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4 Reasons Click Volume Decreases & What To Do

You’ve noticed a drop in search volume. Is there a reason to be alarmed? Yes. You could be missing out on potential business opportunities.

Every click your business misses out on means that your competitor is taking customers away from you.

With roughly only 3% of website visitors converting, it’s even more crucial to capture those clicks to get them to your site in the first place.

So, what do you do when click volume declines unexpectedly? How do you find the cause and remedy the situation?

The short answer? You need to dig deeper.

Whether you’re new to Google Ads or you’ve been analyzing hundreds of accounts like myself for 10 years, you need to learn to analyze below the surface level of campaign performance.

In this post, we’ll review not only the basics of click-through rate (CTR) and what it means but also some of the key areas you’ll need to dig into the performance that identifies your drop in click volume.

What Is CTR?

One of the metric definitions that hasn’t changed over the years in Google Ads is CTR.

CTR is a relatively simple formula: The number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions.

While CTR is a simple calculation, this is one of the more vital metrics to help analyze performance.

Think again if you thought CTR could only be used to gauge compelling ad copy.

So, what is the purpose of CTR? Some applications of using CTR include:

  • Measuring the relevance and quality of ads.
  • Identifying the competitiveness of keywords and ads.
  • Analyzing gaps between campaign budgets and keyword bids.

When your CTR is suffering, this has a direct impact on click volume.

Now that CTR has been defined and we have use cases for the metric, you’re probably wondering, “What is a good CTR?”

A recent study from Instapage noted that the average CTR for search was 5.06% across all industries.

Screenshot from Instapage.com, August 2022

If your average CTR isn’t stacking up to industry averages, don’t fret! Follow these comprehensive tips to help get your CTR and click volume back up to par.

Why Is My Click Volume Decreasing?

Can’t explain the sudden dip in click performance? Here are some of the common reasons to help identify the cause.

1. Did Your Quality Score Recently Drop?

While the Quality Score metric shouldn’t be considered the “end all be all,” this often under-looked metric may be a root cause of click volume decline.

Quality Score measures these key components of your ad:

  • Expected CTR.
  • Ad relevance.
  • Landing page relevance.

Google Ads shows you a relatively detailed view of each of these areas, so you’re not left guessing what you should focus on optimizing.

4 Reasons Click Volume Decreases & What To DoScreenshot from a Google Ads report, August 2022

Quality Score matters because it directly impacts how often your ads are eligible to show. Not only that, but it also affects how much you’re paying per click.

Solution: Optimize Quality Score based on the “grades” Google gives you for your keywords.

Some of these fixes may be easier to implement (such as new ad copy), but if you need to optimize your landing page, that may take time and other resources.

A thorough guide to optimizing Quality Score can be found här.

2. Low Impressions

If your CTR has remained steady but is seeing click volume decrease, the main issue is this: decreased impressions.

There can be multiple factors to a sudden decrease in impressions, but here are the most common:

Seasonality

Om du har en seasonal product, you’re naturally going to have dips and peaks in demand.

If searches go down for your particular industry, your keywords’ impressions will also decrease.

Updated Bidding Strategy

If you’ve recently modified your bidding strategy, there could be a misalignment between your daily budget vs. your target ROAS/CPA/CPC goal.

Any significant gaps in expectations here can cause a stark decline in impressions.

For example, if you set your bidding to a $50 CPA goal for competitive keywords but typically see a $150 CPA, this will cause almost instant volatility in impressions.

The way CPA and ROAS strategies work is to throttle impressions to users who are not likely to convert to your goal.

New Negative Keywords

Like many advertisers, you’ve had to tighten up your negative keywords. This is due to Google loosening restrictions on keyword match types.

However, you may have accidentally restricted too much on negative keywords. This can result in lost impressions because of conflicting negatives.

So, what can you do to combat low impressions?

Solution: Aside from any seasonality issues, review your current Bidding Strategies and ensure the targets are aligned (and realistic) to your performance goals.

Additionally, comb through your negative keyword lists to identify any conflicts that are hindering your ad from showing.

3. New Ads

So you’ve written shiny new ad copy and implemented them across the board. You’re excited to see your improved ad copy outperform your previous ads.

But, you’ve discovered the opposite happens, and your click volume plummets.

What gives?

