12 Google AdWords Hacks to increase CTR & Conversion in 2017

Pay per click (PPC) advertising with Google AdWords is one of the best ways to generate more leads. I’m pretty sure that you want to double your click through rate (CTR) & conversion rate to multiply your leads & sales. Many expert advertisers are concerned about 3 things:

1. Increasing the Click through rate (CTR)

2. Increasing the Conversion rate

3. Reducing the Cost per click (CPC)

According to Sitewit, Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Adwords. Spending on PPC Ads rose 12% every year.”

In one of the latest updates, the Brand new way cited, “Paid ads are 56% more profitable than social media with 44% ROI.”

PPC ads are not cheap & there are some factors you can’t control but Google AdWords has got many features and tools to improve the campaign performance to maximize the click through rates, conversions and give you the positive ROI. It is really important to leverage all the features before running the campaigns.

Ok, let’s dive into the article & I’ll show you 12 Google Adwords hacks to increase the CTR & Conversions for your campaigns.

1. Increase the Keyword’s Quality Score

Quality Score - Harshith Das
What is a Quality Score?
Quality Score 1-10 (1 being the least & 10 being the highest) is a rating given to each keyword in Google Adwords determining its performance.
Quality Score can be increased by following methods:
1. Increase the relevancy of each keyword to its ad group.
2. Increase the relevancy of your keyword and ad copy.
3. Increase the relevancy of your ad copy and landing page.
4. Improve the landing page quality and relevance.
5. Use Ad Extensions.
6. Historical AdWords keywords performance.
7. High-Quality Score = High CTR.
Good Quality score leads to better ad position & thus better CTR. Also, CPC will be reduced for higher quality score keywords. Adranks are calculated with the help of below formula:
Adrank = MaxCPC * Quality score

2. Explore the new untapped keywords

Keywords - Harshith Das

Find the untapped keywords for your niche that will have a greater impact on click through rates. The search term typed by user & your keywords should always match. There are so many search terms that users type into search engines every day in a very simple way. Users won’t apply any rocket science while searching on search engines. They just type in a very simple & practical way.

You will need to learn more about your target audience & the way they speak. This is the best way to find hidden keywords that haven’t already been used by your competitors. Remember, it’s not about looking for keywords with high search volumes (any keyword tool can help you do that!); it’s about finding underserved queries and topics that your target audience is actively searching for.

3. Add Keywords to Ad headline


Add keywords to Ad headlines - Harshith Das
Source: LinkedIn groups

This will help the relevancy factor between your keyword and the ad-copy. This will motivate the users to click on your ads because of the relevancy. So, when a lot of users tend to click the ads ultimately Google starts showing your ads at the top of search engine ranking page because users are getting benefited from your ads.

Once the CTR increases your quality score will also increase. Definitely, your ad rank position will come up & conversion rate starts increasing with a reduction in cost per click.

4. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your Ad copy

Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Source: InternationalPPC

If you are new to DKI feature let me explain you: 

Suppose you have so many keywords in your ad group “gym shoes”, “tennis shoes”, “running shoes”, “formal shoes” etc. & your ad copy has the DKI snippet –> Buy {KeyWord:Shoes}. Now, if someone searches for “black colour gym shoes”, then Google would replace the snippet with this keyword, i.e, your ad would appear like this –> Buy Gym Shoes. This makes sure that your ad is very relevant to the search query, thereby increasing the quality score, and ultimately the Google Adwords CTR.

You have to make sure that you are not using misspelt keywords & don’t use broad match keywords. Also, the snippet is very important. Don’t use the wrong format or leave a space in between the snippet!

5. Always ask questions in the Ad copy

Ask questions in the Adcopy - Harshith Das
Source: Wordstream

While writing an ad copy make sure you ask questions to users so that they will click more often to know the solution for their problem. As a marketer, you need to sell solutions to their problems, not products.

By doing this the Google Adwords click through rate will increase and the quality score will begin to rise. Ultimately your targeted sales will be achieved with positive ROI.

