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Use of sitelinks correlates to higher CTR - but is it causation?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

The CTR for my ads when they are displayed with sitelinks is 3.45% higher than my campaign's overall average CTR. However, the CTR on the sitelinks themselves is only 0.17%. This leads me to doubt whether the presence of sitelinks is causing the increase in CTR or if it is mere correlation.

 

I suspect that the true cause of higher CTR for my ads with sitelinks is that sitelinks are only shown when your ads appear above search results. This is supported by the fact that the average ad position for ads being shown with sitelinks is 1.8 (as opposed to 4.1 for the overall campaign). If I am correct, the higher ad position is the true cause of the improved CTR, and most people are mistakenly attributing it to the use of sitelinks.

 

Does anyone have any information, personal experiments, or other data to support or refute this hypothesis?

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Accepted by Alys (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Use of sitelinks correlates to higher CTR - but is it causation?

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi inhuman,

When you review data on the AdExtensions tab you are looking at the total traffic when the product extension appeared.  Regardless of where the ad was clicked (headline or product extension). The CTR is higher with the product extension showing but that does not mean the extension was clicked, the headline was likely more often clicked.

This is the case for all extensions.  If you use sitelinks you will often times see higher CTR on the sitelink view of ad extensions tab but if you segment the data by click type you often see a lower CTR for actual sitelink clicks.  Indicates that seeing the sitelink improved CTR but people still actually clicked the headline not the actual sitelink in most cases.


You'll see how many clicks your ad received when it was displayed with a particular extension type. This includes clicks on the ad headline as well as on the ad extension, if this applies. Keep in mind that it's not yet possible to see click statistics for only your ad extensions -- clicks on your ad headline aren't filtered out.

Let's say an ad extension is shown with an ad 10 times. Out of the 10 times the ad and extension appear together, the ad headline receives two clicks and the ad extension receives three clicks. The numbers reported would be:
Clicks = 5
Impressions = 10
CTR = 50%

Find more on Available ad extension statistics.

Hope I could help!

Thanks
Anchal

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Alys (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Use of sitelinks correlates to higher CTR - but is it causation?

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi inhuman,

When you review data on the AdExtensions tab you are looking at the total traffic when the product extension appeared.  Regardless of where the ad was clicked (headline or product extension). The CTR is higher with the product extension showing but that does not mean the extension was clicked, the headline was likely more often clicked.

This is the case for all extensions.  If you use sitelinks you will often times see higher CTR on the sitelink view of ad extensions tab but if you segment the data by click type you often see a lower CTR for actual sitelink clicks.  Indicates that seeing the sitelink improved CTR but people still actually clicked the headline not the actual sitelink in most cases.


You'll see how many clicks your ad received when it was displayed with a particular extension type. This includes clicks on the ad headline as well as on the ad extension, if this applies. Keep in mind that it's not yet possible to see click statistics for only your ad extensions -- clicks on your ad headline aren't filtered out.

Let's say an ad extension is shown with an ad 10 times. Out of the 10 times the ad and extension appear together, the ad headline receives two clicks and the ad extension receives three clicks. The numbers reported would be:
Clicks = 5
Impressions = 10
CTR = 50%

Find more on Available ad extension statistics.

Hope I could help!

Thanks
Anchal

Re: Use of sitelinks correlates to higher CTR - but is it causation?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello inhuman,

 

In addition to what Anchal said above, you might be interested in reviewing this interesting thread posted by Googler Alys describing about Sitelink Extensions.

 

Just a thought!

Pankaj

Re: Use of sitelinks correlates to higher CTR - but is it causation?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

When you review data on the AdExtensions tab you are looking at the total traffic when the product extension appeared.  Regardless of where the ad was clicked (headline or product extension). The CTR is higher with the product extension showing but that does not mean the extension was clicked, the headline was likely more often clicked.

This is the case for all extensions.  If you use sitelinks you will often times see higher CTR on the sitelink view of ad extensions tab but if you segment the data by click type you often see a lower CTR for actual sitelink clicks.

 

I agree entirely. This is exactly what I am seeing.

 

 

Indicates that seeing the sitelink improved CTR but people still actually clicked the headline not the actual sitelink in most cases.

 

People did indeed click on the headline most of the time. It's the first part of your statement that I am questioning in my original post. Was it seeing the sitelink that improved CTR, or was it simply because the ad appeared closer to the top of the page and happened to coincide with the display of the sitelink? That's my question.