I usually blog about WordPress and Mailchimp however I also provide consulting regarding SEO and other online marketing and advertising. When it comes to pay-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords and Bing Ads, people are always looking to improve Click Through Rates (CTR). So, how does CTR affect the price you’ll pay per click?
What is CTR?
CTR is a vital performance indicator as this directly affects how much you’ll pay per click; a high CTR advert with a slightly lower bid will be shown in a higher position than a competing advert with a low CTR but higher bid. This is perfectly understandable from the perspective of the advertising platform as they make their money when someone clicks an advert (as opposed to an organic entry in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)) therefore Google and Bing want to show adverts which people click.
As we want to pay as little as possible for advertising whilst getting the biggest benefit we obviously should be seeking to improve our advert CTR so as to reduce our price per click. So, what is the easiest way to improve the proportion of times an advert is clicked as a proportion of times the advert is show?
The secret to improving CTR substantially?
Personalization, relevancy and familiarity is exactly what is going to make people click your Adwords advert over other adverts. If a person enters a search term into Google and an advert includes the exact words and phrase that the person is search for, the chance of the person clicking on the advert is very high. Google even encourages searchers to click your advert if you include search terms in your advert as the search terms will be in bold in your advert when shown.
There are many articles out there advising how to write better advertising headlines, how to select keywords and write advert content but there is another trick that isn’t covered all that often. This nifty secret really targets your adverts very specifically to what the searcher is looking for. You’ve likely seen this focused advert copy but may not have noticed what is really going on to encourage you to click the ad.
Automatically add keywords into your advert
Look at the image of the search results. My search was for ‘buy asics shoes’ (yes, I run a few days a week). Note how the third advert has the exact term I searched for. Is this because The Athletes Foot has created an advert with this exact title? Whilst possible, there is an easier way to include the search term in the advert. Best of all, it is unbelievably simple to achieve and you really don’t need to employ anyone to add this auto-insertion of the search term into your Adwords adverts; you can easily do this yourself in just a few seconds.
Just follow these instructions. For these instructions we’ll be creating an advert that will include the search term in the advert.
- Login to Google Adwords and go to the add new Advert screen (see image below).
- Create your advert as per usual however we’ll cover the title in the next step.
- In the advert title enter
(change default term for the text to appear if the search term isn’t shown for whatever reason).
- Save your advert
Now, when your advert is shown, the search term will be shown in the title of your advert and, best of all, the search term will be in bold so that the searcher really notices the advert. Try it; I’ve tested and CTR is definitely higher using this little-known trick to improve click-rates.