14 Ways To Get You Decent CTR In Adwords. 2

Let’s face it! Many Google Adwords advertisers are doing their best to get a very good CTR. Obtaining a decent CTR is not that easy! Simply because Adwords is an advanced tool and there are many moving factors and elements to consider.

Your %CTR  in Google Adwords is an indication of how well or bad your campaign, ads or keywords are performing. Adwords CTR is considered a very important metric. Still, it is a Key Performance Indicator that measures the ratio of how often your audience sees your advertisements that end up clicking on them.

Here is the math of calculating Click -Through Rate: divide the number of clicks by the number of expressions received.

Google mentions that a CTR above 1% on the Search Network indicates your ads are targeted to a right audience. Note here that CTR of Search Network differs from Display. I do not think having 1% percentage is enough!

In this post, I will show you the secret sauce to how to triple your Adwords Click-through ratio, and settle a decent and pleasant CTR in Google Adwords. The following are only some rewards of having a decent CTR : 1. Improving ad rank, 2. Lowering your costs,  and 3. Targeting and acquiring very qualified leads.

Enough speaking. Let’s get to work!


Decent CTR in 14 ways:


1 — Structure your Campaign:

A good start is a healthy start, don’t you agree? From here the actual road-map starts. If you really want to have a very successful campaigns in general and a decent CTR in particular, you should have a concept or image in the mind of your advertising Account structure.

Note here that despite different PPC advertising platforms out there, ( Adwords or Bing as example) you can find most of them having a clear but almost the same Account structure. So, mastering one PPC platform –like AdWords– will enable you definitely to work on other advertising platforms confidently.

Many think of Account structure like a family tree. To explain, we can find at the top level of the tree:  Account, which holds or contains all the campaigns.

Think of your Account as container or parents. That being said, an account can have many campaigns. In the same way, any campaign is considered to be container of many Ad-groups. You can have as many Ad-groups as you can per a campaign. Note also, each Ad group acts as the container of different ads (Video ad, Text ad etc) and keywords that are related to one precise theme within Ad-group.

Please refer to the image below that explains Account Structure in visualization.

decent CTR


2 — Choose the Right Bid Strategy:

One method that paves your way to have a decent CTR is picking the right Bid Strategy. Of course there is a flexibility to change from one bid strategy to another one.

But doing things correctly from the beginning will save you too much time, energy and money. Failing to set up the correct Bid Strategy will allow to have a room for mess or confusion in the account.

For example, with Automatic Bidding you will have little control over your account. To explain, this strategy is not working with Display Network only – Mobile Apps. More, firstly you will have no control over bid adjustments ;and secondly with some other campaign features inactivated.

Choosing Automatic Bid Strategy means you put your campaign in Autopilot. Normally, it is for Adwords beginners, inexperienced or folks who have no time. So do you think Automatic Bid Strategy will help you in having a decent CTR? I doubt it!

On other hand, Manual Bidding will enable you with more power and control. Here, you are holding the stirring wheel with your hands with full control on the gearbox speed shift ! You may go up or down anytime accordingly.

So Manual Bidding permits you to set bid adjustments at ad group level, keywords level or ad placements level with many feature included. (Exp: custom ad scheduling)

google adwords bid strategy

So, if you are interested in having a clean records and great achievement in your account in general and in your CTR in particular, get to know what are your options in selecting the right Bid Strategy that can fit your cooperate goals.

As its name suggests, Flexible Bid Strategy comes in to empower you with more flexibility in optimizing the performance at campaigns, ad groups and keywords levels. You may read more about Flexible Bid Strategy here.

Generally speaking, Google Adwords is mainly centered on bid adjustments that focus on Impressions, Clicks or Conversions.


3 — Compelling Ads:

It is taken for granted that writing an effective ad is one pillar of shaping and enforcing your ad presence. Looking into some examples online, you may find most ads suck. Either ads are too much generic or similar or too much boring.

If you are serious of obtaining a decent CTR, Ads should be well crafted, persuasive, somehow unique, different and emotional. Yes, you should work on the ways to make your ads trigger your targeted audience emotions. It has been tested and worked so fine.

