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Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Google Ads CTR in 2024

Google Ads CTR — what it is, why it matters, and how to improve it. Read on to learn more about how to improve your Google Ads click-through rate from Polymer.

Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Google Ads CTR in 2024

In online advertising, getting views without any clicks is the definition of a vanity metric. 

Sure, a thousand impressions on your ad is pretty to look at. But your ads won't lead to profits without clicks and conversions. 

This brings us to Google Ads CTR — what it is, why it matters, and how to improve it. 

Let's get started. 

What is Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures the likelihood of viewers to click a link, social media post, organic search listing, or ad. This metric, along with conversion rate, are two of the biggest indicators of performance in marketing and advertising campaigns.

How to Calculate CTR

To calculate CTR, divide the total number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiply the result by 100.


Let's say you get a total of 3,000 impressions for an ad.

Out of those people, 200 actually clicked and arrived at your landing page. 

Plugging in the numbers, your CTR for that specific campaign would be:

The higher the CTR, the more effective your content or audience targeting strategy. After all, more clicks means more potential customers.

That's why CTR is an essential metric or Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in various areas of marketing, including SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and PPC.

What is a Good CTR for Google Ads?

The short answer is, it depends.

Across all industries, the average CTR for Google Ads campaigns is 6.11%. 

You might think that a CTR of 6.11% is a reasonable and realistic benchmark. However, no company launches ads in all industries — at least, not in one Google Ads campaign.

So, we need to dig deeper. 

According to a study conducted by WordStream, here are the average Google Ads CTR across major industries:

If you're in the business services industry, a CTR of 5.11% would be your baseline for evaluating the performance of your Google Ads campaigns. 

Any less means you're bleeding money from ads that could've gotten more clicks. But if your CTR is higher than the average, you'll know that your strategy is clicking. 

Just remember that a high CTR isn't an excuse to stop looking for improvement opportunities. If you have access to cold hard performance data, there's always room for growth. 

How to Reach a Good CTR for Google Ads Campaigns

Whether you're catching up to the industry average CTR or trying to blow past the average, here are strategies for you: 

1. Track Your Quality Score

Your Google Ads "Quality Score" is a diagnostic tool or metric designed to compare the quality of your ad with that of competitors. This is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Ad content relevance — How relevant is your ad to the search intent behind target keywords?
  • Landing page content — Does your landing page offer relevant and useful information to your audience?
  • Expected CTR — How likely will users click your ad when they see it? 

Google Ads evaluates your ad's quality in these aspects relative to your competitors over the past 90 days. In which, each factor of your Quality Score may be rated as "Below average," "Average," or "Above average." 

After looking at these factors, Google Ads will assign a Quality Score to your ads on a keyword level. This is measured on a scale of 1-10, with ten being the highest.

You can track your Quality Score directly through your Google Ads dashboard. Just head to 'Campaigns,' click 'Audiences, keywords, and content,' and select 'Search keywords.'

Simply look for the "Quality Score" column in the search keywords report. 

Tip: if you can't find the Quality Score column, click 'Columns' and select 'Quality Score' from the list of trackable metrics.

Why go to all the trouble to track Quality Score?  

By looking at the Quality Score components (ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected CTR), you'll be able to prioritize tasks that improve your ad's performance. In turn, this will help you attain a higher Quality Score and get more clicks. 

2. Sharpen Your Ad Copy 

If your Quality Score's ad relevance component is rated "Below average" or "Average," it's time to revisit your copywriting strategy.

Start by making sure it aligns with your target keywords. 

Remember, your ad should directly match the user's intent when searching the web. This will drive up your ad relevance rating in Google Ads, which will lead to higher ad rankings and CTR. 

For example, there's a good reason why the ad below appears at the very top for the keyword "personal injury lawyer California." 

It's simple: these searchers are in need of a very specific, professional legal service. And the top advertisers didn't beat around the bush — they injected keywords into the copy and utilized clear Calls-To-Action (CTAs) to drive up clicks. 

Another technique at play here is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) marketing. It can be as upfront as a countdown timer or as subtle as a question like, "How much is your injury worth?"

3. Target Long-Tail Keywords

Aside from improving your ad content, you can also improve ad relevance by fine-tuning your keyword targeting.

Use the built-in Keyword Planner to refine broad, boring search terms into long-tail keywords. These are more specific, less competitive, and more likely to bring in clicks from users with a more clear-cut intent. 

To access the Keyword Planner, go to 'Tools,' select 'Planning,' and click 'Keyword Planner.' 

On the main Keyword Planner page, select 'Discover new keywords.' Enter a root keyword (i.e., the type of service or product you offer) and click 'Get results' to begin your search.

Long-tail keywords are terms that contain three or more words. They also pertain to more specific topics, which pull in users with stronger search intent and result in a higher CTR. 

For example, while "blogging tools" is a broad keyword, "free blog maker" is a long-tail keyword that targets a narrower audience. 

Not only is "free blog maker" less competitive than "blogging tools," it's also more profitable — which is why advertisers bid more for it. 

Just a quick pointer: if you're targeting long-tail keywords, it's important to include them in your ad headline and description in full. 

