Google’s 2018 eligibility rules have not been easy for anybody. Even PPCs who spend a lot of time with Google Grants like myself have had difficulty getting accounts compliant. These rules have been such a drastic change that I literally threw out my gameplan and built an entirely new one from scratch. These 2018 rules require a completely different approach to doing this work. It is that significant of a paradigm shift. Though there are many new rules, overwhelmingly, people care mainly about the CTR requirement. And rightfully so.
The CTR Threshold
The CTR requirement is one of only two requirements that are performance-based (the other being Quality Score). Other rules such as “no single-word keywords” don’t require much regular attention. The reason being that if you only write multiple-word keywords to begin with, you will always be in compliance with that rule. However, you don’t know the Click-Through Rate of a new campaign until it runs for a little while. And when it starts running, it will not be the exact same every month. There will be some variance based on competitors entering or exiting the space as well as the simple and obvious fact that a different set of human beings are making the clicks on your advertisements. Those human beings are unlikely to click at a rate of 6.53% on the nose every month.
To clarify, the CTR requirement demands that an account’s Click-Through Rate not drop below 5% for two consecutive calendar months. This means that your assessment is based on calendar months and not stretches of consecutive days. It also means that if you have a bad month, you can stay compliant by making improvements to bring the CTR over the threshold in the following month. Further, and this one really trips people up, you do not need every keyword to be above 5% CTR. You only need your account-wide aggregate of clicks divided by impressions to be above the CTR threshold. Some of your keywords may hurt your overall CTR, but as long as they aren’t so harmful that they impede your ability to exceed the CTR threshold, you’re golden.
Have Some Breathing Room
I recommend keeping your CTR at 6% at minimum to accommodate for the variance described earlier. Download the PDF for instructions on how best to do that. The recommended tasks are ordered by priority. So try to do the tasks earlier in the document first and move on to other tasks if you are still having trouble exceeding the threshold. Additionally, the first five tasks are methods of improving your Click-Through Rate without hurting your total number of impressions and should warrant extra attention. The later options will, unfortunately, likely hurt your overall impressions. However, that’s a hit you may need to take in order to become compliant. It’s better to have an account with slightly fewer impressions than it had in the past than to have an account get suspended.
As a disclaimer, this is a means to improve your CTR before you are suspended. If you are suspended for CTR and are requesting reinstatement, there is a set of protocols that need to be followed before you submit a reactivation request. Those tasks are entirely different than this advice to improve the CTR of an active account.
Download the guide for improving CTR by filling out the form below.