Raise Your Click Through Rates for Better Quality Score
How great CTRs help you get great Quality Score
Click through rate (CTR) is likely a very familiar term to you now. It's simply a percentage figure of the number of clicks on your ad, compared to how many times the ad was presented to users.
We're going to look at how this simple figure is used in ways you may not have considered, and how this impacts your Quality Score.
Any good tracking software should give you CTRs automatically, however if you're doing it manually then the formula to calculate CTRs is:
Formula for Click Through Rate
As far as how CTRs affect your Quality Score, in essence it's like a popularity contest. When people click on your ad, they are 'voting' for it and telling Google that it was relevant to what they were searching for. Google takes note of this and kudos to your account.
In calculating Quality Score, Google takes your CTRs into account (Content network excluded), not just for a specified period but for the entire history of each keyword!
So we can see why it's important to monitor our search terms and take action on low-performing keywords.
When determining the value of click through rates, these considerations are made and weighted accordingly:
There are a number of areas you should look at when improving CTRs. Non-coincidentally, these are the same areas you would look at to improve your Quality Score.
- CTR History is weighted so although a keyword's entire history matters, the most recent CTRs are more weighty - an extra incentive to keep improving your campaigns! (this also means that all is not lost if you're trying to breathe new life into old keywords)
- CTRs will vary with ad rankings. Google is not equally comparing the CTR of an ad positioned down the right hand side, with one positioned above the natural search results.
The variance in positions is taken into account. For example, in the search results below, a 2% CTR for position 8 would be excellent. 2% in position 6 is still good, but 2% in position 1 would be quite poor. The same Click through rate is weighted according to position.
Click through rate is weighted differently for different ad positions
- Search terms - generally the more specific a search term, the better the CTR should be as you are aligning yourself with the user's search query.
Broader, general search terms would be expected to have a lower CTR as the SERPS may not be what the user had intended, and therefore the ads not as relevant.
Depending on the search terms used, the same CTR figure may be considered low or high, eg. 0.8% may be satisfactory for a broader search term, but disturbingly low for a specific search phrase, where the user's intent is fairly clear.
Broad search term - tv (0.8% CTR understandable - users could be searching for 'tv' for many different purposes - to purchase, rent, repair, look up tv guides, etc.
Specific search phrase - plasma tv repairs Brooklyn (0.8% CTR fairly poor)
NB: Niche software such as SpeedPPC helps you build specific search phrases from your broad and long tail keywords to focus your campaigns and draw traffic that's ready to buy.
So in the third post we'll take on How to Boost Your Quality Score with Keyword & Ad Relevancy. Followed by:
Take a look at your account now and familiarize yourself with your click through rates. Check the relationship between your CTR and Quality Score. You can always improve your CTRs and they're your ticket to better Quality Score.
- Achieve Higher Quality Score with Better Landing Page Quality
- Indirect Quality Score Influences - Do You Know Them?
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About the Author
Shohet is a PPC marketing specialist and the Product Manager for
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