5 Ways to Increase CTR and Conversions in AdWords


I pity the fool that doesn’t use the 5 T’s of PPC!

You may be familiar with the 4, 5 or 7 P’s, C’s, T’s, M’s W’s etc. of marketing; but the 5 T’s of PPC? No?

This is because while thinking about the many number/letter combinations in the marketing mix, I came upon several factors that can help optimise PPC accounts, which coincidentally, are also all words that begin with the letter T.

As web users become more savvy before committing to a purchase, PPC ads need to tickle the users fancy, and this means going beyond the 95 character limits of a bog standard text ad.

To stand out from the crowd, I believe that the 5 T’s outlined below will help get the best from your PPC campaign.

1. T is for Time

The dimensions tool can provide many useful insights, but for me, one of the easiest to analyse is the time metric. By looking across historic data filtered by hour of day, or day of the week, you can see where budget can be reserved or increased dependent on a number of things.

Historically, how many conversions have you had in the middle of the night? If you are B2B, how many conversions did you get on a Sunday? If the answer is none, or very few, but the cost per click (CPC) is not significantly lower during these times, then why not save this budget and reinvest what you would have spent at times of day where competition has been at its highest, or apply to a time of day which already has a high conversion rate/low cost per conversion to see if you can increase this further?

To manage the times your ads show, and to manage your budget in line with this, simply go to the settings tab, and select ad schedule.

Then select bid adjustment, and apply your budget according to the times of day and days of the week you want it to increase, decrease, or stop altogether.

2. T is for Trust

You might well have a stonking product at a great price, you might have a website full of customers bigging you up, but how do users know that they can trust you before they click on your ad and cost you money?

 According to the stats –

  • 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. (Reevoo)
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews. (iPerceptions)
  • Site visitors who interact with both reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting, and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with user generated content. (Bazaarvoice)
  • Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer)
  • Reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales. (Reevoo)

In terms of what this means for PPC -

  • Google is reporting that users are 5-10% more likely to click on paid ads with +1 annotations
  • Google is reporting that users are 17% more likely to click on paid ads with star ratings

There are two tools that can help you out here. One is social extensions, which allow you to show your ads with your Google+ page endorsements, and the other is getting Google to recognise reviews from your site through the use of rich snippets, which in turn can help you to meet the requirements for star ratings to appear in your ads.

For the Google + social extension, you will need to have a Google+ page, and this will need to be linked to your website. Setting up this extension is easy, simply select ad extensions and then select the campaigns you want the social extension to show on, enter the URL of your brand G+ page, save it, and away you go.

The added benefit of this extension is you won’t be charged when a user +1’s your ad, or clicks a link in a +1 annotation, and any +1’s from organic search, your site or from your G+ page are automatically added.

The second way of reassuring a user that they can trust you is a star rating. This may appear in your ads automatically, providing you meet the following criteria –

For star ratings to appear, your business must have at least 30 unique seller reviews, each from the past 12 months and have an average rating of 4 stars or more.

These star ratings, aggregated from review sites all around the web, allow people to find merchants that are highly recommended by online shoppers like them.

If your site has lots of reviews that you want to include in this aggregated data, use webmaster tools to mark up content with rich snippets, which will enable Google to identify reviews on your site. More information on how to do this can be found here –


And some more great information on eCommerce consumer reviews can be found here –


So get your G+ linked up to your AdWords account, and start researching ways to encourage users to leave reviews!

3. T is for Tracking

Google Analytics data is great for measuring how many users converted after clicking an ad, but what if once they reach your site, they decide to pick up the phone and call you to make a purchase, rather than completing a purchase through your payment form (which also happens to contain all that lovely tracking code)…

One solution is to implement call tracking. There are some great providers out there, but a personal favourite is Mediahawk, who can provide software that integrates with your site to measure traffic and goal completions by channel. The Vision product also tracks the user through pages they visit prior to making a call, so if you seem to be having users navigate a whole load of pages before calling you, perhaps you might want to give that landing page some reconsideration with some CRO Testing.

4. T is for Testing

Testing should always be a big part of any PPC campaign, but don’t fall into the trap of tweaking this and tweaking that – no testing should be based on ‘change this bit and see what happens’. It might take you a while, but if you take time to analyse your AdWords campaign data in Google Analytics, you can set up far more effective A/B testing, and remember, to get the best results from these tests, set your campaign to rotate evenly in the ad delivery settings to prevent Google from serving ads more likely to get clicks or conversions.

If your site has more than one offer or promotion running, test which one is more appealing and include variations of the winner in future campaigns!

Also remember to look at your reverse goal path to see if users are converting straight from the landing page you send them to; you may be surprised to find that they prefer to start off on the homepage and navigate from there, or convert on an even deeper page on your site.

5. T is for Temptation

Getting a potential user to click on your ad when they aren’t yet ready to convert can be difficult; in general, more generic searches are associated with users performing research.

So why waste budget on serving your ad to them at all?

Another sitelink that can be used to tempt the user into choosing your brand over a competitor is the Communications extension.

Rather than using a dull call to action that doesn’t offer any incentive to the user such as ‘Sign Up’, which doesn’t tell the user the benefits of providing their email address to you, use a magical mix of personalisation and enticing ad copy coupled with a snazzy call to action like ‘Get Offers’ or ‘Get Quote’.

BUT bear in mind that this feature isn’t available to all advertisers, as it is still in private beta. To be able to take advantage of this feature, you will need to contact Google, who will assess whether you meet certain criteria before (hopefully) whitelisting your account.

If and when they give you the go ahead, you will then need to agree to the privacy statement and terms of use. Although once accepted there will be no indication that this is active in the extensions tab in the AdWords interface, you can check how this is performing. You will need to take a look at the segment ‘click type’ while on the campaigns tab, and all being hunky dory, there should be email subscription data within this.

Google will also send you a handy Google document to help you keep track of the email addresses captured by the extension.

For more information on getting the most from your PPC campaigns, don’t ‘quit yo’ jibber jabber’ – contact a member of the High Position PPC Team today.



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