Google Adwords Tip – Increase Click Through Rate

I’ve recently read some very useful posts on the RevaHealth Blog about managing your Google Adwords campaign and increasing your Click through Rate. This got me thinking about how we use Adwords and I though I’d write about my own favourite tip to increase the Click through Rate (CTR).

The tip is to use the {} operator in your Adwords ad text so that the actual keyword or keywords entered into the Google search box are repeated in your displayed ad. And when the actual search phrase is repeated the CTR is always higher.

Here’s an example of how I have used it. Normally when composing the text of the ad you just fill up the header of 25 characters and the two detailed lines of 35 character each with your most popular keywords and some enticement for the user to click your ad.

Here’s an example of one of our “normal” ads:

Adword 1

This ad is triggered by a large number of key words and phrases built around the words “rain wear” and “rain gear”.

Now as an alternative to specifying the exact text to be displayed, use the {} operator. By doing this, you can ensure that the exact phrase entered for the Google search is repeated in your displayed ad.

So for instance, when writing the ad text –  instead of entering the text above, I have used the following:

Adwords 2

This means that the keywords entered in the Google search box will be displayed in the sponsored ad on the header line and on line 2 and will appear in Bold text. If the keyword phrase is too long to display, it will default to displaying the phrase “Kids Rain Gear” instead.

To see this in action – I entered the keywords “baby rain wear” into Google. This is one of the keyword phrases in this campaign and ad group. From this search phrase, this is our ad as displayed in the sponsored links:

Adwords 3

So the exact phrase “Baby rain wear” is repeated in the ad. Research has shown if the exact search phrase is shown in the ad, then this ad is much more likely to be clicked. Therefore the Click Through Rate (CTR) should be higher. I tested over the last few days and here (if you can read them!) are the results: 

Adwords 4

The Click through Rate (CTR) of the ad with the {} operator is 6.56% – whereas the CTR for the ad with the normal text is only 2.04%. Well worth using, I’d say. Of course, getting a good CTR is only one part of the story. You also need to get good site usage and eventually conversions from a percentage of those clicks.

I’ve now learned that this feature is called “Keyword Insertion”. Some more information is available in Google Adwords help here.


  1. I’m glad you found our posts useful!

    We’ve got more posts planned on AdWords so keep an eye out.

    Keyword insertion is a very powerful tool, but really works best in ad groups with a very narrow range of keywords to keep the matches as relevant as possible.

    Also, as the number of keywords people use when searching is increasing, it won’t be too long before keyword insertion will only be possible in a minority of cases, so you need to make sure your default text is as relevant as possible too.

  2. Hi Aedan

    Just an added note to the above use of Dynamic Insertion into your AdWords. If you capitalise the “W” in the word KeyWord, then all of the words in the search term that triggers the advert will also be capitalised.

    For example in your example above, if you change the Dynamic Insertion code to be Buy {KeyWord:Kids Rain Gear}, the Title in the resulting advert would read “But Baby Rain Wear”.

    Capitalising all of the words in the ad will result in higher CTR!

    II wrote about this at

    And Google have written about it at


  3. Hi Philip – Thanks for the comment – good point about the number of keywords used in search terms increasing. I must check that the default wording works well for our keyword insertion ads. I found some nice stats on the number of keywords used in seach here :

    Hi Anthony – Thanks for the links and for the tip on the capitalisation. I have changed that now and look forward to even higher CTR!

  4. Chandu said

    Great Info.. keep posting


  5. Well the click rate improved but how did it affect the sale ? Did you notice more real customers entering the site or just lurkers.

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