How to Improve Your Expected Click-Through Rate

Expected Click-Through Rate

What is Expected Click Through Rate?

Expected click-through rate is one of the three elements of a Google Search ads keyword’s quality score. Along with landing page experience and ad relevance, a high expected click-through rate will improve the quality of your advertising, lowering your costs.

Click through rate details how often your ads were clicked as a percentage of how often they showed. You can calculate this yourself by dividing the number of impressions you have by the number of clicks. Expected click-through rate gives an indication of how your click-through rate ranks for your particular targeted keyword. The better the click-through rate, the higher your score.

Improving Your Expected Click-Through Rate

Ad copy

The simplest way you can encourage a click is to first ensure that your ad copy is relevant to the search term. Not only does this help your ad relevance but also your click-through rate as users want to click an ad relevant to their search. To do this, make sure that the keyword you’re bidding on is in the ad copy of your Google Search Ad. The way we recommend doing this for every keyword is through Single Keyword Ad Groups.

You also need to consider what it is your prospective customer is looking for from your ad. You may have brand messaging that you may be tempted to put in your ad but that might not always be the best thing to do. You’ve got your Search ad in front of a consumer searching for the product or service you offer, you need to convince them to click your ad and visit your website. If you’re price competitive, include your price in your ad. If you have competitive USPs such as free shipping or free returns, look to include that in your copy. Anything that appeals to your customers or helps you stand out from other businesses is worth including in your copy.


Search Ad extensions are advertising tools that must be used to improve your expected click-through rate. Sitelink extensions can help you to direct users to other relevant parts of your website such as a ‘Sale’ collection.

Expected Click-Through Rate - Sitelinks

Promotion extensions allow you to clearly and visibly show a user any particular sales or promotions you may have on.

Expected Click-Through Rate - Promotion Extension

Callout extensions allow you to increase visibility and add any USPs you were unable to fit in your headlines and descriptions. You can mention upcoming releases and benefits to the person searching. Structured snippets show a consumer a list of what they can get from your store, be it brands, styles, product types or categories. Like callout extensions, they appear in the body of your ad description.

expected click-through rate - structured snippets

Ad formats

To find out what ad copy is working and driving your revenue, it’s important to try experimenting with ad formats. You should then review and optimize from this data. We recommend that you create two or three expanded text ads and responsive search ads for every keyword.

The expanded text ads would include your keyword and different USPs (such as price, free shipping and % saved) as headlines, to see which one consumers respond to. Optimize by changing poor performing ad copy.

Responsive search ads allow you to create up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google will then test combinations of your headlines and descriptions and pick the best performing ones. Include your keyword and enticing USPs to make sure you’re giving Google the best opportunity to pick a winning combo. You and Google will learn what messaging encourages users to click your ads and this can help you improve the quality of your ads moving forward.

Beating the Competition With Long Tail Keywords

Due to high competition, there are some keywords that prove difficult to achieve strong click-through rates on. As mentioned earlier if you have unique selling propositions that help you stand out from the competition include them in your ad copy but sometimes that’s not enough.

If it’s proving too costly to advertise on certain keywords because of a low expected click-through rate it may be time to look at long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are highly specific terms that people search for that may not draw the same traffic that broader keywords do. However, there are many ways that people may search for your products or services and you can cover these with multiple long tail keywords. Because the keywords are more specific, there’s less likely to be high competition on these words. Less competition means you’re more likely to get clicks, improving your expected click-through rate.

Expected Click-Through Rate; the Final Word

Having a high expected click-through rate is crucial to cost efficient Google Search ads. The best recommendation we can give is to continue testing what works for your brand in terms of ad formats, ad copy, targeted keywords and extensions. Always make changes to these aspects of your advertising based on what is driving clicks.

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