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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Click through rate continues to be a key metric for Internet marketers. However, the question "What’s a good click-through rate?” is a little bit like asking “What’s your favorite movie?" Truthfully, it really comes down to personal preference. Just as some people might lean toward an adventure film as their favorite movie, others might prefer something from another genre.

The same is true for click-through rates on your Sponsored Search ads: The highest possible click-through rate may work for some—but it doesn’t work for all. That’s why the honest answer to the question is, “It depends.”

Click-through rates are naturally going to vary from campaign to campaign, and even from keyword to keyword. Everything involved in the way your ad is displayed plays a part, from your ad copy to the ad’s ranking on the results page.

This being the case, your click-through rate should really be viewed as only one indicator of your ad’s performance. It’s best to try and balance your evaluation of those rates with a just-as-critical look at your conversion rates (number of clicks converting into sales or other actions you want people to take). While it might be easy to generate a bump in your clicks, you also want those extra clicks convert into sales.

An ideal click-through rate provides the best possible return on investment, and to achieve that, it’s important to consider these factors:

1. Competition

Are your keywords fighting for clicks? Generic keywords, such as “dvd,” tend to have a lot of competition, which lessens the chance of getting clicks. More specific keywords, such as “transformers dvd,” generally have less competition and a greater chance for clicks.

2. Position

An ad with a high ranking may generate more traffic to your web site. To help attain a good position in search results, keep your bids competitive and your ad quality high.

3. Ad Quality

Are your ads relevant? Do they contain the related keywords? Do they reflect the offering of your site in a way that will appeal to users? And do they include any competitive advantages you offer that might set you apart from your competitors?

4. Ad Testing

Create multiple versions of your ads and use ad testing to determine which ad works best. Vary your ad offerings, as well as your display URLs, to see what gets the best results.

5. Identifying Low-Performing Keywords

Compare the click-through rate of similar keywords, to see if any are significantly under performing in relation to the others. If so, consider moving those low-performing keywords to a different ad group and creating new, highly relevant ads for those keywords.

There really is no hard and fast rule as to how high a click-through rate should be. But if your ads are compelling and your click-through and conversion rates are well balanced, you’re off to a great start.

Post provided by Noah Belson


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