More, your ad copy should resemble Swiss Army Knife Blades ( ad serves multi purposes!). A notion introduced by the well-known Marketer Perry Marshall. The idea of Swiss Army Knife portrays  series of relationships that encompass many players and triggers.

Swiss Army knife perry marshall

4 — Well Targeted Keywords:

Keywords are those triggers that fire your ads to be displayed on search or display networks. A good way to gain a very good and decent CTR is to choose well-related keywords that will help your ads to be easily pulled out by searchers or customers.

You should spend a good amount of time selecting the right keywords as they are so important of any campaign success. Also, try to inject specific long tail keywords into the list.

Well chosen keywords will help in performance and in avoidance of high prices. Another important related point here to highlight , avoid duplicate keywords in the same ad group. Check that regularly by sorting them alphabetically in your AdWord account.


5 — Keywords Match Types:

You may experience determining the right keyword match types intimidating. That’s right! But if you hold a concept about each of the match types available, you can find it pretty simple.

Think of match types like Volume Controls for speakers. The more you increase volume, the more voice generated.

Similarly, if you are interested in generating kind of too much of unfiltered traffic, you may choose to use Broad match type, and so on goes with other match types if you want to limit and control relevant searches.

Note adding a negative keyword to the campaign or ad group level will lead to ”traffic from that keyword is muted or blocked”.

Check for a visualization example in the image below.

Keywords Match Types

Now, if you want to achieve a high and decent CTR, you need to be a good player here. You should know which Keywords with match types bringing you Good or Bad traffic and therefore conversions.

There are almost two ways to help you determine the right keyword match types. First, you may start populating your keywords based on a “broad-to-narrow” technique. It is working well with keeping a close monitoring eye of their performance over time. Second, you can benefit from Search terms report to determine the right match type. Search term report will help you to spot keyword variations that triggered your ads.

Keep in mind, too much of something may be harmful (broad match type)! Also, too little of something can be damaging (Exact match)! So you should look for a balance.


6 — Dynamic Keyword Insertion:

Hungry for a way to get you a decent CTR? Then, take advantage of Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). Well, let’s define this little monster. Google defines DKI as

 An advance Adwords feature that dynamically updates your ad text to include one of your keywords that matches a customer’s search terms.

Sound great, right? An easy way to do that is via inserting {keywords} insertion where applicable in the ad copy ( Exp: header or display URL). There have been many successful studies (I am included) where this tool helps in improving CTR dramatically.

dynamic keyword insertion


Tip:  Do not over-use it.  DKI is limited by character numbers as shown above.  Also note it is not advised to be used in some cases. (Exp: with Branded or competitors Keywords, misspelling keywords)


7 — Add Negative Keywords:

Adding negative keywords is related to Keywords match types. This is another method of improving your CTR to be satisfactory and ideal. Here, you should think of those keywords that can bring you wrong or false traffic so that to block them definitely.

At this stage, you should wear the shoes of your potential customers. Do your best to Speak Their Minds!

Obviously, if you are using too many Broad Keywords, you will find that you are getting some search terms out of your business scope.

That’s why negative keywords come in. A way to identify Negative Keywords is to look into Search Terms Report in Adwords. This is the right place to tweak them and you can add them either in the campaign level or ad group level. (more details in point 9)


8 — Use of Extensions:

AdWords has been revolving. Many features have been added , while others have been dismissed. With the coming of different types of extensions,  Google made it easy for advertisers to find ways to bring the eye balls of the customers to land and then click on the ads.

If your marketing goals are to score a decent CTR which eventually ll help you absorb more clicks, conversions and sales, then using of extensions can be your weapon. Indeed, Ad rank formula has been modified to include extensions factor as well. Adwords are calling out its users to use Extensions.


9 — Keep an Eye on Search Terms Report:

Search Terms Report in Adwords is a gold mine par excellence. guess why?

