A channel-by-channel guide to improving your CTR

Thursday, March 15, 2018

We know how much of a nightmare it is to increase click-through rates across all marketing channels and many best practices are just that, general practices. So how do you actually increase your CTR? Well first, let's establish a couple of things.

According to Marketing Terms, click-through rate is a digital metric that measures the ratio of total clicks in paid and organic search, advertising, emails, and other mediums. So it's measuring how interested an audience is in whatever you're offering. Unfortunately, it seems like audiences aren't too keen on clicking.

In 2017, the overall display ad CTR is just 0.05%.

While CTR might not be an indicator of success, a higher CTR helps businesses reduce cost-per-click, boost organic rankings and increase both traffic and conversions.

Fortunately, for you, we've compiled some actionable tips you can take to increase your CTR, differentiated by channel.

PPC Ads

You might think getting more clicks on your Adwords adverts is easy, but the truth is it’s now getting harder and harder to stand out from the competition. New brands and new websites pop up every day, trying to compete in the same space you are.

So how do you get more clicks and reduce your ads’ cost-per-click?

1. Write great headlines!

According to Copy Blogger, 80% of readers never make it past the headline. Titles are the first thing consumers read when searching online. Make sure yours is attractive and catchy enough to have a dramatic impact on the CTR.

Include a special offer or promotion, or write extended headlines by adding a full stop at the end of your first description line. By doing so, the first line will automatically be added to your headline, making it more attractive to users.

Your headline must also match the page you’re linking to in order to fully optimise your ad. Chances are most users who clicked on your ad did it because of the title, but when they arrive at the destination, they’re likely to be disappointed if the promise in your headline isn’t advertised on your landing page. If you’re offering 40% off, make sure your landing page mentions the sale as well. Otherwise, they’ll leave.

Seasonal titles are also recommended as they make your ad look relevant and recently updated. The more relevant your keyword is, the more users are likely to click. 54% of consumers click on relevant ads.

Example of extended headline with special offer

Example of extended and seasonal headline with special offer

2. Replace Prices With Discounts

Including a price in your headline or description can be a dangerous tactic as you might not always be the cheapest ad on the page.

Adding a good deal instead of the price will help your new ad outperform the old ones. 74% of new generations are influenced by discount offers.

Example of headline with discount VS headline with price

3. Use An Ad Extension

Ad extensions are easy to install and will help you create longer, more attractive adverts. You’ll be able to write additional content and therefore show more information to shoppers.

Example of an ad extension featuring a deal

4. Edit Your URL

The URL displayed on your ad is not the same as your actual URL. That’s why it’s recommended to consider your display URL as another opportunity to add relevant copy.

With a maximum capacity of 35 characters, there’s no space for extra information. Go straight to the point, add a product or category name, or anything else that could make people want to click.

Simplicity is key.

Example of a short and relevant display URL

5. Freebies, Freebie, Freebies!

Everyone likes a freebie!

The Journal of Marketing found that word of mouth was more efficient when people got freebies. Indeed, people who got a product for free talked about it 20% more than people who received a discount or voucher.

Mention it in your ad, and I guarantee you’ll get more clicks! It can be anything, from a free guide, to a free lesson or a gift…

Example of an ad mentioning a free day pass

6. Google Seller Ratings

Google Seller Ratings is an automated Google AdWords extension that demonstrates to consumers that customers trust your business and have had a positive experience with you.

It’s a star rating system that displays under the display URL on your ads. Google Seller Ratings increases CTR by 10% on average.

Example of Google Seller Ratings Ads

So, how can you get them?

According to Google, GSRs show when a business has collected 150 unique reviews in the last 12 months, as well as a minimum overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Want to know more? Read our guide!

Organic Listings

1. Aim For Page 1

SEO experts know how much of a difference your ranking can make! Ranking in position 1 or 2 will not bring you the same traffic as ranking in position 11 or 12.

According to Protofuse, organic listings on page 1 receive 90% of clicks, and less than 10% of users actually move on to page 2.

Based on this research, it’s necessary for your business to invest in SEO and start trying to rank on page 1 of SERPs (search engine page results).

2. Great Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Titles matter for organic listings too.

Make them catchy, as that’s what your audience will read first but also note that they should be optimised for search engines.

Title tags should include your main keyword, be 45 characters long, and create curiosity.

Example of catchy title tag in organic listings

Meta Descriptions are another way to attract users by giving them relevant information.

They should be under 160 characters, and as different as possible from the other ordinary ones. Meta descriptions can be compared to trailers. They’re a great way to give users just enough material for them to want to see more!

Example of meta description with lack of a unique voice

Example of meta description “that might do the trick!”

3. Optimise Your URL

Your URL influences your ranking position, and therefore your click-through rate.

It’s important to make sure your URL follows the same folder structure as the rest of your site. Make sure to include the keywords you’re optimising your page for as well.

If you’re trying to promote something seasonal, consider creating a new page for it, and a special seasonal URL. This will attract more consumers.

4. Get Rich Snippet stars in organic search with Trustpilot product reviews — or by collecting service reviews on your Trustpilot profile page

Rich Snippet stars are those coveted star ratings that show up in organic search results and display the overall rating of a company.

When shown on a SERP listing for a product page, Rich Snippet stars help earn consumers’ trust and improves click-through rate, driving potential quality visitors to your site.

Not selling products online? Not to worry — you can still get Rich Snippet stars to show up for branded search queries like "Your Brand + Reviews". That's because Trustpilot's company profile pages come with great domain authority (Trustpilot is in the top 1% most visited websites in the world).

Having a presence on Trustpilot shows both Google and your potential customers that you are a credible provider of whatever kind of solution you're offering — which, as a form of off-page SEO, can work wonders for your own organic listings in the SERPs.

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