Essentially, any time you make an update to your campaigns, and especially ad copy, you’ve set your campaign back into learning mode. During this time, you may expect to see volatility in performance. You may see CTR drop while Google’s algorithm learns what resonates best with users.

Obviously, this is not ideal for any advertiser. You’ve spent the time to perfect a new copy and are watching it perform worse. So, what can we learn from this scenario?

Solution: A/B test your new ads before pausing all “old” ads. This can help reduce the inevitable performance volatility of pausing all old ads and replacing them with new ones.

If you’re not sure where to start with A/B testing, find this helpful guide här.

4. Your Competitors Outbid You

Competition isn’t something that you can control. They may have a larger budget or more interesting ad copy than you. All of these items are out of your control.

What you can control is how you respond to competition.

Say your maximum CPC on a keyword is set to $5, but you notice a competitor is consistently showing above you. This most likely means that the competitor is outbidding you.

Solution: If you have the budget capacity, a simple remedy would be to be more aggressive in your bidding strategy. This can help increase impression and click volume as you show up more often.

Read more about how to use Smart Bidding effectively här.

Another example is if a competitor has a better ad copy than you. Say you’re selling a similar product, but a competitor has a promotion while you don’t. Which ad do you think will likely get more clicks?

Most likely, the promotional ad.

Solution: If you are not/cannot run a promotion, review your ad copy to identify how you can stand out from the competition.

Make sure you’re using all relevant ad extensions to help increase ad rank and real estate on the page. Consistently check the Ad Preview Tool to make sure your ad is still the most attractive on the page.

Takeaways

If you’re suddenly experiencing a click volume decline, take a step back and make a game plan before panicking.

Usually, the answers to this problem are buried beneath the surface.

If you take the time to dig in and analyze the data, you’ll likely find the root causes of stalled campaign performance.

With these tips, you can create your game plan to improve your Google Ads performance immediately.

Fler resurser:


Utvald bild: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock



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SEO

15 SEO-experter för e-handel avslöjar de bästa insikterna för 2023

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15 Ecommerce SEO Experts Reveal Top Insights For 2023

Wondering how to do SEO for ecommerce?

Looking for expert insights on ecommerce SEO?

Uncertain how to make your online store more successful?

From acknowledging that the traditional customer journey is dead, to fast pivoting due to Google’s constant updates, to reassessing benchmarks after the pandemic digital boom and the subsequent fall, experts from award-winning agencies assess what’s next in ecommerce SEO.

We wanted to go beyond unpredictability, so we interviewed 15 digital growth and SEO experts to get their insights, tips, and lessons learned as part of our Ecommerce SEO deep dive.

Ecommerce experts in this article talk about search behaviors, hands-on clients, forecasting for aligning to current trends, and more.

Let’s see what they have to say.

Implement Multi-Touchpoint Customer Journeys As Search Behaviors Change

James Finlayson, Head of SEO at the7stars: “Google’s search volumes aren’t just stagnating – in many cases, they’re reducing. Despite this, consumers are conducting more research prior to purchases than ever – on Amazon and other ‘super-retailers’, on TikTok, large publishers with loyal audiences, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit. We recently looked at one market where, we estimated, less than 10% of search activity was actually happening on Google.” Read Finlayson on digital and in-store buying, pushing for larger budgets, and their Sofology success story.

Sara Povoas, Content and SEO Manager at iProspect Portugal:  “We observed a huge increase in shopping, not only for younger audiences but also for older ones, which is new. I think that users are getting more demanding and more informed — if you have a lot of offers, you need to make smart decisions. So people are looking for more. The reviews, opinions, video demonstrations, and price comparisons are getting more popular as people are doing these decision-making searches in order to make a purchase.” Read Povoas on fluctuating stocks, hälsa and cosmetics trends, and client communication.

Luke Carthy, eCommerce SEO & CRO Consultant: “What I’m seeing across my consumer-based clients is that Average Order Value is up, but the number of transactions is probably similar or falling. What I mean by that is they’re spending more per transaction. Rather than someone going to a clothing retailer, maybe once a month or once every couple of weeks, depending on what their previous shopping habits were, they will shop less frequently. And when they shop, they’ll spend more money. I think that happens for a couple of reasons: One is to mitigate the delivery fees and, secondly, to try and get to thresholds to claim rewards, whatever those might be.” Read Carthy on buy-in, shifting strategies, and B2B clients.

