5 Tips for Improving PPC Clickthrough Rates

Few things can be as frustrating as a pay per click (PPC) campaign that doesn’t work. You take the time and the effort to bid on relevant and traffic-yielding keywords and craft your approximation of great PPC ads, but then your target audience doesn’t click through — it can be quite disheartening.

Here are 5 tips to help you out of your conundrum:

1.  Focus on Keywords — You may have found viable keywords and intricately crafted campaigns and ads around them, but you have to do more than that. You have to manage your keywords — which to use on what occasion and when to switch keyword focus. This entails a lot of keyword research, not just in the areas of what keywords draw in crowds, but what keywords (or topics) are currently “trending.”

2.  Remember: Ads are Micro-Content — Micro-content is concise web content; content squeezed into just a sentence or two. Twitter is probably the most popular propagator of micro-content in the form of Tweets which can actually be considered micro-blogs. Just like full-blown web content articles, micro-content should have a goal, a structure, and a flow. If your PPC ads lack these same elements that make up great web content, then you’re missing out on click-throughs.

3.  Did You Miss a Good Call to Action — Directly related to our micro-content point is a good call to action. Almost every form of web content, from sales copy to blog posts, have calls to action. You need to call your audience to further action beyond just reading your web content. For PPC ads that are basically two-line sales pitches, this is even more critical. Also, you don’t want just “any” call to action — you want a “good” one that really pulls your target audience into a click-through.

4.  Leverage Ad Extensions — Few PPC marketers pass on Google AdWords, and if you have a few AdWords campaigns needing boosts in click-through rates, you should consider using appropriate ad extensions. Ad extensions are literal extensions to your PPC ads, where your title, URL, and two lines of ad space is extended to include an address, a review (star rating), or a special promotion. These PPC ad extensions give your target audience more reason to click through.

5.  Test, Test, Test — A/B testing applies to website designs, website content, and marketing. It extends to all facets of advertising, including PPC ads. You need to test your campaigns (and your individual ads) against one another to see what works and what doesn’t. Some facets to test are targeted keywords, bidding schedules, PPC ad copy, ad extensions, and calls to action. Remember to test one facet of your PPC efforts at a time, or you might become confused on what’s causing an ad to (under)perform.

Try these tips and see what you get. Focus on managing keywords, create great micro-content, craft appealing calls to action, leverage ad extensions on Google AdWords, and always test your campaigns and PPC ads. Soon you’ll figure out what makes your audience click through and what makes your PPC ads effective.