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Are others experiencing such a decline in their Adwords campaigns? Any explanations?
I also find that as I grow my AdWords keyword inventory, the newer words/ads cannot be quite a spot-on relevant as the older ones - so I probably get more look 'n leave visitors. My CR is slightly less than last year overall.
To summarize.Just because CTR is good does not mean you have buyers visiting.
I have done some more analysis on my sales in March and April and have found that the ratio of actual sales of the items on the web site to my overall PPC advertising spend remained constant over the two months, despite the drastic decline in the online conversion rate in my Adwords campaign. Apparently many more buyers decided to phone in their orders instead of ordering online in April. It still seems strange to me that the measured conversion rate in Adwords changed so suddenly while the Overture and natural search results did not.
In my experience there no direct relation between CTR and clicks and conversion rates.
I agree if the ad position doesn't change. If you add ad position to the above, then I think there is a factor involved.
For higher positions, I usually see higher CTR, and I also see lower conversion rates for these higher positions.
For lower positions the CTR rates drop, but the average conversion rate goes up.
The whole of adwords is geared towards maximising the revenue to Google it is a by product if you make sales.
You will find the "re-enforcements" force you towards widening the focus of your keywords, and nothing is gered towards maximising sales which only you know ( dispite Google believing they know all)..
Also you may find that in a lot of cases the clicks have nothing to do with actually displaying content to the clicker so conversion rates have no direct relationship to clicks, clicks are only directly related to fees you pay google....
Hope this helps..
I'm in an increasingly competitive industry - so that's probably some of it.
Some of it's also been me pre-emptively increasing bids on keywords that I 'just knew' would result in good conversion rates. Mistake.
Also have seen some really strange ROI patterns that make me believe there's something stinky going on (ie 'widgets' creating sales, and 'blue widgets' not, when I actually specialize in 'blue widgets').
I've definitely had click spam problems in the past - but now I just can't tell. Either I'm imagining it - or they've gotten good at it (tip - don't piss of your competitors).
My plan of action:
Lower the bids (it's less traffic - but if it's not profitable I don't want it)
Disable content targetting
Monitor ROI religiously
Delay quitting day job for another 2 months