11 Quick Tips to Increase Clickthrough Rates (CTR’s) on Your Google Ads

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I have the power to tell – within a matter of minutes – if your Google Ads campaign is going to succeed and you can too.

The trick? Click-through rates.

One of the biggest factors we see in successful campaigns are high click-through rates (CTRs). Why is this so?

High click-through rates means higher relevancy and we know that Google loves relevancy. High CTRs also contribute directly to your cost per click and quality score.

Here’s some words of caution before you proceed:

When you are focusing on increasing your CTRs, it is important not to lose focus on what really matters, your conversions and conversion rate.

Clicks aren’t always what is important, it’s the action you want the ‘clicker’ to take that is.

So how do you increase your Google Ads CTRs

There are a ton of things you can do, but we’ve compiled the 11 most effective ways to increase your CTRs. These quick tips are guaranteed to you better results, immediately.


1. Keyword and Ad Relationship

Odds are you need to use this tip inside your campaign. We’ve reviewed countless campaigns and this can be a very common – but easy to fix error.

If you have 10-50 keywords that you think are pretty similar and follow a common theme… then you’re doing things wrong. Having related keywords and abbreviations in your ad groups doesn’t do you any good.

If the product you’re selling is a “fur coat” and someone types in “fur jacket” and your ad shows up as “Highest Quality Fur Coats”, chances are they won’t click on it. Instead, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to click on your ad if it read “Comfiest Fur Jackets”?

It definitely would. The actual keyword the user searched shows up in the ad.

The message: start putting individual keywords in their own ad groups with their own unique and relevant ads. This will not only increase your click-through rates but quality scores as well.


2. Use Better Ad Copy

There’s more to a winning ad than just keywords.

Including keywords in headlines and ad copy will help your ads rank better for specific terms, but this isn’t always enough to boost CTRs.

You need ad copy that really sells.

Your headline is the biggest action driver for your ad, it needs to contain relevant keywords and be persuasive.

You need ad copy that appeals to the core audience you are trying to reach. Appealing to your audience will always lead to higher CTRs.

Combine the right keywords with copy that will sell to your audience and you will be feeling like this:

meme for advertising blog post

We also recommend keeping around 3-4 ads per ad group and have them compete against each other to test CTRs.

Doing this will help you discover insights and ideas to continue tweaking and improving your ads. Also, don’t be afraid to pause ads that aren’t performing as well as your others.


3. Generate Urgency with Countdown Timers

In our opinion, countdown timers are largely overlooked when it comes to Google Ads.

They can go a long way towards generating enough FOMO (fear of missing out) to get people to click on your ads.

We’ve also seen that they can increase conversions on your landing page as well.

They are easy to incorporate into your current ads and under the right circumstances (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other sales) they can have a massive impact on CTRs and conversions.

You can add a timer to your ads by adding the snippet “{=”. Once you ad this, you’ll see a pop-up that populates where you can choose from a few options like start and end date for your timer.

google ads countdown timer


4. Keywords In The Display URL

We notice that a lot of clients overlook the importance of keywords in the display URL – and although it is a small detail, everything matters when you are fighting for better CTRs.

Putting the main keyword in the URL of your ad give readers another clue that your ad is relevant to their search (after seeing it in your headlines and descriptions).

When they see it, they can be more certain that your ad will provide them with exactly what they are looking for.


5. Use Ad Extensions to Increase Visibility

There are a lot of things you can do to get noticed more – like this:

meme for blog post

But we recommend starting with ad extensions first.

Google gives you a ton of options for your extensions and you should take advantage of them. Extensions help your ad look more robust and take up more room on the search engine results page (SERP) – so it makes sense how they could increase your CTRs.

Everybody should be using sitelink extensions. Everybody. They not only help your ad take up more space but they allow users to directly click to specific areas of your site that interest them.

There are a lot of other extensions, such as location extensions, which are great if you are a local business. If you are a local business wanting to level up your PPC campaigns for a greater local impact, check out these PPC tactics for local businesses.


6. Raising Your Bids

Raising bids can be the fastest (but also the most expensive) way to increase CTRs.

This is the strategy that nobody likes to talk about because it is unpleasant but sometimes it’s necessary. Your bids could be the one thing that will push your ad from position 9 to position 3 (and once you’re there, you can try out these other 10 ways to boost your CTR).

What do you do if you don’t have enough money to raise your bids by a significant amount?

There are ways to make more money with your PPC ads without spending more.


7. Get to Know Your Audience

Before you even think about writing ad copy, you need to get to know your audience.

By understanding your audience, you can ensure that they are receiving a message that they will be more likely to click on.

If you know:

  • Who they are
  • Where they hang out online (blogs they read, sites they visit, etc.)
  • How they choose and compare products in your category
  • What they really want
  • What they don’t care about

You will be able to write some killer, super-targeted ad copy that is guaranteed to have high click-through rates.

All of that sounds great but how EXACTLY can you get that type of information?

There are two things you can do:

1- Make assumptions

2- Talk to your customers

The bottom line is that you will need to test. You will be able to gather a ton of actionable information from research and conversations but it always comes back to testing.

You will need to get in the trenches and optimize all copy/design that your audience will interact with along your sales funnel.

Speaking of audiences, don’t forget about your remarketing audiences too. Check out the 8 remarketing audiences you need to be targeting.


8. Use Symbols (when you can)

Anytime you can use anything other than standard letters (©, ®, $, etc.) you should.

Sometimes this can be a reason for your ad getting disapproved but if you can get it to work, it can be another way to get a slightly better CTR.

After all, if you don’t get noticed, you won’t get a click :).


9. Capitalization

Always, always, always, always capitalize the first letters in your ad descriptions.



Decide for yourself. Which looks better?

google ads comparison


10. Negative Keywords

This is definitely an indirect solution to increasing click-through rates, but a solution nonetheless.

The idea behind this tip is to stop wasteful spending on keywords that won’t drive clicks or conversions (unrelated keywords), thus lowering useless impressions and boosting your CTR.

Adding negative keywords will keep your ads from showing under certain search queries – to keep searchers who aren’t looking for what you sell from seeing/clicking on your ad.


11. Your Unique Offer

We saved the best for last.

This tip, much like the ad copy tip, has the greatest power to boost your CTRs.

What separates your business from everybody else advertising alongside you? Is it discounts? Free trials?

You need to make this clear and very visible in your ad because it will entice searchers to choose your ad over the rest.

Test out your unique selling proposition (USP) and find out what is getting more clicks.

If you’re running a discount try using “20% Off” in one ad and “$10 Off” in another.

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Humor sells too :).

About the Author

Daniel Peterson

marketing director

Daniel is surprisingly good at carefully developing bulletproof marketing strategies for someone who insists on powerlifting in tights. Risky move.

After discovering his talent for data-driven PPC marketing, Daniel has dedicated himself to helping others establish and exceed their marketing goals. 

When he finishes his long day communicating client value, Daniel likes to cook and watch basketball.


InMotion Digital Marketing Agency, Marketing Director

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