The Preferred Way To Improve CTR On AdWords

CTR, short for click-through-rate, is an important metric to evaluate when running Google AdWords campaigns.

It is the number of clicks that your ad received divided by the total number of impressions.

A higher CTR means your ads are reaching your target audience. On the flip side, a low CTR means your ads are typically not relevant.

Per WordStrem, the average click-through rate on AdWords paid search ads is about 2%. This varies based on your industry and target audience, but if you are consistently seeing your CTR below this benchmark, it’s important to start looking for cost-effective ways to raise it.

How  To Increase Clicks On Ads

Often times, if you put two marketers in two different rooms and ask them the same question, you’ll get two different answers.

The question “How should I improve AdWords CTR” is no exception to this rule.

So, instead of two marketers, we collected responses from a few more pay-per-click management experts (21 to be exact). The results show that there are a lot of different CTR optimization strategies, but one preferred recommendation.

Here are the results:

A/B Test Ads

Even with our relatively small sample size, we collected a strong mix of recommendations, which we segmented down to 11 categories. On average, there were 2.47 CTR optimization strategies per PPC expert.

We found there was a general consensus on preferred ways to increase clicks on Google Ads. The numbers reveal that 23% of total responses recommend A/B testing ads.

However, if we further analyze the other “recommendations,” we can see many frequent CTR optimization strategies somehow correlate to effective A/B testing (e.g. write a strong call to action, use keywords in ad copy, use dynamic keyword implementation).


In essence, improving CTR boils down to gaining information on customer intent. A/B testing your ads can help advertisers find out if customers are motivated by price, if they’re service conscious, or more inspired by quality.

Reorganizing your ad groups or improving landing page experience to enhance quality score are great strategies, but they can be more labor intensive. Whereas optimizing your CTR by A/B testing ads is something that can be done in a matter of minutes, not hours or days.

In general, advertisers say it’s a good idea to “always be testing,” and the rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 2-3 ads in each ad group competing against each other.

Our recommendation is this: closely monitor your CTR throughout the duration of your campaigns. A high number of impressions with a low amount of click is a sign that something is awry. Lastly, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t “overvalue” CTR.

A high number of clicks that do not yield a reasonable amount of conversions for a fair price is a bigger problem than not getting enough clicks on your ads. This type of scenario results in more wasted spend and points to issues with your targeting, or poor user experience.