Simply, by using this report, you are getting closer to how your customers think, behave and find you. Search Terms Report helps you identifying the search terms that has been entered –by your personas– that lead them to find you.

So you can use this report as sword with double blades: spotting new great keywords and killing search terms by adding them as Negative keywords.

So are you interested in having an decent CTR? Then go to explore Terms Report strengths.


10 — Understand your Geographic Targeting and Performance:

As you may have noticed so far, there are many moving blocks working with each other in your account to help you score a satisfactory CTR. Understanding your geographic performance is contributing to that to a great extent.

A way to be successful in your campaigns is to know your audience, to spot them, to locate them, to identify their needs, to be aware of their journey. Geographic targeting helps you segment your audience based on regions so that not to loose focus on areas where your right customers are.

Generally speaking, a good ads will not perform well if those great ads end up showing in wrong places. So, restrict your ads to specific areas, zones, radius, or country (es) to help yourself in maximizing ROI.

Tip: Do not miss out the Geographic performance report as it will help you trend how well or bad are you doing in different areas. In that way, you can assign your efforts and budget accordingly.


11 — Benefit from Ad Schedule:

Most people get their shoppings in a specific times or occasions! Sometimes there are some rush or peak hours or even days? Sometimes they are not?  Ad Schedule comes into service to respond to that.

Setting Ad Schedule requires you to know your audience so well. Also, this deals with analyzing data that are related to when your ads have more exposure, clicks, impressions, CTR.

That being said, you can save a lot and you can maximize your CTR by not showing your ads all around the hours, days, weeks and months. For example, if you know that your audience is responding on certain hours or certain days, then it is wisely to set Ad Scheduling for your ads to target according to timings.


12 — Take Advantage of Automated Rules:

I am not fan of automation. After all, Adwords is a learning and automated machine. However, you can find Google Automated rules so useful. Of course, if it is used with complete supervision. Personally, I never let my ads in total Adwords hands.

Automated rules can improve and help you managing your Adwords Campaigns, Ads, Ad groups, Keywords. I highly recommend them if you are seeking to know how to get a decent CTR? You can find more info about Automated Rules here.


13 — Understand Delivery Method:

In Adwords settings, there are what called Delivery Methods. There are two: Standard and Accelerated Deliveries. Understanding each one and how works will contribute greatly in getting above average CTR.

Keep in mind that, Standard delivery spreads your ad throughout the day evenly till the daily budget exhausted. Accelerated Delivery do the opposite in the sense it shows ads more frequently so that your daily budget exhausted early.


14 — Mobile Ads:

I can not say a lot about Mobiles. Sure, you are aware of the massive increase of mobile usage in your audience lives. Create mobile optimized ads , mobile landing pages and mobile settings if you want to reach more customers on the go and therefore increase your chances to have a decent CTR.

Try of course to stick with best practices when writing mobile ads (Exp: Be more specific and have little words in the creatives to fit the small screens).

Tip: Make sure you have a mobile friendly website to direct your customers to.



As you can read above, there are many contributing parts that can mark the success or failure of your campaigns. However, I see if you take advantage of most what discussed above, you are in your way to enjoy a pleasant & decent CTR. The bottom line, PPC is an art!

What is your opinion?  Is there any thing missed? please jump in and write your comments below.

About Omar Belkadi

Omar Belkadi is a Search Engine Marketing Expert who specializes in Analytics, SEO and PPC advertisement. Omar has been experiencing for long in the field of digital marketing which backed up with related experience and certifications.

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2 thoughts on “14 Ways To Get You Decent CTR In Adwords.

  • Nicolas Colombres

    Hello Omar,

    We really liked this article, especially the tip about the account structure and negative keywords. People often ignore the negative keyword from the start and this can be very helpfull to decrease costs and spend the budget in the right keywords.

    Thanks for gathering all this tips 🙂



    • Omar Belkadi Post author

      Hi Nicolas,

      Hope you are doing fine and thank you for the nice feedback. I agree with you that most people ignore or forget about Negative Keyword. I am glad I share with you the list. Do you have something to add to the above list?