5 AdWords Quick Wins to Improve Your Click Through Rate & Conversion

5 AdWords Quick Wins to Improve Your Click Through Rate & Conversion

Increasing AdWords conversion is something that we all want to achieve: we’d be stupid not to really! Most agencies (and our clients included) have three main goals with AdWords:

  • — Increase conversion,
  • — Reduce the cost per conversion,
  • — Run a profitable account.

Research shows that Businesses make an average of $ 2 in revenue for every $ 1 they spend on AdWords (Google Economic Impact Report). Let’s be honest; we want this to be higher, so what can we do to improve conversion and revenue?

#1. Make Remarketing Part of Your Strategy

There are a number of ways in which you can use remarketing lists on AdWords to serve your ads (and products) to people who have previously visited to the site and not converted. Alongside this, now that remarketing lists can be made through Google Analytics, it’s easier than ever to get this set up.

The Yankee Candle Company claim that they used remarketing to re-engage shoppers and increased their conversion rates by 600% while cutting cost-per-conversion in half. (Inside AdWords Blog).

So what remarketing can you do? The simplest form is to add a remarketing audience to your current campaigns with ‘Bid Only' targeting. To do this (once you’ve enabled remarketing and created your lists in Google Analytics), select your Campaign > Audiences > +Targeting > Select Your Ad Group and Audience, then ensure you click Bid Only.


This means your ads will show to those on your remarketing lists, as well as those searching for your keywords who are new visitors.

You can also create campaigns which are solely targeted to remarketing, by selecting the ‘Target' and ‘Bid' option.


With these campaigns, I suggest tailoring your ad text for a returning visitor. Use questions and focus your ad text more about driving users back to your site than targeting the keyword. This is to improve click through rates.

Finally, incorporate your remarketing lists with your Google Shopping campaigns on the Display Network and try Dynamic Retargeting. This will require your developers to add some code to the site — however it’ll display previously viewed products to visitors when they’re on the display network (as you can see on the left). It’s a great way to re-engage users and as the Google Display Network serves 180 billion impressions each month (about 6 billion a day), there’s a lot of opportunity there!

#2. Use Keyword Insertion in Your Ad Text

Keyword Insertion is an excellent way to make your ads even more relevant to the search term the user has typed, as it will dynamically insert the search query into your ad.

This is a great way to make your ads more relevant to the search and increase your click through rate. However, make sure the landing page you’re sending users to is relevant! If your ad says ‘dark chocolate', users (and Google) expect to be directed to a dark chocolate page if the ad is clicked.


To use Keyword Insertion, simply use {Keyword:Fallback} in your ad text. Providing the search term is within the character limit, it will automatically pull into your ad, if not your fallback will show, so it’s vital to ensure this makes sense with the remainder of your ad. WordStream have an excellent blog on keyword insertion here.

#3. Don’t Forget Your Ad Extensions

The average clickthrough rate for a mobile search ad on Google in the first position is 27.7%. (Hubspot)

If you aren’t using Ad Extensions within your account, then you have some explaining to do… Ad Extensions are a great way to do a number of things:

  • — Increase the size of your ads,
  • — Build trust in your brand,
  • — Direct users to relevant pages,
  • — Show off your USPs,
  • — Allow users to directly call you.

There are a number of types of Ad Extensions, all of which have their own benefits:

  • Sitelink Extension
    • This is great for increasing the size of your ad and taking users to other relevant sections of your site. For example, as an ecommerce brand if you’re bidding on women’s bags, you could then have sitelink extensions to the specific categories of bags: shoulder, tote, clutch etc.
  • Call Extension
    • Perfect for mobile (but also great on desktop), this extension allows mobile users to click the call button and call you directly, whilst it displays your phone number on desktop.
  • Location Extension
    • Have a brick and mortar store to or an office people can visit? Great! The location extension will show your address and marker on Google Maps, for users to easily find your premises.

  • Review Extension
    • Possibly one of the hardest extensions to have. The review extension is perfect to show off any external coverage you’ve received on quality sites. This won’t work with third party review sites, but helps to put trust in your brand if you can show off you’ve had coverage in Vogue for instance.
  • Callout Extension
    • This is where you can really shout about your USPs, through short snippets which display under your ads. Think, «Free Delivery», discounts etc.
  • Price Extension
    • What’s great about this extension is that it works with concrete prices and from prices. Say you have an event with different ticket brackets, you can advertise the pricing for the event and this will appear under your ads.
  • Structured Snippet Extension
    • These extensions allow your ads to highlight specific aspects of your products, services and help to provide content on the nature of your products or services. For example, you could list your hotel amenities, or styles of boots that you sell.
  • Message Extension
    • The newest extension. This allows you to encourage users to text you for more information. By clicking the message extension text, you’ll receive a text message and be able to call them back.
  • App Extension
    • Have an app? This extension allows you to promote your app and will send users straight to the app store to download it.

#4. Include A Call to Action

64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. (Hubspot)

You might know your business inside out and the action you want a user to take when they see your ad, but it doesn’t mean users do. Plus, with 64% of people looking to purchase clicking on an ad, we want to make it as easy as possible to get the conversion.

Use a call to action within your ad text to clearly define what action you want the user to take — it could be, ‘Call today for a quote' or ‘Buy online'. The simpler and snappier your CTA is, the better. Here’s a set of terms you could use that won’t eat into your character limit, but will create the sense of urgency that a good CTA needs:


#5. Build Your Negative Keyword List

The average cost-per-click (CPC) in AdWords across all industries is $ 2.32 on the search network and $ 0.58 on the display network. (Hubspot)

The last thing you want is to waste your budget on irrelevant or wasted clicks. This is where your negative keyword list can come in to prevent your ads showing for terms you do not wish them to show for, and in return not only will this save you money, but it will increase your conversion rate.

I like to create a Negative Keyword list through the Shared Library that can quickly be added to any new (and existing) campaigns. In this list I’ll include keywords such as: phone number, address, job, jobs, vacancy, vacancies, free, amazon, ebay and often the client’s competitors, as I’m a firm believer that competitor advertising will destroy your Quality Score and Click Through Rate (please prove me wrong though!).

For more information on AdWords Quick Wins and Search Marketing advice, tune in to Digital Olympus on December 6th and watch previous videos on the Youtube channel.

Laura Hogan is Head of Search at Ricemedia. She has over five years in the industry, both in-house and agency side, specialising in SEO and PPC. Laura’s previously spoken at events including BrightonSEO and Branded3 Digital Horizons. She’s also featured on the Authoritas This Week in Organic live stream. When’s she’s not stalking the Google SERPs, you’ll find Laura pretending to be Mary Berry, buying ridiculous gifts for her dogs or watching an entire series of a TV show in a day.

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