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6 ways of improving your paid search advert click through rates

Posted on 9th April, 2021 by Richard Hassall

Google Ads

As anyone who has ever run their own paid search campaign will know, the click through rate of your paid search is one of the easiest ways of measuring how relevant your advertising is. Not only does a higher click through rate mean more traffic to your website, but it also indicates that your advertising is reaching the right people with the right message. In this blog article, we’ll look at some simple tips to help you improve the click through rates of your paid search adverts.

Theme your ad groups

One of the best starting points for those looking to improve their click through rates is to break down ad groups into tightly themed keyword groups. This means keywords and very close derivatives. This means that you’ll be able to include the target keyword in your advert copy and so make it much more relevant.

By making sure that the keywords are contained in the advert you’ll not only get a higher quality score, but you’ll also show searchers that you provide what they are looking for.

Create persuasive ad copy

Once you have created your tightly themed ad groups and have your chosen keywords you’ll need to create adverts that are relevant to each ad group. Ideally, you should use your target keywords in the headline of your advert text as well as in the body of the advert and the display URL field. It may seem obvious but including your target keywords in your advert copy will really help to improve your advert click through rates.

As well as including your keywords in your adverts you also need to make sure your adverts are engaging and entice your target audience. Taking the time to write adverts that are persuasive and compelling will increase your chances of getting users to click. Spend some time analysing what other businesses are doing and then try writing something that stands out as being different.


Remember to create at least 3 variations of each advert as these can then be split tested to see which one performs best.

Use negative keywords

Negative keywords are a great way to help you filter out keywords that are not relevant to your advertising. Not only can they help stop wasted clicks for terms that are unlikely to convert but they can also help to improve your click through rates by ensuring your adverts aren’t shown for terms that are not relevant.

For example, if you had keywords targeting “Dell computer monitor” then you may want to use negative keywords for “returns”, “problems”, and  “troubleshooting” to stop your adverts being shown for searches with little value. Use the search term query report on a regular basis to check for new keywords that you may want to include as negatives in your campaign.

Use a strong call to action

Every advert you create needs to include an implicit call to action that tells customers what the next step will be. So if you want them to sign up, then you need to mention that in the advert copy. Likewise, if you are offering a free whitepaper make sure it’s included in your advert text. Also, make sure your text is focussed on the benefits instead of features. The example below from Sonos advertising their Play 1 speaker does this perfectly:


Make use of ad extensions

Experiment with different types of advert extensions for your PPC campaign as they have been proven to increase the click through rates of adverts. There are a number of ad extensions available that include: call extensions, sitelink, callout and location. While some of these can be added manually such as sitelink extensions others are picked up using structured data and information from third party websites – e.g. consumer ratings.

Ad extensions can help your advert get more attention by making your advert more prominent the Sonos example above includes sitelink extensions, callout extensions and seller rating extensions which really do help it stand out on the page.

Monitor your bids

As well as improving your keywords and adverts you should be regularly be monitoring your keyword and ad group bids. If your bid amount is too low then your adverts could be appearing outside the top 4 adverts on the page. This means that the click through rates will tend to be a lot lower. It is best to experiment with keyword bids and increase these incrementally to find a level that works for your business.

Remember there is no point bidding to get to the top position on the page if this doesn’t then lead to a positive return on your investment. And while the top spot may get a higher click through rate you may find that being in position 3 delivers a better return for your business.

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