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Branding Campaigns on Search: How do you improve your CTR? - Day 3

Rising Star
# 1
Rising Star

Hi All,


Here is the 3rd part of my tips on 'How to improve your CTR for a Branding Campaign on the Search network'. Again, I would appreciate it if everyone could jump in and share their thoughts on the topic. 


7) Campaign Settings


  1. a ) Ad Rotation

While it may be a common perception that the settings ‘Optimize for Clicks/Conversions’ will get you incremental clicks, my experience has taught me that we should always opt for ‘Rotate Evenly’ or ‘Rotate Indefinitely’.


I prefer to be in control of how my ads (in an adgroup) are being served on the SERP which gives me the flexibility to test different ad copies and check which one works for me. By analyzing the performance of these ads, I can look to create more targeted ad copies to test against the already performing ones in an adgroup. By constantly testing and changing your ad copies, you look to drive your CTR higher over time.


You can read more on ad rotation settings here:


  1. b ) Ad Scheduling

This is something that advertisers usually tend to overlook when it comes to strategizing towards improving CTR’s. Imagine a scenario where you are recording high CTR numbers during the day time and about 50% of that during the night. Does it make sense to keep showing ads during time periods of the day where you are not recording good traffic?


In my experience, scheduling your ads to not show up or show less frequently during lower performing hours of the day can ensure that your numbers are not affected. We should ideally start with reducing our visibility by a certain percentage by bidding lower during the non - performing hours and depending on the performance recorded, we can either look to lower or increase our visibility.

You can read more on Ad Scheduling here:


7.c ) Location & Device Bid Modifiers/Multipliers


Location & Device Bid modifiers are among the most commonly exploited campaign settings these days. With the onset of Enhanced campaigns (these days commonly referred as just AdWords campaigns) came the advanced settings that allowed us to target multiple locations under the same campaign and bid for each of these locations using bid modifiers.


Using this setting for the purpose of improving on present performance is the ideal way to go here. Narrow down the locations within your campaigns that are not yielding good results for you and then use bid modifiers to reduce your visibility in those locations thereby minimising damage to your current performance. Similarly, you can short list the best performing locations for you and using the left over budget (since you reduced your visibility in lower performing locations) set a positive bid multiplier in the range of 10% to 20% for such locations.


Enhanced campaigns also introduced the option of Device level bid adjustments. By analysing the performance of each of the devices, you can look to either push or cut down on bids for the devices. Unfortunately, only Mobile bid adjustments are allowed in Enhanced Campaigns & the traffic to Tablets cannot be controlled in any way. In my experience, most advertisers tend to put a negative bid multiplier for Mobile devices, this may vary from account to account based on the performance recorded and also on whether your website is responsive (mobile optimized) or not.


8) Improve your Quality Score


The most important factor for determining your keyword QS is relevance. Higher the relevancy between your keywords, ad copies and landing page, better the chances of your QS being on the higher side. 


To ensure that you record a high QS, you need to carry out regular landing page audits to improve on your current landing page as much as possible. Apart from this, you should look to keep up the relevance between the keywords & the ad copies in your adgroup (best practices for creating ad copies already mentioned above).


By Improving on your QS, you can look forward to ranking higher on the SERP and recording clicks at lower CPC’s. A by-product of ranking higher is the spike in CTR you will see for your themes.


Read more on Quality Score here:


9) Keywords: Potential Keywords & Negatives


Apart from you regular campaign structuring process where you ideate and consult with your client to narrow down the list of keywords you wish to target, one should also make it a point to understand the keywords & negatives that are either pushing or pulling down your campaign performance. 


This can easily be achieved by going through your Search query reports available to you in the Keywords section by selecting the ‘details’ option.


Analyse your search queries and always keep a lookout for phrases or keywords that are not targeted in your structure but for some reason are getting you good traffic. By adding such keywords to your targeting, you can certainly look forward to recording incremental clicks at much lower CPC’s & higher CTR’s.


Similarly, we should also keep an eye out for keywords or phrases that can be termed as irrelevant. By adding such irrelevant keywords to your negative basket, you can ensure that your ads are shown only to the most relevant set of users thereby ensuring that you are not recording any irrelevant clicks which in turn helps improve your CTR.


At the end of the day, it all boils down to how regularly and how well you optimize your campaigns. It is imperative that you keep testing your bids, ad positions for your keywords and regularly keep changing your ad messaging before they go stale. 


I hope these tips can serve as a starting point for many new advertisers and helps them in their own campaigns. To all advanced AdWords professionals, request you to add any points that I may have missed here that you think are important, I would love to hear from everyone here.


Here are links to my first two posts on the topic:

Branding Campaigns on Search: How do you improve your CTR? - Day 1

Branding Campaigns on Search: How do you improve your CTR? - Day 2


Hope this Helps!





Shashank Singh, AdWords Rising Star |
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2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Branding Campaigns on Search: How do you improve your CTR? - Day 3

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Thanks for this great post Shashank!