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Low expected CTR in Quality Score Tracker

A client account has an expected CTR quality of 3 when ad relevance is of 9 and landing page experience is 10. Why would this have happened? How can I improve it?


  • Hi Rochelle,

    The expected clickthrough rate (CTR) which AdWords provides for a keyword in your account is an estimate based on the assumption that the search term will match that keyword exactly. So it's rating can vary depending on the following scenarios:

    1. A bid change can impact your keywords expected clickthrough rate in the following cases:
    Case a) If you increase your bid from $1 to $2, Google will understand that you are promoting your ads to first page of search results. So, Google will estimate the expected CTR for this particular page, and might give a lower rating if your ad copy is not upto the mark.
    Case b) If you reduce your bid from $1 to 50 cents there is a high chance that your ad rank may go down. Which will lead to lower chances for the ad to get clicked leading to a lower expected CTR value.
    For the keywords which you think have low CTR, you can check AdWords change history to find any bid changes that you might have made on them to confirm if this might be the reason leading to a low expected CTR quality.

    2. Relevancy of your ads may have scope to be improved to be more relevant to your keywords. You can take a look at your ads and check if you have too many ad copies in ad groups. You may want to see if they have a much lower CTR than others. I would recommend pausing the poor performing ones if they are not converting and write new ones. Create Ads option in Optmyzr AB Testing tool can help you with this.

    3. Having 2-4 ads in an ad group can help you measure performance against each other and you always have a baseline for testing. If there isn't enough traffic and there are too many ads, the traffic gets divided and it takes longer for ads to get enough viable traffic. So, in this case also expected CTR may have a lower value.

    4. Find keywords which have not received clicks despite of receiving impressions. You can consider adding negative keywords to manage bad impressions without decreasing clicks, therefore increasing CTR. You can consider using Negative Keyword Finder to add negatives at account level.
  • Madhurima, hi. Can you confirm that, when you have high "ad relevance" and low "expected CTR", you advise on increasing bids to increase "expected CTR"?
  • Hi Adrien! In this case, I would recommend increasing bids to see if a better position can get you a higher CTR. However, if the keyword already has a high average position but has a low CTR then it is more likely that increasing the bid may not help. It may just lead to higher CPCs. In that case moving it into a SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group) with relevant text will be a better option. That will help test if increasing the bid will help get a higher expected CTR. Creating SKAGs is one of the best ways to improve Quality Score as it gives more control over all the elements like landing page and ad text.
  • Geetanjali, thanks for your help on this. I appreciate.
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