6. Add keywords to display URL

Source: LeadSquared

By adding keywords to display URL, users will know where they are going to land after clicking the ad copy. Display URLs are not clickable but they look like an URL where you have an opportunity to enhance the relevancy factor between the keyword & Adcopy. I’m sure if your keyword is in the display URL, the searchers will feel comfortable to click and land on your relevant page.

7. Use Keyword Match-types

Source: Cardinal Path

When you create a text ad you can select the match types for your keywords. This helps Google to understand how your ads should match the keyword searches. By using the suitable match types with respect to your campaign the CTR can be increased. There are 5 types of match types.

1. Broad

This match type is a default match-type which makes your ads reach the widest audience. The ads will be served if the search query includes any word of your keyword in it. Google will also match your ad to queries using synonyms. Broad match keywords are a great way to drive lots of clicks, but you need to keep a close eye on the search query reports to ensure that you are not paying for irrelevant traffic that doesn’t convert. 

2. Broad Modifier

Broad modifiers will help your ads to reach a broader audience but restrict the ads according to the key phrase. In general, this match type gives you a better control on your ad delivery by justing locking the keywords by a syntax “+” just before the words.

Example: Woolen +clothes

When you add this + symbol in front of the term clothes in your keyword, you are telling Google to show ads when the search query includes the term clothes. If some one searches for “warm clothes”, your ad will be served because of the term clothes present in the search term.

3. Phrase 

This match type gives you, even more, control on your ads to show up depending upon the search terms. Your ad will show up only when a user queries match the keyword in a phrase written by you with the symbol “. There can be text before or after your keywords which is in phrase match. 

Example: “branded shoes”

Your ad will be served, if some one searches for “nike branded shoes”, “branded shoes in jayanagar”, “white branded shoes”.

4. Exact

Exact match type is the most restricted & specific keyword match types. Users can see your ad when they type your exact keyword phrase. Using exact matches, you can reduce unwanted clicks and keep conversion rates high because the search term & your keywords will be 100% specific.

Example: [ps4 games]

Your ad will be eligible only when users type “ps4 games” as the search query. Your ads won’t be served if they type “new games”, “pc games”, “new xbox games”. More specific search queries have lower search volume. So you have to use it carefully by analysing the end goal.

5. Negative 

This match type is aimed at stopping irrelevant clicks & getting irrelevant traffic when a user types a search query. It’s always good to have negative keywords to save money which you are going to spend on irrelevant clicks. The user might click your ad and then land on your page & quickly bounce back because of no specificity.

Example: You can add “free”, “cheap”, “credit” as negative keywords if you are running ads for premium jewellery. If the user types a search query “cheap jewellery” your ads won’t get triggered. This will help you from irrelevant clicks. Because the user is not looking for premium & expensive jewellery.

8. Use Ad-Extensions

Source: Adsupnow

Ad-Extensions in Google Adwords give a lot of useful information to the users who are searching on SERPs. Also, provides larger display area to your ad, thereby improving the click through rate and the ad position. There are several types of ad extensions that you can use. Here are some of the most effective and most used ones:

1. Call extensions: Gives an option for users to view your number & call you directly from their phone.

2. Location extensions: Shows your location address in your ad-copy for users.

3. Review extensions: User can see your ratings & reviews & this builds trust in them.

4. Sitelink extensions: Help users navigate your site with shortcut links below your ad-copy that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they are looking for.

5. Call out extensions: This will show users your extra information with a short string of text connected by a line or an arrow.

6. Structured snippet extensions: Structured snippet has the ability to customize and control the text copy by choosing one of many header options. Also, you can add up to 10 custom values to it. Structured snippet extensions are similar to call-out extensions with extra features/benefits in your ad copy. Also, you have a “Header,” where you need to define what you are listing. It can be either Brands/Courses/Hotels etc. so you just have to make sure you know what you want to list there. For instance, an Education company would list out its courses and would choose “Courses” as the header.

9. Ad rotation

Ad Rotation

To find out the best performing ads you have to rotate the ads through different versions & combinations for the given set of keywords. You will get an option to optimize the ads for clicks or conversions in Google Adwords. 

