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low CTR - what to do

legit, honest and targeted results nothing.



10:47 am on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ive set my minimum pay per click in adwords, up to $5 and as little as $0.60. Using the example widgets I've bought the keyword "widget" and not seen better than .01 ctr... I've bought the keyword "widget stuff" and not seen better than .01 ctr. I have a respectable "Creatives ad" that is based on the competiton for the keywords I'm aiming for, with my personal mod for advancement or identical to the rest of the field.

I keep getting these [ restore full delivery ] for $5 which is starting to get annoying since google adwords traffic isnt paying cause people arent clicking, and its not my fault yet I get penalized. I've sent an email to google as my case is as legit as candy and I feel these $5 fee's for their poor traffic is illegit.

I used this campaign a year ago or so and this system seems like a scam compared to how it was. The $5 activation fee, and $5 fee that also haults 99% of the traffic u ordered - if google traffic is spammed out is obserb.


8:12 pm on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A few suggestions to improve your CTR -

- To begin with, read the Google AdWords optimization tips under their FAQ. After you read the document, go back to the start of the page and read it again. Take a deep breath..

- Start from a clean slate. Delete all your campaigns and start off a new one.

- Select 5 to 10 keywords related to your business and put them in an AdGroup. Make sure all these keywords are "related to eachother". For example -

web hosting
website hosting
web site hosting

and so on.

- Select the absolute max CPC that you can afford to pay. You can always reduce it later.

- Make sure your ad copy contains the keywords in the TITLE and/or BODY of the ad. That's because your ad text will be displayed in bold when your keyword is searched.

- Run the campaign (with the first adgroup containing a max of 10 keywords) for 2 days. Check the CTR of the ads and keep changing the ad copy till you are satisfied with the CTR you are getting. You can now reduce your max CPC since the high CTR will make sure your ad stands over your competitors.

- Start a new AdGroup with 10 more "related keywords" and continue the above process.

- Use the Google AdWords and Overture keyword suggestion tool to get a list of obscure keywords related to your business. Bid of mispelled keywords (for example, "license" and "lisense") and variants of existing keywords (For example, "organization" and "organisation")

- Never use a "keyword". Use a "key phrase". For example, don't use "widgets" as your keyword. Insert red widgets, blue widgets etc. You may also want to use negative keywords and exact keywords (as mentioned in the FAQ)

Hope this helps!


8:48 pm on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think it has got to do with price.

i'm competing in a higly priced keyword arena, and after getting hit for $10 to $20 a click on overture, i'm not prepared to make the same mistake on google.

so i set the ctr low, and my copy is very similar to one of the higher paying sites...

yet i keep getting notified that my ctr is too low..the issue is that i'm paying less, so my position is at the bottom, so less people click through, and so i get hammered! a no win circle!

my only solution - increase my click rate, which i'm not prepared to do...

i've spoken to them, and they think it is an optimisation problem. i'm not convinced - i believe that the price makes up the majority of the position, and that by paying a lower price, i'm ranked lower, which causes my ctr to be even lower...


10:03 pm on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks vibgyor79, looks like some good information.. I will try I out.


10:12 pm on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To add to, and emphasize, what vibgyor79 said, you're better off doing a bunch of key phrases rather than one big keyword. For example, if you sell every kind of widget, you'll get far better click throughs if you create a separate group for each individual kind of widget, rather than just one group for "widgets". Also, if you're selling widgets and your price is low, or even just reasonable, try putting the price in the ad, too. Or anything else (positive) you can think of that differentiates YOUR widgets from everybody else's.


12:56 am on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My single suggestion. Break every single keyword phrase out into it's own ad group. I have about 2000 keyphrases, and subsequently 2000 ad groups. That equates to 20 campaigns.

This works better, but I know it has nothing to do with your lack of interest problem.

Have you tried reverse engineering your keyword phrases by using Overture Search Suggestion Tool or Work Tracker? You will always overlook phrases that get more (or substantial) searches.


1:12 am on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Break every single keyword phrase out into it's own ad group.

