How to improve your AdWords conversion rate 

Your ad campaigns should bring you closer to new prospects and clients. But how well are you able to judge their success?

Your conversion rate in AdWords is your success rate at persuading consumers to click on your ads and carry out a particular action, such as a product purchase.

It is estimated that the average conversion rate for an Adwords account is just 2.35%. According to analysis carried out by WordStream on more than 2,000 client accounts, the top 25% of accounts had conversion rates of 5.31% or higher, while the bottom 25% of accounts had a conversion rate of 0-1%.

Where on the performance scale do your ads sit? An alarmingly high proportion of PPC campaign managers and marketers don’t know how well their ads are performing. Or maybe you do know, but aren’t sure what to do to improve your conversion rate.

In this article, we’ll outline three areas where you should focus your efforts to improve your AdWords conversion, and give practical tips on how you can nudge the scale in the right direction.

First: Establish which conversions you’re tracking

The first step to improving your conversion rate is to know how your campaigns are performing. Thus, you will need to set up conversion tracking to keep track of your ads’ performance.

According to a report by Disrupt Advertising, only 57.7% of Adwords accounts have set up conversion tracking. This means that 42.3% of the respondents are not able to tell if their campaigns are successful.

Conversion tracking allows you to analyse the performance of your ads, your ad groups and your campaigns. This makes it easier to find the ROI for each investment, while it also makes it easier to measure the exact number of conversions.

So far, so good; but in order to track conversions, you need to have established which outcomes you want to achieve with your PPC campaign. For example, for an ecommerce company, a conversion is usually interpreted as a product sale. However, you many be interested in tracking:

  • The number of new subscriptions to your email newsletter
  • The number of downloads of an ebook or whitepaper
  • The number of new product demo requests made to your site

Not all of these actions directly produce revenue, but if your aim is to increase engagement and awareness, then these are viable conversion goals for your business.

3 tips to improve your Adwords conversion rate

Improve Quality Score

Improving your Adwords Quality Score can significantly impact your conversion rate in two ways: one, by lowering your campaign Cost Per Click (CPC), allowing you to get your ads in front of a wider audience for the same budget; and two, by serving as a metric for how good your ad experience is for the consumer.

The best ways to improve it are to:

  • Focus on quality and relevant ads for your target audience
  • Organise your ad groups
  • Pay attention to your ad copy
  • Keep your Adwords profile organised
  • Focus on the right keywords
  • Improve the landing page experience

Improving the wider experience of your Adwords campaigns will improve your Quality Score, and by the same token, increase the chances of seeing a higher number of clicks and conversions.

According to Google, the three main components that define how your Quality Score can affect a real-time auction are:

Overall, the Quality Score is Google’s attempt to reward quality and relevant ads, and a focus on improving it can lead to more successful Adwords campaigns.

Optimize your landing pages

The design of your landing page plays a key role in your number of conversions. A good ad campaign may bring more people to your landing page, but if it’s not optimized to facilitate conversions, then you’re likely to lose those potential customers before they convert.

A high-converting landing page is:

  • appealing
  • relevant
  • easy to navigate

Every element should be tested, from the CTA to the colour of the buttons and their placement. Carrying out A/B testing allows you to minimize the risk of wasting your budget on a low-converting page.

Optimization should start by ensuring that your landing page facilitates the customer journey. Think like a user to spot the problems that can affect your page’s performance.

A good way to increase your chances of conversion is to align the ad copy with the landing page. You don’t want your ad copy to be misleading, as it risks losing the user’s trust. Similarly, you don’t want the copy to be vague, as this will affect the number of clicks.

The copy of your ads should align with the content of your landing pages. You need to live up to the expectations to increase the conversion rate and this can also improve your quality score.

Overall, the optimisation of your landing page should include:

Appealing and targeted copy

A good headline along with relevant content can make a landing page more interesting for your target audience.

Eye-catching visual content

As with the copy, images and videos can grab the audience’s attention and facilitate the conversion. The type of image, the size, the design can all affect the outcome of a visit.

A well-tested CTA

One of the most important elements to test on your landing page is the CTA. Your call-to-action button will affect the conversion rate and that’s why you need to test the ideal colour, size, placement for it.

Good user experience

User experience can significantly affect the conversion rate of your landing page although it can still be overlooked during the A/B testing. Your visitors expect a good user experience when visiting a landing page with a fast loading speed, a fully functional page and a properly tested form. Every element of your landing page appeals to UX and accessibility can also be part of it. Conversion becomes easier when you ensure that your landing page is optimized for every single visitor.

Responsiveness across all devices

As with user experience, a responsive page that is equally well-presented across all devices maximizes the chances of conversion. The increased number of mobile users calls for a fully functional mobile page that takes into consideration a good user experience. Except for the page speed, the copy should be also short and engaging, while the form has to be limited to a set number of fields to avoid losing the visitors’ interest.

For more tips on how to design a high-converting AdWords landing page, check out these guides:

Adjust your keyword matching type

Adwords allows you to add keywords that are:

  • broad match
  • phrase match
  • exact match

A broad match keyword shows your ads to anyone searching for your selected keyword. For example, if you add “black iPhone price”, your ad will show up to anyone searching for it, no matter what order the words show up. This increases the reach of your ad campaign, bringing more clicks to it.

A phrase match keyword shows your ads to anyone searching for the specific phrase, either the way it is or as part of a sentence, such as “how to find black iPhone price”. This type of keywords allows you to filter your ads to a more specific audience, while still maintaining a significant reach.

An exact match keyword is the most specific type, only displaying your ad to anyone searching for the exact keyword you input, and in the same way that you’ve structured it. If the search is not an exact match, then your ad will not show up.

Ad campaigns that focus on exact match keywords can have a higher conversion rate as they attract a smaller, more highly-targeted audience. If your goal is to narrow down your audience then this can be a useful option.

However, if you want to cast as wide a net as possible in the hopes of attracting different types of consumers who might convert, a phrase match or broad match keyword might be more suitable.

It’s a good idea to test all the variations in order to determine which one works better for your campaign and your target audience. You can start by focusing on narrow results through exact matches and then scale up your efforts to expand your campaign reach if you don’t achieve your desired conversion rate.

For more detail on the different types of PPC keyword matching and how to set them up, don’t miss Amanda DiSilvestro’s guide: Common PPC keyword mistakes (Understanding broad match vs. phrase match vs. exact match).


Conversion is a key metric for measuring the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. The higher the conversion rate, the better the chances of meeting your business goals and driving ROI.

However, it’s useful to remember that there also needs to be an evaluation of the quality of the conversions and whether they match your target audience. It’s tempting to reach a wider audience and see the conversion rate improving, but do they really serve as leads and prospect clients? This depends on your goals and your expectations from every campaign and that’s why it’s useful to keep analyzing the performance of your ads.

The most important tips for improving your conversion rates are to:

  • Stay focused on your goal
  • Be relevant
  • Align your ad copy and landing page
  • Optimize your landing page
  • A/B test each element of the campaign
  • Experiment with keyword matches to find what works best for you
  • Focus on improving your Quality Score

Related reading


How to improve your AdWords conversion rate

Source: How to improve your AdWords conversion rate 

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