Last Updated on July 31, 2020
As someone who’s worked in online marketing for a number of years, when I carry out a search I typically scroll down below the ads, and start reading the search engine results page from where the ads stop. Because of that I’ve often thought “who is clicking on the ads?” Well, judging on the amount of money Google makes from AdWords year on year, the answer is “lot’s of people.” So it was interesting to read some research from Clutch.co on why people click on ads.Download "How to Create A High-Performing AdWords Account" eBook »
Clutch is an online business directory and back in December they published some very interesting research digging into who clicks on online ads and why. Finding out why someone carries out an action is hugely important if you want to motivate them to do it more often. So, let’s find out why people click on ads.
I Know What I’m Doing
First up Clutch noticed that the majority of people (77%) felt that they could tell the difference between an ad and the rest of the SERP. This is something that can sometimes become blurred a little, especially on mobile, so it’s good to know that people are aware of what they’re clicking on because if they don’t, it’s ultimately going to lead to more clicks that don’t convert.
Give Them What They Want
Clutch’s next big finding was that a third of people clicked on ads because they “directly” answered the question that they had searched for. This is great news for advertisers because it shows that we’re writing compelling ads but it obviously leaves a lot of room for improvement, and perhaps hints that spending time creating multiple long-tail keyword based ad groups might be a useful tactic for the coming year.
Text is King
Another interesting statistic is that people are much more likely to click on a text ads (49%) than either a shopping ads (31%) or a video ad (16%). Text ads take up more space on the page, and they’re shown more often than the other types of ad, but it is interesting, in comparison to shopping ads in particular, that users prefer text ads. This statistic could be used to help you split your budget/ time when working on your PPC account. Making sure you’re devoting enough time to your text ads can be difficult as they’re often seen as less ‘exciting’ by marketers.
Brands We Want to Hear About
One other finding that the Clutch study laid out was that people are more likely to click on an ad about a brand they have already heard of. This might seem obvious at first glance but actually it isn’t. You may assume a returning visitor would go directly to your website through the SERP, skipping past the ads, but Clutch’s survey seems to say that isn’t clear. A takeaway from this stat is that remarketing campaigns are useful and even though they can be tricky to set up, should be worth the effort.
It All Ads Up
The TL:DR of this blog post is; if you’re not doing PPC yet, you should consider it. If you are, focus on your text ads and set up remarketing campaigns. Pay per click advertising is here to stay and with major companies like Amazon pushing their own solutions Google will be paying close attention to their Google Ads platform in the coming months. So don’t get left behind.