Home | Archive | SEO Tools | Contact

3 Tips to Increase Adwords CTR

I thought I’d share with you a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way with Adwords. When starting a campaign, one of the most important things is to get a good CTR (Click Through Ratio). Google will give your campaign a “quality score”, part of which is the CTR. If you get a good quality score, your ad will show higher up in the Pay Per Click results, for less cash per click.

1. Use non-alphanumeric characters

Much how Eli talked about using non-alphanumeric characters in SERP results to increase CTR, we can do the same with Adwords. For instance:

Which of these two adverts stands out the most? Try running an ad rotation with the identical ad, one with “arrows” and one without. I bet this monthâ??s Adsense you get a higher CTR on our little arrowed friend! If you want to give the arrows a try, you could copy and paste them from here: ã??ã??

2. Sometimes less is…

Another interesting technique is doing something which seems totally illogical. Cut your ads off early and add a “…” at the end of the advert. This triggers a response in a lot of people, assuming there is more information will automatically be drawn to your advert.

So we’ll have something that looks like this:

3. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Something that will really attract clicks is if you can get your title to exactly match the user’s search query. Rather than writing thousands of adverts, you can use (a sparsely documented) feature of Adwords, DKI.

You can use DKI anywhere in your adverts.. in the title, description line 1 or 2, display url and in your destination url (Usually for tracking purposes, be careful not to break your links with this method!)

Ok, how do I use Dynamic Keyword Insertion then?

You specify how youâ??d like the dynamic keywords displayed, and give a default phrase which will be displayed if your dynamic keywords cannot for whatever reason. The format is below:


You can also use the following capitalization on the work â??keywordâ?? to get different effects:

* keyword – no capitalization
* Keyword – First word is capitalized
* KeyWord – Every Word Is Capitalized
* KEYword – EVERY letter in first word is capitalized
* KEYWord – LIKE Above But With Each Word Capitalized


Buy your {Keyword:Widgets} here
{KEYword:Widgets} with free delivery!

User searches for â??blue widgetsâ??, which you have as a targeted term.

The resulting advert:

Blue Widgets

Buy your Blue widgets here
BLUE widgets with free delivery!

If anyone else has any quick tips that you don’t see everywhere else on the net, drop them in as a comment and share! Id love to hear what everyone else is doing, I’ve been pretty lucky with my Adwords success myself!

Oh, Happy 4th July to all my American readers. Congratulations on escaping British oppression… We’ll get you yet….. :P

Like this article? Then subscribe to the feed!

Related Posts:

Next Post:
How to Fake Good Content »

Previous Post:

« Making Money With An Affiliate Network Empire [Part 1]

19 responses to “3 Tips to Increase Adwords CTR”

  • seomeo says:

    marketing with ethics & expertise???

    if you add that “blue” and people open site and guess what.. there is no blue widgets. doesnt look ethic to me.

    well dont take it wrong way, advices are good and probably work on customers.

    Comment by seomeo
    July 4th, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  • matthew says:

    The arrows will get rejected by the adwords qualiy control. Ive tried something similar before.

    Comment by matthew
    July 4th, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

  • Mark says:

    You have misunderstood DKI. “Blue” widgets will only turn up if you are targeting that keyword – which you won’t be if you don’t stock blue widgets!! Don’t be so quick to judge someone’s ethics if you don’t have the expertise! But seriously, the situation you’ve outlined won’t occur and thus is not a problem or question of ethics. DKI is a standard Adwords feature.

    Arrows have been running for over a month now.

    Comment by Mark
    July 5th, 2007 @ 9:10 am

  • JF says:

    Nice tips. Thanks.

    Comment by JF
    July 5th, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  • Patrick says:

    hey mark, interesting tips!
    however when i look for ‘online marketing norwich’ i find your ad with the arrows but they’re shown as question marks (maybe because I don’t have the respective font installed?) and that doesn’t look too good (but maybe it still makes people clicking on it)

    Comment by Patrick
    July 5th, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  • Mark says:

    Hi Patrick!

    That’s not my advert! I don’t run any PPC campaigns for Digerati. That is Fruitful Media’s advert. The reason you are seeing question marks is because they are using question marks!

    You don’t need any special fonts installed for the arrows to show.

    Comment by Mark
    July 5th, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  • Samuel says:

    Hey Mark,

    Great tips, let me go test them out. I’m not quite a big fan of DKI but I found a good tip on DKI here:

    (Nobody paid me to post this link here. I wish I was paid for it, haha.)

    A few more ideas to increase CTR:

    * Each ad group should have similar keywords which are the same theme. (Not too many keywords in an ad group.)

    * Send that traffic to a landing page. Put the keyword in the subdomain or folder of your domain. (Or the domain if possible.)

    * Repeat the keyword in your headline or anywhere in the first fold of the page.

    That’s it! Simple?

    Comment by Samuel
    July 5th, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  • Patrick says:

    I see, sorry, my mistake. I thought it was yours, too since you posted the screenshot of that ad.


    Comment by Patrick
    July 5th, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

  • Sarit says:

    Hay Mark, Great post (as always)
    liked the … idea.
    I also use DKI but sometimes find it brings the wrong traffic especially if the keyword has a few meanings. ( many people click, even the ones looking for the other meaning )
    Didn’t know there was DKI in the middle of the ad, will definitely be using that one.

    Comment by Sarit
    July 10th, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  • Mark says:


    As always you have to be careful when selecting keywords. Remember that DKI will only show on targeted keywords, so you’re only using it as a tool to match what the user types in for a higher CTR – not broading the scope of your ads.

    Comment by Mark
    July 15th, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  • Blog Money says:

    These are some good tips, I didn’t know you can use non-alphanumeric characters in Adwords. I’m sure you can in other PPCs but all of my Adword campaigns had to have alphanumeric characters.

    Comment by Blog Money
    July 16th, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  • Mark says:

    Blog Money:

    As I said earlier, I don’t think you probably are.. Mine have been running for over a month now though!

    Comment by Mark
    July 16th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

  • Joe Kamenar says:

    You want to make sure that you are not paying for clicks on terms or products that you don’t have. Sometimes I click on paid links that use this tool and when I get to the landing page, the item is not something they carry. But, their goal may be to just get you to their site. Nextag.com is one of these sites.

    Comment by Joe Kamenar
    August 1st, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

  • patrickHudson says:

    I have read on your post about how to get a “quality score”. This was very interesting for me. Since i am not used such tips, its really great full to you for posting such a good tip. Thank you. Also see the tips for some Hair Problems

    Comment by patrickHudson
    September 11th, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  • Gaqmvdog says:


    Comment by Gaqmvdog
    December 13th, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  • [email protected] says:

    Hi Mark
    Another good post
    As an Adwords Professional I have also found from experience that alliteration can work really well and usually pushes the CTR up by about another 1.5% to 3% eg. ‘Great Golf Gear’, better than ‘Top Golf Equipment’

    Comment by [email protected]
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  • Jason says:

    I find your advice useful, but I would just suggest that with keyword insertion you want to make it clear to the reader that that ad has to be in a specific ad group that has a list of keywords that will allow the keyword insertion to activate

    Comment by Jason
    November 3rd, 2009 @ 4:41 am

  • Luke says:

    Wow, very nice tips, I had no idea that we have any specific options before reading your post!

    As you mention, test it and see the results, I think the ARROW option is just great!

    Comment by Luke
    November 17th, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

  • Seo Expert says:

    Beautiful tips. Im not sure if the arrows still work though. I will give them a try.

    Comment by Seo Expert
    June 12th, 2011 @ 5:57 am