Jen Cornwell, Senior Director of Digital Strategy at Ignite Visibility: “The way people shop has changed, as they had converted to online and are now back to this hybrid style again. I think it’s all about expectation setting: Can we ever get back to those traffic levels or those conversion levels online again? What are some creative ways that we can go about if we think that’s the case? User behavior has taken a big shift.

For instance, we had an electronics client who sold computers, both online and brick-and-mortar. We started to see a shift at the beginning of 2022 as they had more foot traffic to their stores – which they’re happy about, but they do not see as many purchases online anymore. Even in the instances where there isn’t a brick-and-mortar component or the product is only available online, the opportunity for somebody to go and buy it in person just pulls them away from coming to the Internet as much as they used to.” Read Cornwell on video content, white goods, and creative page optimization.

Get Creative With Product Reviews, Long-Tail Keywords & Specificity, As Google Algorithm Updates Intensify

James Euinton, Account Director at The SEO Works: “Over the years, as Google improves its handling of language, it’s been more important to focus on the more specific, longer-tail phrases. Sometimes this may mean catering to specific questions and keywords that fall outside standard products and category pages. It’s important that we tailor additional content to these to target the customer at different points in the journey or funnel.” Read Euinton on moving the needle fast, Core Web Vitals, and business contexts.

Radu Marcusu, CEO at Upswing: “The biggest challenge this year was for marketing managers to explain the drops in the market and how to go about it. That’s why I would say it was more about us being proactive in communicating these shifts to our clients. They needed support in understanding the overall market trends and that it was a general change in demand – and, of course, in adapting to it. That also meant new tactics or focusing on specific actions. For instance, if Google now recommends refined searches, we make sure our clients have filters or categories targeting those searches. We also focus on having the right content to answer those searches. Or keep their Google My Business profiles optimized. In a nutshell, we were proactive in adapting strategies, budgets, and also specific actions implying Google changes.” Read Marcusu on differentiating through pitching, video searches, and developing internal tools.

Eli Schwartz, Growth Advisor and SEO Strategic Consultant: “Google and other search engines use deep learning to improve search results for their users continuously. This past year, I have noticed that local results are triggered more often when Google detects a local intent. At the same time, on results where there should not have been local intent, I have seen the local results disappear.”

Forecasts, SEO ROI & Data-Led Decisions Should Be At The Forefront For Ecommerce Businesses

Marc Swann, Director of Search at Glass Digital: “​​There’s no doubt that retailers are feeling the pinch as consumers tighten their belts, and this presents risks for most marketing agencies when it comes to justifying the value of their services. SEO is a channel that is often more at risk when times are hard, and marketing budgets are scrutinized. SEO performance can ultimately be maintained in the short and even medium term without a recurring spend associated with it, unlike something like paid search where once ad spend stops, performance disappears. So certainly, justifying expenditure in SEO is something that we have seen requested more and not seeing it as a luxury in harder times. Ultimately, those that are able to fulfill their SEO strategies through the hard times will be in much stronger positions when the economy eventually turns positive.” Read Swan on multi-lingual sites, sports retailers, and “luxury” channels.

Steve Walker, Technical Director at Journey Further: “Measuring ROI has always been important, but it’s no longer a nice-to-have. Measuring ROI is essential. This is why performance monitoring tools like SEOmonitor are critical to your agency. The amount of in-house teams has also increased dramatically over the past few months. This is a great thing for the SEO industry and a testament to SEO’s importance in digital marketing – but it fundamentally changes how agencies need to operate. We’re no longer just additional resources doing basic SEO activity. We need to act in a similar way to a business consultancy and provide strategic-level support.” Read Walker on new user journeys, measuring impact, and funnel optimization.

Rank Tracker’s Strategy view on SEOmonitor.com, December 202215 Ecommerce SEO Experts Reveal Their Top Insights For A Successful 2023

Ben Austin, Founder & CEO at Absolute Digital Media: “We utilize forecasting for both pitching and upselling to ecommerce clients to showcase our understanding of the industry they compete in and the business. By doing so, we can more effectively dictate what is required to drive continuous growth to the business whilst highlighting the ongoing value our innovative SEO strategies provide. In addition to providing a basic forecast of the brand’s current market position, we supply further insight into the wider business benefits such as returning customers, revenue, and ROI.” Read Austin on business strategies, performing verticals in ecommerce, and dynamic URLs.