I've been a little reluctant to post it, because it seems to go against what many others here say, but I follow this rule myself, and it's worked very well for me. For whatever that's worth.


10:41 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am trying vibgyor79's suggestions. and will let you know


10:42 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am trying vibgyor79's suggestions. and will let you know


4:06 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have the same problem and they knock my words down with .4 CTR before they even reach 1,000 impressions. I've volleyed emails back and forth with a google rep, but still had to pay $5.00. I'm not sure what each $5.00 charge is for, exactly. When I can stand looking at the red box, I just ignore it.

The rules state you have 1,000 ad impressions to prove your campaign. Any input? I'm going broke.


12:40 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

do they charge you every time that red box pops up and you just let things take their course w/o reactivating?

I always just ignore that and when the CTR for the last 1000 goes above the minimum threshold it goes away?

Whenever that box does pop up they do tend to block ad groups that haven't even had a chance to attain 1000 impessions, some even with high CTRs but low numbers of impressions.

There doesn't seem to be too much consistency.


1:29 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, they charge me often. I've been accepting the $5. fine weekly. I'm a newbie and don't want to risk my ads. Overture seems to be the best option. At least on overture, i can target my ad the way i want to. I'd really like to make my ad reflect what I actually sell, not what gets the clicks. I want the targeted traffic to maximize conversion. But, google punishes you if you make your ad read the in a way to screen the clickers.

Profitable that way, I suppose. I'll learn to ignore the red box. I'd love advice.


8:55 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have not experienced that Google punishes me for reducing the number of clicks. There are more effective ways to filter out unwanted clicks. Many keywords entice to click, even if there is no interest to buy the product.

By tracking the conversion-rate I systematically weed out those texts and keywords that do not get at least one order (conversion from clicks to orders) from 800 clicks. In this way within 6 weeks after we began tracking the conversion-rate we could double the conversion-rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. That is nothing to be proud of, but we are sure to be on the right track for further improvements.

By highlighting the CTR Google may seem to be acting against the interest of advertizers. But to think that a low CTR should be tolerated is a misconception. A low CTR is always a clear indication that the ad does not work - period. We may not know why it does not attract customers, but we have to find out. Why send out messages that no one wants to listen to?


9:50 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>> do they charge you every time that red box pops up?

Every THIRD time the red box pops up. You are basically given a notice two times where you are asked to modify your campaigns so as to improve its performance. The third time it pops up, a charge of $5 is made to activate your account.

Why has Google included this "feature"?

Ads with no CTR do not generate revenue for Google and its partners. Such advertiser accounts are more or less "dormant". Poorly performing ad copies are not helpful for the advertisers too.

Lisa: Do NOT re-activate your account until you make significant changes in your campaigns. Check your campaign stats for the past 7 days and check out which keyword is getting good number of impressions. Delete the keyword from that particular adgroup and create a whole new adgroup for this keyword alone (add a handful of related keywords if you like). Do NOT use the same old ad copy - create different ad copies for different adgroups.

You can try creating two ads for the same AdGroup. Goto View/Edit Campaigns and select Create New Ad (just over your existing ad copy). Google then alternates between the two ads. At the end of the day, you can compare the performance of the two ad copies and then select the best performing ad for the adgroup.


11:23 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Great advice! This makes sense. Heres my situation: I put up an ad for keyword widgets which received a great CTR but my ad read something like: Custom Quality Widgets - Widgets from Scratch. But on keyword custom widgets, i received much fewer click throughs with the same ad. I'm assuming the ad seemed far above the competition for plain 'ol keyword widgets. But, at the same time, I worry if the conversion opportunity is there. Are customers who seek plain ol widgets willing to pay for quality custom widgets? Or are they just wasting our ad money seeing whats out there? (I say this cuz I have been guilty of this myself before becoming an advertiser and discovering the prices)

At .75c per click, i was a bit timid to test these waters for too long. How long does it take to see a conversion on the advertisers side? In other words, how many click throughs have to happen before someone actually calls or fills in the online form?

Also, when keywords dont get many CTRs, I've deleted them. So, I truly wish there were a way to rid myself of the red box as there are really no ads im reactivating. = (


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