PPC – 2017 growth hacks: Increase CTR by monitoring competitive offers

PPC - 2017 growth hacks: Increase CTR by monitoring competitive offers

It is October — which means that the holiday buying frenzy is upon us. Advertisers will try to attract shoppers with enticing offers and promotions. To be competitive, you will need to stay up-to-date with the top offers in your category.

To give you a window into the kinds of things to consider, I segmented the top offers by category for September 24 through 30, 2017, using data from our company’s own software. Below, I’ll share what I learned.

Product listing ads

Overall, only 8.3 percent of all product listing ads (PLAs) have a “special offer.” This means that there is an absolutely huge open field for you to grow just by injecting an offer into your PLA ads. You can add the “special offer” tag to your PLAs using Google’s Merchant Promotion feature.

Here is an example of how the landscape looks. As you can see, only L.L. Bean has a special offer:

Top 5 PLA categories for special offers

Here are the top five PLA categories based on the quantity of listings with special offers. You can see that even in these top categories, the percentage of ads with offers is under 15 percent. Do you think there is opportunity here?

Top 5 offers overall (across all categories):

Just for fun, here are the most visible offers across all categories determined by reach.

Paid search ads

There are two common places where offers usually appear in paid search ads: within the ad copy (headline/description) and/or included in a “callout” ad extension. Overall, 73 percent of paid search ads have some form of offer in ad copy text, including shipping, deals, sales or something for free. However, only 18 percent of paid search ads utilize callout text, with just 14 percent using both ad copy and callouts for offer messaging.

Callout extensions are an effective tool to make your ads bigger and to emphasize your offers, like free shipping or coupon codes, thus leaving you more room in your actual ad copy for your message.

Here is an example of a callout extension used by Alpine Swiss to emphasize two offers: “Free Shipping” and “20% off”:

Offers by category

Here is the distribution of offers across several popular industries:

How will you know if this strategy is working?

Below are obvious signs that adding “Special Offers” to PLAs or using “Offer Callouts” is working:

  • Improved CTR (click-through rate)
  • Improved conversions
  • Lower CPCs (cost per click) — because your ads are getting a higher CTR

Be sure to check out the rest of my 2017 search marketing growth hack series:


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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