About the expected click-through rate score

Learn about what the expected click-through rate and how you can use Microsoft Advertising Editor to improve it.

Expected click-through rate indicates the competitiveness of your keywords and ad copy in the marketplace for the same search queries. It does that by comparing the click-through rate (CTR) of a keyword in your campaign with the average CTR of that same keyword across the marketplace.

Your expected click-through rate score reflects the degree to which your ads are eligible to be served in response to search queries that contain a specific keyword. If your keyword receives a Poor score, your ads have limited eligibility to be served when that keyword is used as a search query.

If your expected click-through rate score is Poor, you might improve it by applying one or more of the following tips:

  • Improve the quality of your ads
    • Improve the relevance of your ads. Ads that are relevant to searchers' queries are more likely to have a higher click-through rate and, therefore, a greater positive effect on your quality score.
    • Write compelling ads. Ads that have a powerful call to action, describe your unique selling proposition, or use other sales techniques are more likely to be clicked and, therefore, help improve your quality score.
    • Remove underperforming ads. If you have multiple ads in an ad group, check their performance after they have run for a few weeks. Remove ads that have either a lower click-through rate or a lower conversion rate so that only the best-performing ads remain.
  • Make sure that your keywords are highly relevant to search queries
    • Use only those keywords that are relevant to items you are selling, offering, or discussing on your site. Expand your list of keywords by using the Microsoft Advertising keyword research tools to help you identify relevant keywords. These tools can help you identify new keywords that are relevant to your site content, but you are responsible for determining which generated keywords are relevant.
    • Assign search match types appropriately to make your keywords more relevant to users' queries. When you add keywords to an ad group, use all three match types at first. After your campaign has run for a month or so, use the keyword performance report to see how your keywords have performed. Your reports will show you when your ads were triggered by a broad, phrase, or exact match to your keywords.
    • Delete underperforming keywords. Run keyword performance reports and regularly analyze the click-through rate and conversion rate of your keywords. Consider removing keywords that do not have a high click-through rate, especially if they also do not have a good conversion rate.
    • Delete irrelevant keywords. By culling irrelevant keywords from your keyword list, you can help ensure that your ads and landing pages are more relevant to searchers' queries. Doing so can help improve your quality score.
    • Use negative keywords to prevent ads from displaying in response to irrelevant search queries. If you use phrase and broad match types, you will want to use negative keywords to help improve the click-through rate of your ads and keywords. For example, if your ad sells hair styling products and you have specified mousse as a keyword, you can prevent your ad from being displayed in response to a search on chocolate mousse or mousse dessert by specifying chocolate and dessert as negative keywords.
  • Organize your keywords into ad groups for each subject area
    • Create a separate ad group for each important product or service. For example, if you are a tea retailer, your site might have offerings in several key categories, such as green tea, Darjeeling tea, and black tea. Creating ad groups for such narrowly defined groups of products or services enables you to use ads and landing pages that contain highly relevant keywords.

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