As you plan out your digital marketing strategy, you’re likely to incorporate some form of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. PPC offers you an effective way to generate leads, increase sales, and promote brand awareness.

So how does it work? Every time someone clicks your ad, you pay a fee (hence “pay per click”). Ultimately, the overall goal is to get quality, relevant users to visit your site and perform an action — this could be making a purchase, subscribing to your site, or scheduling a service.

This is where click-through rate (CTR) comes in. This is to help you gauge how effective your ad copy and designs are at reaching your target audience. In order to improve your CTR, it’s important that you first understand what that metric really means.

What is CTR?

Your click-through rate is — in the most basic form — exactly what it sounds like, the rate at which users are actually clicking on your ad. Your CTR indicates just how relevant your ads are when they appear in searches.

In order to calculate the percentage of people clicking your ad based on how often it appears in searches (impressions), we use this formula:

Total Ad Clicks / Total Impressions = Click-Through Rate

This formula helps to determine how your ads are performing and plays a huge role in your ad rank. When you begin an automotive PPC marketing campaign, your ad won’t necessarily rank higher if you bid higher. Your ad placement will be based on the ad rank given to you by the search engine. This ranking is dictated by several different factors, one of which is your established CTR.

In fact, Google measures the expected impact of your CTR. So if you have a low click-through rate from previous ads, the search engine will assume new ads will have a similar impact. This may cause you to rank lower on search engine result pages (SERP), and sometimes not even rank at all (yikes!).

Beware: High CTR doesn’t always equate to meaningful leads

Your automotive PPC strategy shouldn’t focus solely on improving CTR.

Although a high CTR is typically a good sign, this is not always the case. It does help to establish your ads higher on SERPs and puts more eyes on your site, but you want to also look at your conversion rates to analyze how well your ad is actually doing based on your intended goal. 

If you’re getting the clicks but not generating real conversions, you may not be reaching the right audience or using the right call to action once they land on your site. A marketing agency that offers pay-per-click campaign management services can help you fine-tune your strategy and get the best possible results.

How to improve your CTR

Be intentional with your marketing strategy and have a plan in place to increase your CTR. Focus on these things to give your CTR a boost:

  • Research specific, highly targeted keywords. Use keywords that are highly targeted to your niche and audience. If you use broad keywords, you may lose out on more relevant leads, which can lead to a decrease in your ad rank — and like a domino effect, this will hurt your marketing efforts.
  • Use descriptive URLs. Include your main keyword in the URL of your ad. You could also incorporate a long-tail keyword into the URL. This helps search engines properly categorize your ad and improve visibility.
  • Use a strong call to action (CTA). Give users a reason to click your ad by using a command verb, and be very clear about what you want them to do. By being direct and informative, you will have more users who are actually interested in your site clicking on your ad.
  • Test it out! Nothing will offer you better evidence for how well a campaign will work than to test it in the market. A/B testing is the best way to determine what variables will be most successful for your goal.

With the right overall strategy, improving your CTR will no doubt result in a successful PPC campaign. 

Need help getting started or want to learn more about how PPC can help you gain more meaningful leads? Get in touch with us today to obtain valuable insights from one of the leading marketing experts in your industry.

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