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Big CTR Drops in May

CTR Drop

6:37 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Two of my Campaigns have had a big CTR drop recently

Campaign #1
May 4th - CTR 3.27%
May 8th - CTR 1.42%

Campaign #2
May 31st - CTR 3.44%
June 1st - CTR 1.82%

Both of these Campaigns have had a steady 2.50/.80 % average CTR.

Wondering what happened? Could the new Enhanced Campaigns have caused this?


7:37 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have been wondering something similar.... and I don't have an answer. However, I also suspect that the methods of calculating these values changes and evolves regularly and that some new/different factor has been given more weight thus causing such drops. In my case, the "generalness" of my ads and the lack of specific/different landing pages (with matching text) for each ad seems to suddenly be a huge factor whereas it was apparently not much of a factor a few months ago.
3:44 pm on July 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Segment the devices?
Position changed?
Ads themselves changed?
Keywords changed?
Languages, targeting, ...
4:22 pm on July 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I assume you did not make any major changes in your account. So, I would check my avg. position compared to weeks where your CTR was higher. There might be a new competition bidding higher than your max cpc which might have lowered your position and your ctr accordingly.

You can also check auction insights which is a new feature from adwords to see your competitors and what is and what was your impression share.

Comparing data is the best thing you can do to figure out and adwords is getting better in the field day by day.
4:55 pm on July 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In *my* case, the issue is not competition with higher bids. For "my" keywords, often there are **no** other ads on the first page at all! In many cases, all the ads, of all advertisers, have been pushed to the second page because none of the advertisers are satisfying Google's requirements to be on the first page.

This is a relatively recent development for me. Something changed about how Google was making those decisions.

After complaining to Google about it I did get a call from a Googler who spent most of the time telling me how wrong I was about everything and how wonderful Google is -- things got a bit heated. However, I did end up with some solid, positive suggestions to improve the placement. Implementing those will mean a lot of work on my part. For example, instead of a keyword like "antique chairs" (just making something up from a completely different area, I don't sell antique chairs) going to a general page about our offerings of antique furniture (again, this is just made up) that has links to many various specialized listings of chairs, tables, lamps, etc., I have to make a specific landing page for antique chairs. And one for sideboards, and another for tables, and another for lamps, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately, those landing pages don't get constructed in an instant and even then, they have to link to the specialized listing pages. (Going to the specialized listing pages, as landing pages, in the first place does not work very well because those specialized listing pages are often not stable; they are database generated depending upon whether there are items available for sale or not.)
8:49 am on July 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Stamps_Guy: I never pay much attention to what Google employees tell me. A couple of months ago I had a call from one of their staff who wanted to go over my AdWords account. I indulged him, but honestly the few pieces of 'advice' I received from him and tried to implement did not add to my bottom-line.

However, you should definitely try out landings pages that are more targeted towards specific keywords. This is pretty much standard practice today, and I think it could help you get back your former CTR. More targeted ads (maybe use {KeyWord:} for a start?) is definitely a must too.

When things work in AdWords, do not touch them - but when they stop working, the first thing to change is your ads, then your site.