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Difference in CTR between Headline clicks and Sitelink clicks

Top Contributor Alumni
# 1
Top Contributor Alumni

Hey folks, 


Just wondered what everyone thinks about their sitelink CTRs?


I'm reviewing a campaign that, at present, has a headline CTR of 1.62% and sitelink CTR of 0.10% from a very large data set.


I ask because I'm trying to measure if it's 'worth' the hassle that it sometimes takes to set these up, especially with the optional extra description lines per sitelink. Expecially bearing in mind that of the 0.10% who actually clicked the sitelink, would most of those have clicked the headline anyway if that sitelink didn't exist? Or, maybe having sitelinks enhances the overall perception of an ad, and so helps the CTR of the headline sub-conciously?


I'm sure results vary massively from industry to verticle to location, but I'd be interested to get everyone elses thoughts.



Jack Porter-Smith
Jack's G+
1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Difference in CTR between Headline clicks and Sitelink clicks

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

In general I would say that my ad shows associated with sitelinks far outperform my ad shows without sitelinks. That is, CTRs are two or three times higher in ad shows with sitelinks. People aren't always clicking on the sitelinks, no, but ads with sitelinks associated to them are getting better CTRs. (That is, people see the additional information and while they might not click on those links, it makes them more likely to click on the ad.)


Some of that may be placement--ads have to be very highly ranked to trigger sitelinks and so they are very high on the SERPs--but that's not something I can really test for. 


If it were me, I'd dive into Analytics and figure out if the web pages associated with the sitelinks are important components in the conversion process. 


Or, you know, shut down sitelinks for a couple of weeks and then do some compare-and-contrast with your before & after data (taking seasonality into account) to see if there was an overall performance shift?



Google AdWords Top Contributor

Re: Difference in CTR between Headline clicks and Sitelink clicks

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
In my opinion, site links also have to be relevant to the main ad. In your case, they don't appear to be.

Example: you bid on "dog collars". You have a generic ad with a sitelink mentioning and landing on the electronic fence collar. Maybe that increases CTR, maybe it doesn't. If it does and searchers think "yeah, that's what I really need", then I'd say it's worth the hassle.

On the other hand, as Theresa said, maybe having the sitelink increases the CTR of the ad, even if the link is not relevant and nobody clicks on it. You just have to test it out.