13 Ways To Increase Your Google Ad CTR That Don’t Cost a Cent

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Increase Your Google Ad CTR

High ad CTR is beneficial for many reasons, not the least it is the potential for high conversions and increased revenues. High Google Ad CTRs also help reduce the cost of future Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads, increase your quality score with Google
and, of course, increase your site’s traffic.

The trick to Google ads is finding that sweet spot with your ad where it’s low-cost for high-rewards.

Here are 13 tips and tricks you can use to make sure that you’re CTR is the highest it can be, while your CPC is the same… or less… then what you’re paying now.

This is a very simple method of grabbing attention on the Google search page results. Oddly enough, it’s also the most underused. Studies show that 33% of Google Ads don’t have the keywords in their display URLS. That’s one third of all ads.

Adding keywords to your URL gives your ad a boost in the Google search process because of the limited characters allowed in your ad.

Side note: you should also have a dedicated landing page for your ad. Not only will this give you a special URL with your keywords, it’ll also improve your quality score (which in turn decreases your cost-per-click… but more on that later).

This may sound a bit out there, given the limited character space allowed in metadata for ads. But it’s a very effective way to grab searchers’ eyes. Adding a period to the end of your descriptions first line bumps that first line up into the heading.

  • –Instead of:
    Your Ad Heading
    Your first line goes here. Your second line
  • –Your ad results will appear as:
    Your Ad Heading — Your first line goes here.
    Your second line

This puts more information in the headline of your ad, which makes it larger and more prominent on the page. And bigger font catches the eye of the reader.

Pay Per Click ads benefit Google as much as they benefit you. After all, Google receives revenue for every visitor that clicks on your ad. That’s why Google has developed Ad Extensions — these exist to help you generate higher CTR so that you (and they) can generate more revenue.

Their Review Extension is one great example. This extension gives you the opportunity to add reviews underneath your ad — with links to where that review “lives” online, so to speak. This is especially beneficial since 90% of all consumers claim they’ll use online reviews to help them make purchase decisions. Using just the review extension has generated between 10 and 66% increase in CTR.


Symbols stand out on a page. Try scrolling up and down this blog post. Which headlines and fonts catch your eye? It’ll probably be the one with the symbols. This is due to the fact that symbols break up the natural, invisible line that is created by a row of text. Abnormal changes like this in straight lines catch the eye better than any other type of text can.

If you haven’t already, you should create profiles for your target audience that outlines:

  • -Age
  • -Gender
  • -Location
  • -3 main interests
  • -Wants
  • -Needs
  • -Etc.

Knowing these things about the people you’re targeting will allow you to develop a language that’s suited to their personality. For example, a casual yet expert tone would work really well for the 25–35 age bracket; personable and caring may work for parents/mothers; and profession and formal for CEOs and business owners. Catering your language, tone, voice and content to your target audience will draw them in better than trying to just push your product or service.

Keywords used to be the be-all and end-all of SEO. Now, not as much. Peppering them throughout your text is still a necessity — but they don’t have to be shoved into each sentence. Work keywords into your ad naturally. If your 160 character ad has one word repeated four times, re-word. Replace one or two with a synonym. These are called “organic” keywords, and they serve two purposes — to improve SEO and to attract your target audience.

  • –For example, this repetition
    Increase Your Google Ad CTR — 13 ways to increase CTR without paying more.
    13 ways to increase your CTR on Google for your Ads without paying more.
  • –Instead try:
    Increase Your Google Ad CTR — 13 ways that don’t cost a cent.
    Rocket your Google Ad ROI for better results & higher conversions

Also, point of interest — this little tip also applies to your ad’s landing page.

It’s deceptively simple to add a countdown clock. Just put the following at the end of your ad headline and fill in the form that appears.
This is great for holidays (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and invitations to webinars or other events. Clacks America tested out this theory and saw a 32% increase in CTRs with countdown timers added to their Google Ads.

Kylie Beals, eCommerce Marketing Manager at Clarks Americas, told Google Inside AdWords: “When using countdown ads over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, we noticed a 32% uplift in CTR. The ads proved effective at driving urgency once the consumer was onsite because conversion rates increased 3% over static ads.”

Your Ad Content


Much like the countdown clock, special offers grab searchers’ attention. The headline is often the only thing that searchers read on the Google search results page.

Everyone likes a good discount — saving money on things we like is like giving ourselves a special gift. Adding a discount to your ad will allow you to offer searchers something special, and this will also help you increase your conversions — consumers are more likely to purchase when there’s a discount (or even something free) involved.

Use words like “free” or “XX% off”. Combine this with your countdown clock and you may find your CTRs jumping significantly.

We wrote about multimillion dollar headlines that rocked their google ad CTRs in the past. Take a look to see good headlines at work.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years — these are just the big holidays coming up… and the ones advertised the most at this time of the year. There are actually holidays and days dedicated to specific things or people throughout the year.

For example, February 3rd is National Wear Red Day, which was founded to draw attention to heart disease in women. If you sell red clothing, you could run ads leading up to National Wear Red Day that offer discounts on your clothes, highlight the issue and even give tips on how to incorporate red into an outfit.

Getting your target audience to click on your ad is the end goal. One key to doing this is to make them curious. Ask them a question that plays on their emotions (happiness, sadness, romance, desire to learn, etc.) — get them to click your ad to find out the answer.

Another side of this is including a Call To Action (CTA). In order for them to find out the answer, they have to click on the ad. Or maybe they need to contact you. Perhaps they need to provide their emails so they can receive a download. Whatever it is, make them want to know more and give them clear instructions on what they need to do for the answer.

Three other tips


Google Ad backend gives you the option to add keywords to your ad campaign, for a cost. But did you know you can also add negative keywords? As in, “please don’t have my ad appear when people look for this”.

Adding negative keywords helps you hone down your desired audience. It could be the difference between advertising your grade-A steak to steak lovers and appearing on a search page for “vegan steak recipes”. It’s just another way to ensure you’re reaching your target audience and not getting hit with CPC that won’t benefit you.

Your quality score is based on several things — you can read more here — and having a good quality score is one good way to ensure your CPC stays low. The higher your quality score, the lower your CPC. Having a landing page for your ad, instead of just linking to your home page, is a great place to start.

It’ll take some time to find that unique combination of everything that will work best for your product, service or business. So test everything. If your ads are not generating high CTRs, change it up. Do A/B testing as one way to see what works and what doesn’t. Always remember, online ads like Google Ads are fluid and evolve as your campaigns mature. Don’t be afraid to spice it up.


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