Read this article to understand common issues with clicks and clickthrough rate.
I'm receiving more clicks than impressions on my keywords or ads
This can happen for 3 reasons:
- You're looking at reports using the date range "Today." As clicks and impressions data are uploaded at different rates, this filter may not give you the right comparison.
- When customers do “comparison shopping” they click among several ads. As browsers cache search results, Google won’t record impressions on these ads multiple times. This can be why the clicks are more than the impressions.
- Customers may be clicking more than one link within your ad. You won’t be charged for more than 2 clicks per ad impression and Google Ads filters out any invalid clicks that we detect.
New impressions are also not recorded when your customers click the back button to return to the search results page.
I'm receiving clicks from outside my targeted region
Here’s how ads can be targeted based on location:
- Google identifies a customer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address to see where they’re located.
- Ads are targeted to the customer based on their location. For example, a customer searching for burgers will get search results close to their location.
- Check your geographic performance to know how your ads are performing based on a customer’s location.
At times, you might notice that you've received clicks from visitors who are outside your targeted region. There are a few possible reasons for this:Ad showing on location-specific searches
Your ad might appear to a customer with an IP address outside of your targeted area if the customer's search specifies that area.
You’ve published an ad that targets Italian restaurants in New York. Joey, a Google user living in Florida, searches for “New York pizza”, and he receives your ad. He ignores your ad, as it is not specific to his location. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can do the following:
- Try advanced location targeting to serve ads to customers who are more likely to be physically located in your target area.
- Use location terms in your keywords within the targeted area when you want to target customers physically located in that area. For example, customers in New York will not see your ads if they search for “Chicago pizza” because the ad won’t appear for the keyword “Chicago”.
Your ads may still show for users if they are on your targeted country or territory level’s Google domain.
For example, if someone in Spain is using Google.fr domain, they will see ads meant for people living in France. To avoid serving ads to users outside of your target location who use your location’s country-specific Google domain, you have 2 options:
- You can use advanced targeting to target the entire country where you want your ads to appear. You must select “Target by physical location” to activate it.
- You can change your campaign's location targeting from the country/territory option to the regional or customized option. For example, instead of targeting your campaign to the country of France, you can target all the regions in France. This way, you will still be able to reach the same audience, but your ad won’t show on Google.fr. This is because these customers on Google.fr may have IP addresses outside of your selected regions in France.
If you're concerned about receiving clicks outside of your desired region, you may want to exclude certain areas from seeing your ad. Learn how to exclude certain areas in your targeted locations.
My costs are increasing, but my clicks aren't
This can happen for 2 reasons:
- Your Quality Score may be decreasing. To check your keywords' Quality Scores, follow these steps:
- a. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- b. Click Keywords in the left hand side panel.
- c. Click the three-dot icon “More” on the top left table bar menu.
- d. Click Diagnose keywords Run now.
- You can also add the Quality Score column to your account statistics. Learn how to improve your Quality Score.
- The costs in your market are increasing. Your competitors might be raising their bids, which means you may have to increase your costs to stay competitive.
My clickthrough rate is lower than expected
If you feel that your ad isn't performing as well as you'd like, here are some things to consider:
- Your keywords may be too general. If your CTR is lower than 1% on the Google Search Network for certain keywords, remove those keywords and add more specific, targeted keywords instead.
- Make sure your ads are specific, relevant, and have a clear call to action.
- Get more ideas for creating successful text ads.
- Click traffic may vary due to seasonal interests or current events. Fluctuations due to promotions or special sales are common. Keywords that are popular at certain times of the year (for example, terms related to major sporting events) will also experience a higher click volume. This can happen even if you did not make seasonal changes to your account content.
- If you're running ads on the Display Network, you may find that your CTR is lower than what you're used to on the Search Network. That's because customers on Display Network sites are browsing through information, not searching with keywords. Also, on a busy Display Network page, an ad has to be more competitive to get the attention of a reader than it would on a search page. It's generally better to consider other measurements like conversions for Display Network ads, and consider your CTR individually for each network.
- CTR for ads on Display Network are sometimes lower than that on the Search Network because:
- Customers on the Display Network are browsing information, and not searching with keywords like in Search.
- Ads are more competitive on busy Display Network pages, compared to Search.
For these reasons, it’s better to consider other metrics like conversions for your ads on the Display Network. It’s recommended to consider your CTR individually for each network.
I'm concerned about invalid clicks
Google considers clicks made by a robot or automated clicking tools as invalid clicks. To view the number and percentage of clicks that were classified as invalid and filtered from your account, add the "Invalid clicks" column on your "Campaigns" or "Dimensions" tabs. Don't worry, you aren't charged for these clicks, and they don't affect your account statistics.