Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(703) 828-5811‬
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing 8 Quick Ways to Increase Your AdWords CTR

8 Quick Ways to Increase Your AdWords CTR



There are times you just want to increase your click through rates. You might need to raise it to help Quality Scores, increase traffic, or gain visibility for a new product.

Often by just raising click through rates, you might not be raising your conversion rate. You can even decrease your conversion rates with ads. However, we’re going to focus in today’s column about raising click through rates regardless of how it affects other metrics.

As always, you should be testing this for yourself to see what helps your overall account’s goals.

Adding an Extension

One of the easiest ways to increase click through rate that also helps conversion rate is to use ad extensions. Ad extensions will help you take up more real estate on the page and show additional information with your ads. You can add extensions for local, social, products, and there is even a beta contact and subscription extension.

If you have not added extensions, do so.

Add Sitelinks

Sitelinks are a type of extension so this could be grouped with adding an extension except there is one big difference between all the other extensions and sitelinks. With the other extensions, only one extension will show with an ad. You can have sitelinks show with another extension. This is another no-brainer to add. With sitelinks you can add additional benefits or navigation into your site directly from the ad copy.

Extended Headlines

The absolute easiest way to increase click through rates if your ads are shown above the organic results is to end your description line 1 with a punctuation mark. When you do so, the description line 1 is added to the headline and really makes the ads stand out. Take a look at these three ads:


The first two ads have very long headlines. The third ad does not. All the third ad has to do to have a longer headline is to add a period after ‘Low Fare Guaranteed On All Flights’. That’s it. As soon as that change was made, the ad would have an extended headline.

Consider the Display URL as Marketing Copy

Your display URL does not have to be an actual URL. As long as your root domain in the ad and site are the same, you can consider the rest of the URL as marketing copy. The display URL can be 35 characters long – don’t waste the space. You can add a product name, feature, benefit, or other aspects to the display URL to make the ad copy more attractive. To learn more about display URLs, please see the article: Everything You Need To Know About AdWords Display URLs.

Seasonal Headlines

There is always some holiday or event on the horizon. In just the United States there are more than 40 holidays at the national level. When you starting adding regional events such as the Boston Marathon, DC Cherry Blossom Festival, state fairs, parades, and much more; the list of events becomes endless.

When you add or reference events in headlines, your ads look very timely and relevant and can often have positive impacts on click through rates.

Use Trademarks

Many consumers are brand conscious. When someone searches for a brand, they want to see that brand in the ad copy. You do have to be careful of the legalities around trademarks; however, adding those well-recognized words to the ad can make a large difference to your CTRs.

Remove Prices & Ad Discounts

A price in an ad copy reminds the searcher they need to spend money. Often removing the price can help CTRs. It is also useful when you’re not the cheapest ad on the page.

While we don’t like to always spend money, everyone likes a good deal. Instead of putting your price in the ad, switch your offer to a discount. Instead of spending $50, someone is going to save $10. What would you rather do, spend $50 or save $10?

In many countries, people do not get the concept “just because it’s on sale does not mean it’s free.” Discounts often outperform prices in ads.

Give Something Away for Free

Who doesn’t want something for free? Put something in your ad that’s free. A free consultation, free gift, buy one get one free, a free whitepaper. It doesn’t matter – its free.

Test For Yourself

While these 8 methods often work – they don’t always.

I recently saw an account where when the word ‘free’ appeared in an ad, their ads had a lower CTR than if they focused on experience or value. Removing all instances of free from the ad copies and switching the value proposition to experience raised both their CTRs and their conversion rates.

The next day, I was working on account in a very similar industry and when the word ‘free’ appeared in the ad, their ads had a much higher CTR and the same conversion rates as the other ad types.

If you need to raise your click through rates, these ideas can help you gain a solid starting place. However, always test for yourself. Only you can truly know what happens to your account’s profits as you change your ads to bring more visitors to your site.

No Comments

  1. daviddude
    October 8, 2012 at 7:41 am · Reply

    Hey there Brad,

    good posting! I agree with most of your suggestions except these two:
    “Remove Prices & Ad Discounts”
    “Give Something Away for Free”

    We came to the conclusion that we need to keep prices in our ads. Thus we reduced the amount of low quality clicks (=non buyers) and could therefore reduce costs and in the end increase our campaigns ROI.

    The sames goes for “free”-keywords in ads. Althoug we have products which can be tested for free we removed any free/trial etc. keywords from our ads. Again we lost lots of clicks but the ROI still went up.

    I see the point that one has to consider a high CTR beeing good not only for its ad but also for the account itself. Therefore I need to add that we also (tried to) reduce low quality impressions (=non clickers) as well to not to decrease our campaigns CTR in the end.

    Btw: Recently I started following your blog and I have to say that it is very, very good and informative, thank you very much!
    Hopefully that was a little understandable…you know, Germans and English language. 😉

    All the best,


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