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Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Has anyone consistently experienced a sudden drop in traffic and CTR with new ads and strategies that begin extremely successfully? This usually happens about one our two hours following extremely high CTR's of 15-20%. 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner
Ray W,

Couple of Reasons for that (among Many)

1) Budget constraint - Your daily budget is set to X over your Ad Schedule Y along with any big adjustments Z. Lots of early clicks under a constrained budget will make the system attempt to spread out the showing of ads to match your Ad schedule criteria. You may want to increase your Budget.

2) Competition Factors - Your Competitors Ad schedules, Automatic Bidding Strategies etc, may be coming into play and your Ad Position may be lower or your Competitions USP (unique selling proposition) may be better then yours.

CTR is important, but truly what matters is Conversions. Are you seeing increased Conversions with the adoption of these new Ads and Strategies? Because at the end of the day that is all that matters your ROI and Conversions

Re: Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Eric. The drop in CTR is so systematic and radical methinks the budget constraint scenario does not seem plausible. The only faintly viable explanation you have given is a competitors automatic bidding strategy. But the problem is, I see no competing ads superseding mine following the crash. my best keywords have virtually no competition. Perhaps very high CTR's are not good for business (of course they are good for mine). Quality scores would go up, and CPC's would become very low.

Re: Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

What NEW strategy did you put into place?

Did you go from CPC to CPA? that would cause it
Did you ad Bid Modifiers? That could Cause it
Did you change ad scheduling?
Did you add new keywords
Did you change keywords match types
Did you change targeting
Did you make new Campaigns or Ad groups?
Did you change Settings?
Is this a Mobile campaign, a Search Campaign, Video? Display network?
Did the CPC go up or Down? as the CTR was at 15-20%

As I stated originally ( Among Many) there are tons of variables.

Your strategy changes will provide more clues. Look over your reports for all the minor report details ave position, cpc, Lost IS, etc

Re: Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Great questions. The CTR/impression crash occurs after two kinds of actions. On the most recent occasion the only change was that I upped the mobile device bid from 20% to 70%. About one hour later my average mobile ad CTR shot up from about 2% to 15% and continued like that for about 2 hours. After that it suddenly collapsed back to 2% or less, with an accompanying crash in impressions and clicks. Previously, the same thing took place (though the CTR only zoomed up to a paltry 10% or so) on at least three separate occasions after I included more attractive text in the ad content. I wish I could send you the stats as they were shocking, but the CTR crash has now masked the original data. If I could find a way of isolating the data for that two hour period and sending it to you I would do it.

Re: Sudden drops in CTR with new ads that begin very successfully?

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

Good morning.


There really are just too many variables involved. What you're seeing as a CTR "spike" that lasts an hour or two could be caused by so many factors that I don't think it's possible to point to a single element and say, "X caused this."


Not even thinking you see the same behavior three times--this simply isn't enough data unless you're able to eliminate all other potential causes--normal hourly traffic shifts, competition volume variances, industry search patterns, etc.



You can monitor ad serving on an hour-by-hour basis, after the fact, by using the Dimensions tab of your account. One of the Time metrics you can select is "hour of the day" and it will show impressions and clicks attributed hourly.
I would, however, caution you that this data tends to be most accurate after 24 hours. (That is, you can see what hours of the day your clicks happened only after those clicks are posted in the UI--and it's really best to wait until at least the next day to be certain you're seeing the majority of activity displayed.)

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