If your business is running paid ads, you may have noticed a decline in your click-through rate (CTR) and ad impressions across campaigns. Incidentally, if you have a low click-through rate, you may also notice that your average CPC (cost per click) has increased, and both have an impact on your ad costs.

In this blog, we look at 4 reasons why your average click-through rate may have dropped and some actions you can take to get a higher CTR.

In this blog, we will cover:


CTR helps you to understand your customers. A high click-through rate can mean they like your ads and products, whereas a low click-through rate can indicate you are targeting the wrong customers or that your customers do not like your messaging.

Click-through rate differs by industry, although the average CTR across all industries is 6.17%. A good CTR can be defined as one that is above your industry average. To see your industry’s average score, download our report today.

Another tool you can use is the ad quality score. This score is based on several factors:

  1. Expected CTR – What is the likelihood of your ad being clicked on when shown?
  2. Ad relevance – How close does your ad match the search intent?
  3. Landing page experience – How relevant and useful is your landing page to those who click on your ad? Do you have a relevant call to action (CTA)?

Using these factors, ads are scored out of 10 and ads that have higher quality scores are more likely to be shown to prospective customers. Don’t forget you can continually monitor your ads performance using Performance Max.

Here are a few reasons why you might be experiencing a decline in your click-through rate:

The first thing you should be doing is testing your ads. Continual A/B testing will let you see what ads work best for your target demographics. Once you have a clear winner, remove the old ad, and then add another ad. Think of it like TV advertising, you don’t see the same ads on TV that you did years ago. Ads are updated regularly so consumers don’t ignore or become immune to them.

Consider your internet browsing; you see an ad that catches your eye and click on it. Now if you were seeing it for the 100th time, would it have any effect on you? Fresh ad creatives will keep your product or service at the forefront of a person’s attention and consciousness.
You also need to consider your ad copy. Remember that you are bidding on certain keywords, so you want these keywords in your header and text copy.

You also want to ensure that the headline can be read easily, so If you are going to use abbreviations and acronyms, make sure that they are understood by your target audience.


Consider your choice of keywords; are you using the right keywords and phrases that customers are likely to input to find your goods or services? The right keywords are very important. Occasionally, they may need minor tweaking to ensure that your keywords are primed for search. If you want to know what keywords your customers use to find you, why not ask them? The more niche your keywords, the more likely it is that search intent will be higher.

While we’re talking about keywords, has the search volume on a particular keyword changed? The graph below shows the variation in search volume for blue shoes. There is a variation of almost 1000 in the number of searches. If your keywords have a lower search volume, then this could significantly lower intent meaning that you have fewer people searching for your product.

Screenshot of a chart that shows the yearly volume of searches for the keyword 'blue shoes'

As well as keywords you want to appear for, you need to make sure that you use negative keywords too. Let’s go back to our blue shoes again. What type of blue shoes does your business sell? If the answer is men’s dress shoes, then you can start to include some negative keyword searches you don’t want to appear in, women’s shoes, children’s shoes, heeled shoes, blue trainers, and so on.


Paid advertising landing pages are some of the most important pages on your website. If you have made any recent changes to your landing page and seen a recent decline in your CTR, then it might be a good idea to revisit the copy or revert back to the previous version. You should also check that your landing page renders correctly across different devices (mobile/laptop etc.) You should also use Google’s PageSpeed to ensure that your page is loading swiftly. Need more inspiration for your page? Take a look at our top tips for optimising landing pages.


Inflation and the spiralling cost of living can influence your CTR. With lower expendable income, people are looking for ways to curb their outgoings. This means fewer people clicking on your ad. Another issue is the competitiveness of search. More businesses are looking for ways to reach customers and are increasingly turning to paid advertising. This means more businesses fighting for the same advertising space.

With Google Ads being one of the main sources of paid advertising, you can expect a lot of competition for keywords and ads. Ad rank is a value that is used to determine where ads are shown on a page, or indeed if they will rank at all. Ad rank is calculated every time your ad is eligible to appear. Here are a few things to consider when creating your ads:

Maximum cost of bid – You set a maximum bid cost in Google Ads.
Ad quality & landing page – Google will assess how relevant your ad is as well as the website it links to about the search query.
Competitiveness of auction – If multiple businesses are competing, you can expect a higher CPC.
Context of search – Google wants to make sure it is showing relevant ads to searchers, so ensure that the ad is relevant to search queries.
Impact of your ad assets and other ad formats – Additional information can add impact to your ads (e.g., a telephone number). Google assesses how these can impact your ads performance.

Read more about how external forces could be affecting your CTR in our Search Benchmark Report.

We hope you found this article helpful. These are just a few reasons why you might be seeing a decline in your CTR, but if you’d like more information or you’re interested in on-going support to help improve your click-through rate then get in touch with one of our marketing experts today.

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