One of the most common problems I see when evaluating PPC click-through on an existing account is lack of oversight. Think about it. PPC campaigns are live. So is the reporting data attached to them. That means that if something is not performing well you can turn it off immediately with a simple click on the pause button. If days, weeks and months pass with under-performing ads or campaigns it simply means that the campaign manager is not paying attention.

Sometimes the lack of oversight stems from not knowing how to evaluate PPC click-through. I’d like to share how I get a quick overview on results and the kind of tweaks I make to improve.

I look at the average PPC click-through rate (CTR) as being a good top level gauge for evaluating the campaign. What happens when the visitor gets to your website is another topic. I typically strive for a minimum CTR of 2% but that can be tough in a competitive area with higher priced keywords and a limited budget.

What to do if your click-through rate is not acceptable

There are two components that are most likely to influence your CTR:

  1. Average position of ad – Your ad position is directly tied to your daily budget. I repeatedly see that ads in the #1 position generate the highest CTR with ads in the #2 position having an opportunity to generate a strong CTR. Ads in the #3 position have a greater challenge and those on the side are in a much more difficult position to produce good results.

What to do to improve your ad position? Consider allocating your budget over a shorter period of time. For example, if your monthly budget is $500, rather than distributing the budget over 30 or 20 days at a daily budget of $16 to $25, increase the daily budget to where it needs to be to generate a top two position and then shorten the life of the campaign.

  1. Ad copy – I learned from my days in magazine subscription marketing how much even the most subtle changes in copy can produce significantly different results. The same rule applies to PPC campaigns. One surefire way to get off to a good start is to title your ad with a primary keyword from the campaign. This will ensure that viewers will resonate with it.

How do you tweak your ad copy? You should always be testing ad copy for learning and improving results. Testing should be done so that you can isolate what is being tested. For example, run a test using the same copy for description line 1 but different copy for description line 2.  Keep repeating the testing process using the line copy that produces the best results.

Do you have a tip or two that you’d like to share?