Every online business that wants to generate leads, boost conversion, and increase sales must care about improving its click-through rates.
Without knowing your click-through rates, it will be hard to measure the effectiveness of your business marketing campaigns.
According to recent statistics, there are over five billion internet users around the world, the vast majority of whom are searching for answers to their problems. Online businesses have taken advantage of this to generate leads and increase sales.
But with billions of online content from competing brands, it’s hard to get customers to click on an ad, website, email, link, or a call to action button.
Understand your Audience
You have a better chance of increasing your CTR when you understand your audience. Understanding your audience means knowing their challenges, needs, background, and goals.
Your marketing effort is more likely to resonate with your audience when you understand and speak the language they use while searching for help.
User or search intent is the language we use during an online search. Understanding your audience’s search intent is vital to creating content that connects with them.
Fortunately, many tech support tools can help you discover and understand the user intent of your audience. For example, AI-based marketing solutions use the power of machine learning algorithms to analyze data, segment the audience, and improve the personalization of advertising campaigns. The more the system can understand an individual user, the more likely it is that conversions will be made.
Improve your Call-To-Action
Studies show that call-to-action (CTA) is one of the best strategies businesses employ to increase click-through rates and activate their sales funnel.
A CTA is a text or image that urges a user to take a specific action. Experts believe some CTAs have a greater chance of being clicked than others.
Here are ways to make your CTA better.
- Make it clear
- Use action words
- Make it urgent
- Use bright colors
- Offer value
You can try different types of CTA and track their performance to find out those that resonate with your audience.
Research and Optimize for Keywords
Keywords are words and phrases commonly used by customers to search for products and services online.
The best way to discover keywords is to use research tools to reveal the words used by people to search for products online. You can increase your CTR by inserting keywords into your links, copy, ads, and images.
Another way to optimize your keywords and boost your CTR is to target long-tail keywords. There are many benefits of using long-tail keywords in your ads, headings, title tags, meta description, and images. Long-tail keywords are very descriptive, easy to target and march users’ intent.
Optimize your Page URL
Unfortunately, many online businesses do not pay adequate attention to the structure of the URLs on their web pages.
But experts have stressed the need for the URL on a web page to contain the main keywords to increase its CTR.
One piece of information that appears on search engine result pages is the URL of web pages. Like titles, URLs tell web users what your page is all about. The more descriptive your URL, the better chance it has of being clicked.
Another way to optimize your URL is to keep it as short as possible. The shorter your URL, the higher its chances of being seen and clicked.
Take the blog post “Work affecting sleep” from Amerisleep as an example. The page URL is short and to the point, containing the focused keyword only. Readers can just look at the URL and get what the article is about.
Optimize your Meta Description
Like the URL, the meta description also appears on a search engine result page. You can increase your CTR by including keywords and other relevant information in your meta description.
Although Google has maintained that meta description is not a factor used to rank websites, it plays a vital role in increasing CTR on search engine result pages. A meta description is a brief text between 155 to 160 characters about a webpage’s content.
Below are ways to increase the CTR of your meta description.
- Identify the customers’ problem
- Offer solutions
- Mention the outcome
- Insert only vital information
- Use call-to-action
- Keep them short
Create Engaging Headlines
With millions of content uploaded online every day, only the very best stand a chance of being read by web users. One way to make your articles stand out is to craft engaging headlines.
How many times have you clicked on an article because of the headline? If your answer is all the time, then you are not alone. According to reports, while most people read the headlines, only a few read the articles.
If you want to increase the CTR of your headline, you must grab your audience’s attention with engaging words and phrases.
Here are other tips for creating a clickable headline.
- Use emotional words
- Include numbers in your headlines
- Maintain the correct headline length
- Use question headlines
- People love listicle headlines
- Use how-to headlines
Because the amount of online information is overwhelming, people skim through headlines to find the most relevant content.
Several studies have established that online content with images generates more engagement than those without them.
Inserting quality images to your Ads, articles, and social media posts will significantly increase your CTR.
Below are tips on how to use images to boost your CTR.
- Use the right image size
- Scale your images
- Use captions to describe the image
Optimize your Email Marketing Strategy
For many years now, email marketing has remained the strategy that delivers the highest return on investment (ROI).
Although email marketing is hugely successful, studies have revealed that most recipients do not open or read their emails. In fact, 40% of all email users have more than 50 unopened messages in their inboxes. The two parts of an email are the subject line and the email copy. Both the subject of an email and the body must offer some benefits to the recipient.
- Write killer email subject lines – Curiosity is a trait of most animals, including human beings. Behavioral experts believe that curiosity motivates our desire for information. You can take advantage of this innate trait in humans to write killer email subject lines that will make the recipients want to click and read it.
