I often find myself guilty of going into too much detail when asked about PPC Click Through Rates (and digital marketing in general, actually). I think I sometimes lose the ability to explain things in Lehman terms so I decided to have a think about my top 5 basic tips to increase anyone’s PPC ad campaign’s CTR.  If you have a small budget – much like most of the people who ask me for advice – increasing your CTR can be vital to get the most out of your PPC campaign.

Why are PPC Click Through Rates Important?

I often get asked why PPC Click Through Rates are so important. Many people even go so far as to insisting they only need help with making sure their advert is in position 1. This is the wrong attitude to have. I have seen many adverts ranking 2nd and 3rd which have higher click through rates than those ranking in 1st position. In addition to this, CTR’s have a huge influence on your campaign “quality score”. The better your quality score, the higher you can rank and the lower your CPC (cost per click) will be. This will increase visitors and save you money.

In reality, both positioning and click through rates are important but it can often be easier (and cheaper) to increase visitors to your website by optimising your CTR instead of always working hard on trying to rank higher.

Before elaborating on these easy quick-fixes, it is important to remember that every single PPC campaign will perform differently to others for hundreds of reasons. All these methods might not necessarily work for each campaign but they certainly should provide a decent basis.

1. Excluding Search Partners

This point should be even more important when your campaign uses broad match keywords but can also help sometimes when your PPC campaign is using exact match keyword terms. In short, “search partners” are authorised websites which Google allow to take advantage their adsense program. Google checks the content on the website and decides which adverts will suit the website’s visitors (click here to see more about adsense).

By removing search partners from your PPC campaign, your advert should only appear in Google searches and not on partner websites. CTR’s are proven to be higher in Google searches when compared to adverts on websites (for most keyword terms).

I recommend testing this method and then duplicating the campaign exactly but allowing search partners in the second campaign. After a couple weeks this should give you enough data to compare both campaigns. One set of data will pull in just Google search visitors and the other will pull in Google search visitors plus visitors from Google’s search partner.

2. Consider Using Ad Extensions

Many retailers in the UK are starting to harness the power of Ad Extensions to increase their PPC click through rates, and rightfully so! Ad Extensions allow your PPC ad to take up more real estate in the search results. They are (currently) split into 4 categories: Location, Sitelinks, Call & Products.

The above search for “Engagement Rings” shows a 1st place result for 365-diamond.com who have taken advantage of using Ad Extensions to open up the size of their ad space and draw even more attention to their advert.

There have been some significant increases in CTR’s of large household name retailers in the UK when using this method. Have a think about creating your own Ad Extensions. Maybe start out at site links and do some testing. I always find adding a link to your return policy and customer care promise (if you have one) helps.

For more information on Ad Extensions, visit the Google Support Page.

3. Gather Customer Reviews

One of the easiest ways of increasing potential visitors trust in your store is to show them what others think about the service you offer. This is often called the “Star Snippet” and Google say that if you have 30+ reviews and your average feedback is 4 stars or more then they will show the Star Snippet in your ad. Customer reviews are a must if you want to increase your PPC click through rate.

You can gather these customer reviews through many ways but it is important that you do not abuse the rich snippet system. Patrick Sexton wrote a nice little outline about rich snippet abuse here.

4. Optimise Your Landing Page

Another great way of increasing your quality score is to focus on your landing page. Concentrate on the audience you are targeting and use related keywords. Make sure the landing page has everything a visitor might need. I could go great detail here but it has already been covered perfectly by Dave Chaffey.

5. Focus On Unique Selling Points

This one should need no real explanation but I will provide one anyway. Have a think about what service your company offers that a competitor doesn’t. Think about things like free delivery, money-back guarantee’s, next day delivery, free technical support, awards you might have won, price promises or even how much experience you have in your field. You should pick the most appropriate service you offer and use it in the advert to attract searchers to click on your advert over your competitors.

Final Thoughts…

As usual, the most important thing to do here is TEST. No two PPC campaigns will yield the same results. Different keywords target different audiences and different websites will work better than others for certain campaigns. Don’t assume that once your ad campaigns are set up, your job is done… This is when the real work starts.