This used to be an ordeal since Google Ads are meant to be short. It would've been difficult to fit a long-tail keyword into a 30-character headline while making it meaningful for searchers. 

Thankfully, Google rolled out Responsive Search Ads, which can include multiple headlines for the same ad. 

Rather than jam-packing everything into one headline, you can have one just for your long-tail keyword. You can also compile long-tail keywords into groups or themes and use them all as potential headlines (as long as they make sense). 

4. Define What Makes You Stand Out

The main problem with Google Ads campaigns is, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of you competing for the same audience's attention. 

It's relatively easy to optimize your keyword targeting and ad copywriting strategies. But when it comes to getting clicks, the real challenge is making your ad stand out. 

You need to highlight what makes you different from competitors. 

Plenty of times, businesses rely on value-added differentiators like free shipping, time-limited special offers, or free consultations. 

While these can work, a unique benefit or "secret sauce" baked into your value proposition can yield better, longer-lasting results. Of course, you can utilize a mix of generic differentiators and unique benefits to make your ad more compelling. 

Some examples are:

  • Awards won
  • Years in the industry
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Proprietary technology
  • Tailored to a hyper-targeted audience

This may add another layer of complexity to the ad copywriting process. But, when done right, it should result in a noticeable increase in your ad rankings and CTR. 

For now, set up multiple ad descriptions for Responsive Search Ads. 

Over time, Google will dynamically switch things up and serve ad variations based on past performance for specific search keywords. 

5. Split Test Ad Variations

Aside from Responsive Search Ads, you can also use "Experiments" to test multiple variations of your ads. 

Remember, nobody has a definitive blueprint for the perfect ad. Your best bet is to create a campaign with the best practices in mind, track performance analytics, and make iterative improvements based on what works. 

To start split testing ad variations, go to 'Campaigns,' expand the 'Campaigns' sub-menu, and click 'Experiments.' 

From there, click the 'New experiment' button (plus icon).

On the next page, select 'Optimize text ads' and click 'Continue.' 

When creating text ad variations, you can automate small changes like replacing specific words or updating landing page URLs. You may also add, remove, or pin entire headlines and descriptions to your ad. 

After launching ad variations, Google will start tracking performance metrics (CTR, Average CPC, conversions, etc.) on the Experiments page. 

Create more experiments with more headline and description variations to achieve the best possible version of your ad. Measure and compare these metrics over time to find the top-performing ads for your campaign.

6. Experiment with Google Ads Extensions

Speaking of experiments, you should also try using Google Ads extensions or assets to show more content through your ads. 

Extensions include the following:

  • Sitelinks — Present additional links to specific pages on your website. 
  • Callouts — Add 25-character lines of text to provide more information about your products or services.
  • Prices — Show multiple pricing options for products or service categories.
  • Lead form — Convert leads on the spot with a convenient, automated opt-in form.

You can set extensions while creating or editing search ad campaigns. 

7. Track Google Ads Analytics

Google Ads is a numbers game. And if you want to win, you need to pay close and constant attention to your performance metrics and KPIs. 

Leave no room for guesstimates, and let data guide your decision-making.  

The good news is, Google Ads has no shortage of data tracking and reporting tools. 

Get the ball rolling with report templates for different tracking needs. No need to go through hoops to create reports for shopping products, general campaign performance, store visits, landing pages, and more.

Sure, you have a robust lineup of Google Ads reporting tools available within your dashboard. But if you want advanced data visualization and automated analysis features, go with a Business Intelligence (BI) platform like Polymer

Tracking Your Google Ads Campaigns with Polymer

Polymer is an all-in-one BI and data visualization platform. 

Using the Google Ads data connector, you can easily import account performance data on search, display, and shopping channels.

Here are other things you can achieve with your Google Ads performance data through Polymer:

  • Set goal values for metrics and KPIs. Establish a baseline goal for your Google Ads CTR metric. 
  • Automate calculations for custom metrics. Combine different pieces of data to calculate custom metrics for your Polymer dashboards — perfect for advanced metrics like Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). 
  • Build interactive data visualizations without coding. Easily convert raw Google Ads data into readable reports using Polymer's drag-and-drop report builder. 
  • Take advantage of AI-driven insights. Instantly generate visualizations with AI-powered insight suggestions or use PolyAI to obtain answers to your data questions. 
  • Seamlessly share reports. Provide colleagues with direct access to your dashboards or use the embed code to export reports to your website. 

Start Tracking Google Ads KPIs with Polymer

Remember, online advertising isn't about showing your ad to the most people. It's about turning impressions into clicks and converting those users into paying customers.

It's definitely not a straight-shot path to success. But with data at your side, you'll always find a way to navigate around the challenges and reap the full benefits of advertising. 

This is where we step in. 

Polymer will help you build a single source of truth — empowering your decision-making with digestible, actionable insights. 

Click here to start a 14-day free trial and check out our free Google Ads dashboard templates

Posted on
March 1, 2024
under Blog
March 1, 2024
Written by
Rand Owens
Founding team member at Motive (Formerly KeepTruckin) and passionate about all things Marketing, RevOps, and Go-To-Market. VP of Marketing @ Polymer Search.

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