- Write an engaging email copy – Once you have grabbed the recipient’s attention, it is important to continue the engagement through some relevant information in the email. One way to write a great email copy is to present the relevant information clearly and concisely. If the email copy is great, it becomes easier to persuade the recipient to take the next step through CTA.
Some other ways to increase the click-through rate of your email marketing include:
- Personalize your emails
- Keep emails brief
- Highlight your call to action (CTA)
- Optimize your emails for mobile
- Make your emails easy to read
- Include images
Take Advantage of the Competition
In marketing, your competition is not necessarily your enemy. With the right strategy, your competition can push you to greater heights.
You can learn so much when you take out time to check out what others are doing in your industry. Many business owners have been inspired by studying their competitors.
With the right strategy and tools, you can increase your click-through rates through insights from your competitors. For example, you can find out popular keywords among your competitors.
Finding out the top keywords that are bringing traffic to your competitors and creating content around them will expose you to an audience searching for the products and services you offer.
It is vital to keep a close eye on the click-through rates of your various marketing strategies. The CTR will reveal the effectiveness or otherwise of your marketing campaigns.
A high click-through rate helps the search engines know how important your webpage, ad, and content are to users.
The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures
With the rise of machine learning and the relentless march toward large-scale automation, digital marketers are now finding themselves in the middle of a perfect storm where they have less control over their campaigns, higher costs, and lousy results.
To state the obvious, Google’s goals are not your goals.
Over the last few years, Google introduced and pushed PPC automation while also removing many of the controls marketers typically used to prevent wasted spend.
Here’s just a small list of what they’ve done:
- They killed off match types – As a result, keywords are no longer granular enough and Google’s understanding of “close” variants and “similar” intent fluctuates between terrible and horrific.
- They Added Audiences – Google has made significant efforts over the past few years to replace keywords as the primary PPC control lever; audiences (+ the derivatives thereof) have been the most successful of these so far.
- They introduced and pushed “smart” features – Google’s “optimization score” and “smart shopping campaigns” were the first major efforts; now, we have Performance MAX, the end of ETAs, and much more on the horizon.
- They introduced auto-applied campaign changes – because who doesn’t want a Roomba running their account?
- They removed the majority of search term data – of course, the claim was that this was for “privacy”…but does anyone believe that?
As a result, CPCs and CACs are spiking across the board and we’re left with the perfect recipe to waste a LOT of money.
The pace of change has left many PPCers wondering how to adapt to this brave new world, with a few approaches becoming more and more pervasive:
- Lean Into The Automation – give the machines what they want – control and volume! Consolidate everything into a couple of campaigns, turn on Broad Match, and away we go.
- Old School – focus on keeping granular control with a rigid, EM-based structure and negatives everywhere.
- Shanty Town – some weird fusion of the two – where there are some EM campaigns, some full broad, maybe some audiences or DSAs sprinkled in…, and a heaping helping of confusion.
Unfortunately, the automation approach will have you wasting money, the old school approach will have you going crazy trying to maintain control in the face of RSAs, bidding strategy, and match type changes, and the Shanty Town delivers the worst of both worlds.
The only thing that HAS stayed the same is the desire to find the right account structure that balances scale with control, spending with results, and predictability with discovery. Too much to ask for? No!
Six Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Up PPC Campaigns
Automation is here to stay. The increasing role of automation will have an impact on PPC account structures, and this isn’t good or bad – it just is. Our job as marketers is to set the machines up for success and defend against their flaws.
The structure is about people. Campaign structure is the “how” you connect your organization’s marketing to the people you want to target. Keep your audience in mind when you structure your PPC campaign and put yourself in the mind of the audience.
Better Data = Higher Probability of Good Outcomes. Don’t focus only on conversion data. Make sure that each platform you use (not just Google, Microsoft, and Facebook) has the business and financial data it needs to maximize your chances of a good outcome. In short, efficiently leverage your data and help the machines be smarter!
Exclusions are more important than inclusions. Be liberal in your campaign exclusions to ensure machines focus on what you want (and don’t make bad inferences that blow your budget).
Be Machine Learning-friendly. Resist the urge to hyper-segment everything. Build a structure that is ML-friendly while still being sufficiently refined. You might end up with fewer ad groups, but that’s ok!
Be brilliant at the basics. Do the little things extremely well – align your ads to the intent of the user, deliver a relevant message and have a delightful on-page experience.
Want to learn more? I’ll be speaking at HeroConf London on July 18 at 10:15 am on the Main Stage. During my session, “The Art and Science of PPC Structures,” I’ll dive deep into the essential account and targeting structures and how they can be used to prevent automation from running wild.
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