How to Optimize Your PPC Ads for a Higher CTR

How many clicks do your pay-per-click (PPC) ads typically generate? Whether you use Google Ads or Bing Ads, clicks are important because they translate into traffic. A PPC ad may generate thousands of impressions, but without any clicks, it won’t drive traffic to your landing page where conversions occur.

Not only does it harm conversions, but a low click-through rate (CTR) can negatively affect other aspects of your PPC campaigns. Your PPC ads will be given a low quality score, for instance, resulting in higher click costs and lower ad ranks. They’ll cost you more money while generating fewer impressions in the process. You can optimize your PPC ads, however, to achieve a higher CTR.

Don’t Use DKI in PPC Ads

Avoid using dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) when writing PPC ads. DKI is a feature in Google Ads and Bing Ads that automatically inserts an impression-triggering search query into a PPC ad. When you include the keyword token in a PPC ad, search engines will automatically replace it with the user’s search query.

Unfortunately, using DKI often results in awkward or illegible PPC ads. Most online searches consist of long-tail queries. If you use DKI, your PPC ads will become cluttered with these long-tail queries that may or may not flow cohesively with the adjacent text.

Manually Add Keywords to Headlines and Descriptions

Rather than using DKI, manually add your target keywords to your PPC ads. If you’re bidding on a keyword, include it in both the headlines and descriptions of your PPC ads. You don’t need to use the keyword multiple times. Just use it once in the headline and once in the description.

Your PPC ads will likely generate a higher CTR if they contain your target keywords. Search engines format impression-triggering search queries in PPC ads as bold text. If a user’s search query appears in the headline or description of a PPC ad, they’ll make it bold. The PPC ad will feature bold and relevant text that attracts users’ attention while subsequently increasing its CTR.

Create Small and Specific Ad Groups

The size of your ad groups can influence the CTR of your PPC ads. Some advertisers make the mistake of bundling all their target keywords and PPC ads into a single ad group, believing it’s easier than creating many smaller ad groups. With only a single ad group, though, their target keywords aren’t always relevant to their PPC ads.

With small and specific ad groups, you’ll ensure a high level of relevancy between your target keywords and your PPC ads. If you only use one target keyword in a small ad group, for example, you can write highly relevant PPC ads around that keyword. If you use 50 target keywords in a large ad group, on the other hand, you won’t be able to write effective or relevant PPC ads.

Customize Display URLs

Customizing the display URLs of your PPC ads can increase their CTR. The display URL appears between the headline and description of a PPC ad, so it can affect CTR. If it captures users’ attention, it will attract more clicks.

You aren’t required to use your landing page’s complete URL as the display URL. You can use any relevant display URL as long as it begins with your landing page’s domain. When writing PPC ads, use relevant and short display URLs. A universal format that works well for most PPC ads is to use your landing page’s domain, followed by a target keyword for the display URL, such as example.com/keyword.

Enable Extensions

Another way to increase the CTR of your PPC ads is to enable ad extensions. An extension is an optional feature that expands a PPC ad with additional text or functionality. When enabled, it updates a PPC ad with extra information. The call extension allows you to show your business’s phone number in PPC ads, whereas the price extension allows you to show product prices in your PPC ads.

Extensions are useful because they can increase the amount of real estate your PPC ads consume. There are nearly a dozen extensions supported by Google Ads and Bing Ads, each of which can increase the size of your PPC ads. Furthermore, you can enable multiple extensions on the same PPC ad.

Use Negative Keywords

Using negative keywords can increase your PPC ads’ CTR. Negative keywords are unique because, unlike other keywords, they don’t trigger impressions. They actually prevent your PPC ads from showing.

Negative keywords can lead to more clicks by filtering irrelevant traffic. If you’re advertising anti-malware software, using the negative keyword “free” will prevent your PPC ads from showing for search queries such as “free antimalware software” or “free malware protection.” Users who search for these queries are looking for free antimalware solutions, so they probably won’t click your PPC ads anyway.

Write PPC Ads Using Title Case

Use title case when writing PPC ads to increase their CTR. Search engines give advertisers a fair amount of freedom regarding capitalization. On Google Ads and Bing Ads, you can use either lowercase, sentence case or title case. Of those three formats, title case is typically the most effective at raising CTR.

Title case is a writing style used for headlines and other titles. It involves capitalizing the first letter of all major words. You can use title case when writing both headlines and descriptions for your PPC ads. When placed alongside a competitor’s PPC ads written in sentence case, they’ll stand out while attracting more clicks.

Increase CPC Bids

Increasing your cost-per-click (CPC) bids may encourage more users to click your PPC ads. Search engines use CPC bids to calculate ad rankings. The higher your CPC bids, the higher they’ll rank your PPC ads.

Users typically click high-ranking PPC ads more than low-ranking PPC ads. As a result, increasing your CPC bids can have a positive effect on the CTR of your PPC ads.

A low CTR will severely restrict the profitability of your PPC ads. Your landing page won’t generate as much traffic, and you’ll have to pay a premium price for the traffic is does generate. By optimizing your PPC ads for a higher CTR, you’ll avoid these problems while maximizing your PPC profitability.