Nearly all modern businesses structure their marketing and advertising campaigns around their website, or at least a series of landing pages devoted to the business. It makes sense to run your campaigns this way, since it’s convenient for customers and inexpensive (not to mention easy to coordinate).
But if this sounds like your business, you know there’s a central issue – getting people to the website as consistently and as quickly as possible. Most marketing strategies are designed to increase your visibility, such as using SEO to ensure your website is listed higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) or using PPC ads to show your site off directly. But neither of these strategies guarantees that your customers are going to click your links and see your onsite content.
What steps can you take to increase your clickthrough rate (CTR)?
Two Different Kinds of CTR
First, we should explain that there are two different kinds of CTR worth considering as a marketer: organic CTR and PPC ad CTR.
Organic CTR refers to the percentage of users who click your link in search engine results pages after encountering that link. There are some studies that suggest your organic CTR plays a role in increasing your rank, but this may be a correlative property rather than a causal link. In any case, ranking higher isn’t going to mean anything for your brand unless you can also increase your CTR at the same time.
Your PPC ad CTR refers to the percentage of users who click your PPC ad link after encountering that ad. It can play a role in determining your quality score on some platforms, which can ultimately influence your bidding costs, your ad displays, and other factors relevant to your long-term success.
Improving Your PPC Ad CTR
There are some specific strategies that can help you increase your CTR for your PPC ad campaign:
- Increase your quality score. First, try to increase your quality score. Your quality score as an advertiser is calculated on the back end, and it’s something that’s hard to control. However, if you make a concentrated effort to write the best content you can for your target audience specifically, and you deliver on all your promises, your quality score should never be an issue.
- Use ad extensions. Make use of ad extensions if they are available to you. Different add extensions allow you to capitalize on more space in different ways; for example, you might be able to showcase some of your internal pages or include images of the product you’re advertising. In any case, you’ll increase your visibility and show that you’re more trustworthy.
- Experiment to find the best types of ads for your customers. There are many different types of ads that you can use in your PPC campaign. Each has different pros and cons. Make sure you try out a variety of different formats to see which is best for your target audience.
- Choose the best keywords. Keyword selection plays a significant role in your ultimate success in any PPC campaign. With better keywords, you’ll be able to reach more people with a more relevant message while simultaneously avoiding competition and keeping your costs low. It also means better understanding your audience, so you can write more relevant ad copy for them, eventually leading to increased rates of clicking.
- Employ remarketing. Remarketing won’t increase your CTR directly, but it will help you get more clicks and visits from people who missed your original advertisement. It’s a way of advertising to people who have shown interest in your brand in the past, but who haven’t closed the deal.
General Strategies for Better CTR
These strategies, on the other hand, can be used to boost your CTR in any context:
- Write concisely. Keep your messaging as concise as possible. Ad copywriters often try to stuff as much information as they can into a finite amount of space, but this is inefficient and can be overwhelming for consumers trying to make a fast decision. Instead, limit your headlines and your ad copy to as few words as possible.
- Transparently include pricing (where relevant). If you’re advertising a product or if you’re showing off your services, it’s a good idea to include your pricing transparently. People who can’t afford your pricing aren’t a good fit. people who can afford your pricing will be much more likely to inquire about further details. Just make sure your pricing is accurate or you’ll lose a lot of trust when people do click through.
- Stoke curiosity. If you want people to click through at a higher rate, you have to stoke their curiosity. Imply that there’s a surprise waiting for them or tease a sneak preview of something. If you successfully convince someone that they need to learn more, the click is all but guarantee.
- Use longer phrases. If you want to get a higher CTR for your SEO campaign, make sure to target long-tail keyword phrases, rather than head keywords. Long-tail phrases tend to have less competition and are low hanging fruit; they are also a great way to make sure that you can make your messaging specific as possible to a segment of your target audience. It’s difficult to figure out which long-tail keywords are best, but once you do, it will be smooth sailing.
- Understand and directly target your audience. Who is your target audience? What are their demographics? What are their core values and their perspectives? How do they see the world? The better you understand this, the more directly you’ll be able to reach them with your messaging.
- Pay attention to your titles and descriptions. When optimizing the pages of your website, pay close attention to the title tags and meta descriptions. These sections of content are what people will first see when they notice your entry in SERPs. If you can grip them with a compelling title and pique their interest with a unique description, they’ll be much more likely to click through.
- Include visuals when possible. People are much faster at processing visual information than they are at processing written information. If you include visuals in your ads or organic entries, you’ll see much higher CTRs. Try to include alluring photos, infographics, or even videos to incentivize more visits.
- Make sure design is on-point. Poorly UX/UI leads to poor click-through rates and even more dismal leads, conversions and sales. Make sure your website design is spot-on and fully tested to ensure the best results out of the gate.
- Structure your content as numbers, steps, or other digestible forms. Use structured markups to present your information in a concise, digestible format that your customers can easily consume. Bulleted lists, numbered steps, and ordered lists are all excellent for improving your CTR.
- Experiment and improve. this is the most important tip, since it’s relevant to all the others: take the time to experiment and improve. It’s impossible to say exactly what will increase your CTR or exactly what your customers prefer, so you have to discover these things through the scientific method. Try a variety of different advertising types, different messages, and different tactics, then measure your results. The more you learn about your marketing and advertising approach, the better your results are going to be.
Bonus: Improve Your Initial Onsite Experience
Here’s a tangentially related bonus tip for you: do what you can to improve your initial onsite experience. Your website should load quickly and fully, with no missing images or other missing content. It should be mobile friendly and responsive. It should also be secure, with no pop-up ads or other intrusions. Otherwise, if your site is annoying or if it doesn’t work correctly, even the highest CTR in the world is going to be useless because your bounce rate is so high.
In any case, these strategies can help you boost your CTR regardless of whether you prefer SEO or PPC ads. And with a higher CTR, you should have no trouble securing more customers and generating more revenue.