Follow the nine tips in this article and you will be well on your way to master the skill of crafting ads with a high CTR. 

So, do you want to increase your CTR? Why not try Moskito – the #1 WordPress Plugin for creating and managing your Google Ads. Try our free version here.