Contact Us
We'd love to hear from you and we're always happy to offer our thoughts on how we can help to improve your business.

01962 736372

Alresford, Hampshire

01962 736372 or 0207 9932096

London & Hampshire


Is Google AdWords getting you clicks, but no sales?

Is Google AdWords getting you clicks, but no sales?

Employing Google AdWords to increase your sales is a tried and tested tool in everyone’s marketing arsenal. However, it doesn’t always go quite as planned. When you’ve invested heavily in advertising on AdWords but are failing to see the difference in your bottom line, it’s a highly frustrating situation.

Even worse, when your ad impressions are good and the clicks are happening, but those clicks are not translating into sales, your campaign is costing you money for little to no return. It’s easy to blame this situation on a poor campaign, but could the problem actually be a little closer to home? Let’s take a look at where things go wrong and what you can do about them.

Are you really getting a lot of clicks?

How many is a lot, and what should you be aiming for? Without answer to these questions, you can’t possibly know if you’re getting a good rate of clicks or not. According to Statista, the average click through rate as of January this year was 3.71 per cent, but this is highly variable by industry.

For example, dating and personal ads achieve a click through rate of more than six per cent, whereas technology only just made it over two per cent. It’s worth checking what the rate is for your industry before making assumptions about your clicks.

What about conversions?

In line with the variation in click through rates, conversion rates from clicks are also something of a mixed bag, changing dependent on industry. As a benchmark, the average conversion rate in AdWords is 3.75 per cent for search, and 0.77 per cent for display.

As expected, this is highly variable by industry, with personal and dating once again topping the charts with a staggering 9.64 per cent conversion rate. Lagging behind with a rate of just 1.96 per cent is the advocacy industry. It is apparently easier to motivate people with messages of love and romance than with calls to save the planet.

If you’re getting a click through rate of three per cent or higher, but less than three per cent of those are converting to sales, you could have a problem.

What’s causing the problem?

There are numerous factors in play here, and any one or a combination of them could be affecting your potential to enjoy a healthy clicks to conversions ratio. Here are some of the most common issues we see every day, which are worth exploring if your campaign is not going to plan.

  • Poor optimisation

Optimisation of both your landing page and the website in general to suit your target audience is crucial if you want to grab their attention and encourage a sale. If they are visiting on a smartphone, for instance, and your page is not a responsive design, they won’t be able to navigate easily enough to be bothered with making a purchase.

  • No landing page

Do your ads simply link to your home page, or maybe to a page about a product? Please, excuse us while we wipe a tear from our eye. This is the number one biggest mistake in AdWords marketing, and will be killing your potential for conversions stone dead. Your campaign should have a dedicated landing page, which leads on from the messaging that appeared on AdWords, helping your customer enjoy a seamless journey from contact to commitment.

  • Rubbish content

A powerful landing page will offer a positive message, will explain the benefits of the product or service to your customer, and will, of course, have a strong call to action. It should be laid out to make it easy for the time poor surfer to skim, with bullets and sub headings where appropriate. It shouldn’t be any longer than it has to be; if you can say it in 200 words why write 500? Having said that, don’t be afraid to be thorough, as in many cases, longer landing pages with more in depth content achieve a higher conversion rate.

  • Multiple offers on one page

Almost half (48 per cent) of landing pages will contain more than one offer, and that’s a big mistake. Research has shown that multiple offers all in once place can decrease conversion rates by as miuch as 266 per cent, so if you’re bombarding your customers with all the offers you can think of in once place, change what you’re doing right now.  Your landing page should be tailored for just one goal, whether that’s registering for an event, downloading a document or buying a product; nothing else. Other offers need their own landing pages.

  • Ridiculous check out / conversion process

You need your customer to provide sonem details in order to complete the sale; this is unavoidable. But what is avoidable is the long, drawn out check out process which leaves far too much time for second thoughts. The average number of form fields on checkouts is 11, but if you can reduce that number to just four, you could enjoy up to 120 per cent increase in conversions.

  • Targeting the wrong keywords

If you haven’t done your keyword research in the right way, you could simply be targeting the wrong keywords for your product. Short-tail, popular keywords will be more expensive to target, and could bring in a bunch of visitors who just aren’t interested in what yiou have to offer, resulting in lots of clicks but no sales. Go after longer tailed keywords which are more specific to your niche; your clicks may drop but your conversion rate will soar.

There can be many more issues which affect your conversion rate, so it’s important to take a holistic look at your campaign, website and practices to plug any leaks in your sales funnel.

What’s the solution?

Sadly, there’s no quick fix to this all too common issue. If there was we’d be millionaires by now. However, there are steps you can take to start to tackle the problem and to bring your coversion rate back where it should be. Here are some top tips:

  • Analyse your site: Be critical. Look into conversion rate optimisation for your website to see where things can be improved. Consider our list of common mistakes, and investigate whether you’re guilty of any of these.
  • Check the relevancy of your traffic: Investigate your search query report in Google AdWords to find out where these visitors are coming from. This will show you all the searches which triggered a click through, and will give you some understanding of what people are realy looking for when they arrive at your site. If they are not relevant to yoru business, reviww which keywords you are targeting.
  • Use video: Embedding an explainer video, product demo or video testimonial on your landing page has been shown to increase conversions by up to 80 per cent. Videos are highly engaging and a great way of capturing the interest of your audience. However, beware the dreaded autoplay, as it’s sure to scare the bejeezus out of your visitors and result in panic closure of your page. Encourage them to play it, but leave the decision to them!
  • A/B test your landing pages: Set up different landing pages for the same campaign and measure the difference in your conversion rate. You can test little changes, such as a button colour or call to action message, or can develop completely different pages with new colours, images and content. The important thing is to keep testing, keep tweaking and keep learning what gets the best results.
  • Remove navigation: Even though your landing page is a part of your website, you don’t want that customer to go anywhere until they’ve completed the conversion process. Afterwards, by all means get them visiting other places on your site, but for now, get rid of the navigation bars and menus to keep them where you want them. Only 16 per cent of landing pages are doing this right now, and in our opinion, they’re missing a trick.
  • Use a variety of different offers: Not every customer is at the same point in your sales funnel, so design other offers to generate more leads for your business. Things like mailing list sign ups, research reports, free trials, downloadable kits and webinars offer customers more ways to interact with your brand without parting with any money just yet. Even better, you can create new landing pages for each of these offers, giving you 12 times more power to convert and more opportunities to generate leads.

If you’re still in the dark about what’s going wrong with your AdWords campaign, we’re here to help. The PPC experts here at Search South can offer you an AdWords consultation worth £600 completely free of charge, to help you get to the bottom of this and any other issues you might be having. Don’t keep pouring money into AdWords with no discernible results… talk to us today and find out free how you could achieve more.


Did you enjoy this post?

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest articles, direct to your inbox.

We're a digital marketing agency based in the UK. If you'd like search engine marketing hints, tips and insights sent direct to your inbox, then you can subscribe to our free email newsletter.