Google has announced that is rolling out the click share metrics for search campaigns in Google Ads. If you’re already running Shopping campaigns on Google’s advertising platform, you’ll be familiar with click share and why it’s such a useful metric.
However, many advertisers are going to start seeing click share as a metric in their accounts for the first time – so let’s take a look at what the metric is all about and how you’ll be able to use it to improve the performance of your search campaigns.
Click share making its way to Google Ads
First of all, let’s take quickly explain what the click share metric is, in case you’re not familiar with it already. Here’s how Google described click share in its announcement earlier this month:
“Click share is the estimated share of all achievable clicks that you have received. Click share has been available for Shopping campaigns since 2015… The lower your click share, the more opportunity you have to capture additional clicks. For example, if your ad is clicked 20 times, but we estimate that it could have been clicked 100 times if you had more extensions, higher bids, or higher budgets, your click share is 20%.”
Essentially, click share aims to tell you the percentage of times your ads have been clicked vs the number of times they could have been clicked. This metric is calculated by Google, based on your campaign settings – the use of ad extensions, your bid optimisations, campaign budget, etc.
If your click share is low, then it means Google thinks you could increase traffic and CTRs by changing certain settings. While this doesn’t tell you which settings to change, there are some obvious places to look if your click share is low for a campaign:
- Ad extensions: Google mentions ad extensions numerous times in relation to low click shares so this will be one of the first places you want to look.
- Ad scheduling: Try scheduling your ads to show when interest in your offer is at its highest to maximise clicks.
- Campaign budget: You can also think about redistributing your ad budget to allocate more towards campaigns with low click shares.
- Bids: Increasing or optimising your bids (in conjunction with ad scheduling) could maximise clicks for the same total budget.
Now, Google doesn’t mention ad scheduling in relation to click share and we suspect it might only be looking at budgets and ad extensions when it calculates your click share – so you might not see a change in your click share, even if ad scheduling increases the number of clicks.
However, upping your bids for the times when your ads perform at their best in conjunction with ad scheduling should make a difference.
Advice for using click share to improve performance
Google has some advice for advertisers as it rolls out the click share metric for search campaigns, which aims to help you use it more effectively. Here’s what Google wants you to know:
- Continue using click-through rate (CTR) for ad copy and performance comparisons between campaigns – not click share.
- Use click share to find click growth opportunities by using more/different ad extensions and bid or budget increases.
- Use impression share to find impression growth opportunities with bid or budget increases.
We also want to add a piece of advice to this list – something you’re not going to hear from Google. Click share can help you find opportunities to increase clicks from your ads but its also designed to encourage advertisers to increase their bids, which means more money for Google.
Increasing bids is one of the best ways to improve campaign performance and increase clicks – especially if your campaigns are already highly optimised for performance (higher budgets should mean more clicks, more conversions and higher profits, in this case).
The problem is, if your campaigns aren’t already optimised for performance after the click (ie: on-site conversions), then you risk paying for more clicks that don’t generate profit by simply upping your bids.
So, by all means, use the click share metric to spot opportunities for increasing clicks with ad extensions and bidding strategies but understand it’s only really pointing towards those two factors. The metric isn’t going to tell you that improving ad copy is going to increase clicks, for example, or that performance could be boosted by adding more negative keywords to your ad groups.
Click share is a great metric to have and we’re glad to see it being added to Google Ads search campaigns. However, there’s a slight danger advertisers are going to misunderstand what it says – or, more importantly, what it doesn’t say – about campaign performance.
The way click share is being described by Google and popular marketing publications isn’t misleading but we think its limitations could be made more clear, especially when a lot of advertisers are going to be seeing it for the first time. If you have any questions about click share, get in touch with us on social or pick up the phone and give us a call to speak to our Google Ads experts.