7 Ways to Improve Your Google Ads Click-Through Rates

April 1, 2024

Did you know that Google Ads usage is on the rise? Over 60% of online marketers use it.

However, 44% of them say they can’t achieve the return on investment they expected. This doesn’t mean Google Ads can’t be profitable for them. It can, but they need to apply new strategies to improve click-through rates and achieve better performance with their ads.

What is Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. In Google Ads, CTR is an important metric that measures your ads' success in attracting clicks from viewers. A high CTR indicates that your ad copy and targeting are relevant to the audience.

What constitutes a strong Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

CTR performance can differ based on the industry and type of advertisement. Google states that the typical CTR for search ads is 1.91% for the first position, 0.35% for the second spot, and 0.11% for the third spot. In contrast, display ads typically see a CTR of about 0.46%. While these figures can be used as a reference point, it's important to remember that your target CTR should align with your objectives and sector.

Based on our first-hand experience, here are 7 highly effective ways to improve your click-through rate in Google ads:

1. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

What marketer doesn’t love good targeting? Dynamic keyword insertion, an advanced feature introduced by Google Ads, lets you create more relevant ad copy based on a user’s search query.

Let’s say you’re advertising a coffee shop. In your ad headline, include the code {Keyword: coffee shop}. When a user searches for “best coffee shop”, Google will automatically change the ad headline to “Best Coffee Shop.” If they type “coffee shop near me,” the headline will change to “Coffee Shop Near Me,” and so on. 

It’s a simple yet powerful method that tailors your ad to each unique user.

Bonus Tip: Pay Attention to Low Volume Keywords

Despite being underestimated, lower-volume keywords can help boost the number of people clicking on your ads. These keywords may not bring in tons of traffic. They are precise, so they will match with a lower amount of queries. However, paying attention to them can improve how relevant and appealing your ads are to an audience. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't disregard them: 

  • They’re focused: Low-volume keywords tend to be very precise, which means that the users searching for them are likely close to making a decision or a purchase.
  • Less competition: Few advertisers use these keywords, so your ads have a better chance of standing out and getting more clicks at a lower cost.
  • Better conversion rates: Since these keywords closely match what the user is after, they often lead to high conversion rates.

By including long-tail keywords in your paid search strategy, you’ll boost your click-through rates and make your Google Ads campaigns more effective overall.

2. Set up Location Insertion

Now, let’s talk about advertising that hits home (literally). 

Similar to keyword insertion, the location insertion feature automatically replaces the code {LOCATION(City)} with the actual city name based on the user's location or the location they're searching for. How is this possible? Easy! Google Ads determines the user's location based on their IP address.

3. Mix Things Up

Let’s say you’ve crafted a catchy headline and description for your ad. How do you make sure it stays fresh and relevant to your target audience?

Create multiple versions of headlines and descriptions. The golden ratio is to have 15 variations for headlines and 4 variations for descriptions.

Google will then mix and match your headlines and descriptions to display the most relevant combination to your target audience, basically doing A/B testing for you.

Before we move on, remember to "pin" important headlines or descriptions to lock them in a particular position. For example, you might pin your brand name to Headline 1 so that it appears first in every ad. This allows Google to create maximum variety with your other unpinned elements.

4. Use Symbols and Emojis

Sprinkle emojis and symbols in your ad text!

This will not only create eye-catching text that will stand out in Google Search Results, but you'll also add a touch of personality and flair to your message. That's what these symbols are for – to convey emotions and tone.

While there are no strict rules on how to use emojis and symbols in your ad text, here are a few tips:

  • Do not overdo it: stick to one or two relevant emojis per ad.
  • Mind the context: make sure your emojis and symbols are appropriate for your brand and message. 

5. Apply the Rule of Three

Sometimes, ads hit your goals. Sometimes they don't. So why not run a small experiment instead of risking all your budget? Here's what you need to do:

1. Create three versions of the same ad, each with a slightly different message or call to action.

2. Run them for a limited time period (e.g., one week) and compare their performance metrics.

3. Choose the winning version and use it as an evergreen ad.

6. Use Google Ad Extensions

As you might have guessed, Google Ads Extensions extend your ad so it takes up more space on SERPs and has more clickable appeal. If you want to see your CTR climb, use extensions and be sure to include your brand’s name and logo (only verified advertisers can use this option).

Google Ad extensions have a lot of potential to boost your ad performance. Here are some great examples:

  • Sitelinks: These extra links can guide customers to pages on your website. For instance, a clothing store could have ad extensions like "Women's Fashion," "Men's Collection," and "Kids' Wear" that link to dedicated landing pages for each of the product categories.
  • Snippets: These highlight features of your products or services. A technology company might showcase snippets such as "Software Development", "Mobile App Solutions", "Cloud Services" and "24/7 Tech Support."
  • Promotions: You can share offers directly in your ads. For instance, a restaurant could advertise "Get 10% off your order", or a bookstore might offer "Free shipping for orders over $50."
  • Price Extensions: Display prices for products or services you offer, making it easy for customers to see upfront costs. For example, a beauty salon could list prices like "Haircut $30", "Manicure $20" and "Facial Treatments starting from $40."
  • Locations: Businesses with multiple in-person locations can benefit from showing addresses and distances in their ads to attract customers. A coffee chain, for example, could display stores closest to users searching for coffee.
  • Get the App Here: If your company offers an app, this tool can prompt users to download it from the advertisement. For instance, a fitness app could use this feature to attract users.
  • Visuals and Multimedia: Images and videos can greatly enhance user engagement. A travel agency could showcase destination photos or quick video tours to capture viewers' attention.

By using these features, businesses can significantly enhance the impact of their Google Ads, creating compelling ad experiences that drive increased click-through rates and ultimately lead to improved conversion rates.

7. More Numbers

90% of the world’s population love statistics. Sounds persuasive, right? We’ve made up that fact, but not to make fun of you. It’s to show that numbers are powerful in convincing someone to click your ad.

Statistics can make any product or service sound intriguing and worth clicking. Tap into your creativity and use numbers in your headlines or descriptions to make them more attention-grabbing.

"Using numbers instead of lengthy sentences can also make your ad more visually appealing. Think about skimming through a list of search results. One ad describes a smart productivity app that can change your life. Another ad says that their time-management tool will boost your productivity by 50%. Which one would you click? The answer is obvious." – Luca Castelli, CMO, Detectico App

Bottom Line

So, there you have it—your personal guide with 7 highly effective ways to skyrocket your CTR in Google Ads. Apply our tips to your ad campaigns and get results quickly!

If you need help managing, optimizing, and tracking the performance of your Google Ads campaigns, consider trying out an AI-powered paid search automation tool like Marin. Schedule a demo to learn more.

Brooke Webber

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