Charlie Norledge, Head of SEO Performance at Impression: “The pitches are much more competitive now because there are probably fewer clients going to market as things started to slow down a bit. We’ve had to make sure that we include innovative tactics in there. Like talking about how to utilize social media trends in organic when we talk about tech SEO, not just putting a list of fixes, making sure we have priority behind things and just giving them as much detail as possible.

Forecasting is another important piece. When we go to a competitive pitch, forecasting is, I’d say, required. If we didn’t do it, we could miss out. We were in pitches against other agencies, and because we had forecasts in place, we ended up winning the work.” Read Norledge on GPT-3 efficiency, reporting, and client expectations.

Kevin Gibbons, Founder and CEO at Re:signal: “For us, it’s important to have strong communication with our clients about where the priorities are and make sure that we know not just where the search demand is, but also the supply. Knowing what clients are focusing on – both in terms of seasonality and where the priorities could be and could be shifting because of those issues – helps us re-address what we’re doing.

I think everyone’s just probably a bit more price-conscious and cautious right now in terms of what they’re doing. So, again, that’s why ecommerce is such a strong sector for us. For the reason that you can track organic revenue performance. Everyone wants to make sure they’re maximizing their ROI.” Read Gibbons on internationalization and their ASICS success story.

15 Ecommerce SEO Experts Reveal Their Top Insights For A Successful 2023SEO Forecast by SEOmonitor, December 202215 Ecommerce SEO Experts Reveal Their Top Insights For A Successful 2023

Leverage Integrated Campaigns To Build More Growth Opportunities

It’s not just about one channel or one tactic, but ecommerce digital experts are looking more and more into how they can optimize the full user experience, coordinate PR and SEO efforts, and make sense of the whole industry landscape and where the opportunity lies:

Petar Jovetic, Organic Director at Impression: “Everything we do has to show value and be targeted. We’re baking innovation more and more into our proposition. It’s been quite compelling to leverage AI to handle higher workloads and then do it more efficiently. One other thing I’m keen to explore is using our CRO department, especially at the bottom of the funnel where every user counts, to grow acquisition strategically with more A/B testing, multivariate testing, etc. We’re looking into how CRO and SEO can complement each other more. I think that is really appealing in the current economic climate. So we’re not just throwing additional users but nurturing them through the funnel to conversion.” Read Jovetic on SEO maturity frameworks and the State of Retail.

Charlie Clark, Account Director & Founder at Minty Digital: “I noticed more clients are looking to build their brand through digital PR, and we build their brand name rather than just focus on sales. Some of the bigger companies we work with used to allocate a separate budget to SEO, and that used to be the entire thing. Now they’re allocating separate budgets within their departments, one for SEO and one for PR. They’ll have their traditional PR, the standard press releases, but then they’ll also be tying in the digital aspect to that, which is something that’s been quite interesting to know.” Read Clark on entering new markets and campaign KPIs.

Heemesh Vara, Head of SEO at Semetrical: “Our keyword research process focuses on exploring the whole industry. That’s something different from other agencies. Where they might take a category-by-category approach and do it month by month, we do it the other way around. It’s a lot of work for us at the beginning, but it does provide the client and us with a complete picture of their entire industry. For example, we worked with a vintage möbel client with multiple types of products and categories, from sofas, stools, chairs, side tables, etc. So we had to research the entire industry all at once. And this is one of our unique selling propositions that we always put in the proposal as well.” Read Vara on SEO data analysis and baselines, stakeholder management, and securing budgets.

In the end, as our 15 interviews have shown, both ecommerce clients and markets continue to shift, so it’s critical to showcase sustainable results.

With all these challenges SEO experts face in mind, we continue to develop SEOmonitor so it helps you:

  • Prove the value of SEO with a forecast solution that allows you to connect desired ranking targets to non-brand organic traffic growth potential.
  • Ta tillbaka sessions-, konverterings- och intäktsdata till sökord med vår lösning på (medföljer ej), så att du vet vilka sökord som ger resultat.
  • Håll koll på efterfrågan med dagliga rankningar för stationära och mobila enheter som standard, sökvolymer och trender från år till år över plattformen och automatiska säsongsvarningar.
  • Och så mycket mer.

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