The Ad optimized for conversions provide more sign-ups or sales & the ad optimized for clicks will give more clicks based on the CTR. It’s always good to choose conversion optimization. Thus by rotating the ads, you will find out which is the best & with the help of optimization, you will get more conversion.

10. Ad Scheduling & Geo targeting

Ad Scheduling and Geo targeting

You have to schedule your ads based on your target audience’s peak hours on the internet. If your audience is a business enterprise then showing ads to them after 7 pm is not so practical. You may end up spending for irrelevant clicks who might not be your prospects. 

Suppose you opened a new Cafe in Manipal & you need to make more business with the help of Adwords. Your first task will be setting the Geotargeting option to target your customers within a 5-8 km radius of your cafe and serve ads that offer a discount to get your hungry neighbours through the door. Never show your ads to the audience who are far from your Cafe location because it’s just impractical to expect them to travel long distances after seeing your ads.

It is always better to study the data well and identify the locations from where the maximum conversions are coming and from where they aren’t. You can increase the bid adjustments for the locations giving good conversions and decrease the bid amount for the locations that aren’t.

11. Enhanced CPC

Enhanced CPC
Source: Seo sandwitch

Enhanced CPC helps you to bid more effectively to improve and maximize your conversion rate. Initially, you have to set your own max CPC bids for each keyword and then the AdWords will automatically adjust your bids based on the likelihood of a click leading to a conversion. 

This will only raise your bid up to 30% and will lower it as much as 100%. The AdWords will look at the real-time data, such as device, browser, location, and time of day when adjusting your bids during each ad auction.

12. Remarketing

Source: Techinfographics

Remarketing helps you to increase your click-through rates & conversions when compared to cold advertisements. Let me briefly tell you why! Let’s say you met a girl for the first time & you proposed her for the marriage. What would you expect? Huh, a slap? But, you can be a smart man by being her friend first. Then try spending time with her. Be with her wherever she goes. Be her best friend, then try to be her boyfriend & the day comes when you propose her for a marriage, the chances of her accepting your proposal is more. Because she knows YOU!

Remarketing exactly works like the above story. When your targeted audience starts knowing about you they eventually click your ads & convert as a customer. You need to have at least 1,000 generated cookies for it to work. If you are very new & don’t have an audience to remarket to, do not worry! A fairly new site or start-up business would struggle to meet that requirement. That’s where in-market segments come in. In-market segments will help you to target the customers who are already in your niche market. Though they don’t know your brand, chances are high that they will convert after seeing your ads because they are actively looking for exactly same category products/services that you are selling!

Some of your prospects might have visited your website & did nothing. Or, they have added the products to the cart & abandoned it. Also, probably they have received e-books, freebies or some other valuable stuff from your lead magnets on your website by providing their email addresses to you. So, you can build a custom audience & retarget them using other social media platforms.

Either you can reach your target audience with cookie-based re-marketing or with people based advertising. Cookie-based advertising is dying out. It’s not performing like it used to. Why? Because nearly 70% of mobile devices aren’t accepting cookies. So collect the emails & go for people based marketing and reach out to your audience across different platforms and networks. Remarketing will surely increase the CTR & conversion rates!


You have seen 12 best hacks of 2017 to increase the CTR & Conversion rate in Google AdWords. Most important & a bonus hack which should also be taken care of, is creating a well-optimized landing page. So make sure along with all these hacks optimize your landing page & skyrocket your conversion rate. Take your time to get your landing page ready for your website visitors.

Google AdWords can be better than Facebook advertising sometimes! But, it again depends on your niche and audience. If you think Google AdWords is not your cup of tea then check Facebook Marketing Tips for your Business to increase the conversion of your sales. Your end goals should define which platform is likelier to yield the result that you want. So, always you can do a conversion rate optimization of your sales funnel using all the available platforms to achieve your end goal.

You have to analyze the user patterns and study the insights by linking Google Analytics and Google AdWords account. Follow all these hacks to improve the advertising strategy and maximize conversions.

Did I miss any hack to increase CTR & conversion rate in Google Adwords? Let me know if I have! Also, share your opinions on the above hacks in the comment section below!

14/09/2017 – Harshith Das


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