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March 14, 2024
5 min read

Improve CTR: How to Create Ads that Users Click on

Display advertising is a powerful tool for local advertisers to promote their businesses, products, and services to a broad online audience. However, to make the most of this marketing channel, it's essential to improve Click-Through Rates (CTR). A high CTR indicates that your display ads are resonating with your target audience, which leads to an increase in web traffic. In this article, we'll explore effective strategies to enhance CTR for local advertisers using display ads.

Christian Scherbel
LInkedIn Logo

1. Know Your Audience

The first step is to understand as much as possible about your audience, their needs, preferences and pain points. You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights or create surveys and email them to potential customers. If you are not tech savvy and this sounds intimidating, a simple Google search can get the job done. You can read blogs, forums, go through the comment section and find out what resonates with your potential customers the most. Once you get a general idea, it is time to segment your audience based on the criteria listed below.


It allows you to target users in specific locations, relevant to your business. For example, if you are running a local gym, reaching people within a 5 mile radius sounds much more reasonable compared to targeting the whole metropolitan area.


Separate your audience based on demographics, such as age, gender, income, occupation and interest, so that you can create highly personalized campaigns. One-size-fits-all solution will not work, since different groups have different characteristics and behaviors. That’s why you need to create the right kind of trigger for each segment in order to get the response you are looking for.


Once those website visitors start piling up, consider implementing remarketing campaigns to target people who have already been on your website. They are much more likely to make a purchase or to give you a phone call. You can be very creative and target people who landed on your product page, your blog, bought from you before, etc.

2. Compelling Ad Creatives

The ad creatives win the attention of the user, spark their interest and make them hungry to learn more. You can try to stimulate their curiosity, evoke emotions, offer valuable information or introduce urgency. To achieve this, focus on the following 3 key areas.

Eye-catching Imagery

Use high-quality graphics or images that are relevant to your business. If you are a restaurant owner, showcase some items from your menu or focus on the interior of the place if that’s what makes it stand out from the competition. Avoid using generic or stock images – they rarely leave a long lasting impression in the minds of consumers.

Clear Call-to-Actions (CTA)

The users saw your ad, but what happens next, what actions should they take? The CTAs encourage people to take the next step in their buyer’s journey. “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, “Get Started Now”, “Offer expires in 24 hours” are some of the popular call to actions you can consider.

Ad Copy

You need to have a concise, but yet creative ad copy, which complements your visuals. If you are running display ads of your best-selling restaurant dish, make sure your ad copy talks about its unique recipe or the food service style.

3. Choosing the Right Placements

The old cliché says you can’t go without the 4 p’s of marketing – product, price, place and promotion. You might have the best product on the market, which is priced competitively, coming with all sorts of promotions, but if you place your ads on the wrong platform your marketing efforts will be doomed to fail. Do your research and see where your audience spends their time – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google or regional marketplaces.

Reaching customers on social media and Google can be pricey, especially for small and medium sized businesses. That’s why it is worth considering regional display advertising, which comes at a fraction of the cost and it offers more engaging experience for the users. At Smartico we focus on creating high-impact display ads that combine the power of AI with human creativity to ensure engaging and high-converting advertising experiences.

4. Frequency Capping

It is nothing more than a fancy term for limiting the number of times a user sees your display ad. By setting such a limit, you restrict how often your target audience is exposed to your ad within a specified time frame. This approach ensures consumers are not feeling overwhelmed by excessive advertising from one brand. We all probably recall seeing an ad more than 10 times on Facebook and we rarely end up buying the product or service. On the contrary, we typically feel irritated and annoyed at the brand and start perceiving it as less professional compared to its competitors.

5. Landing Page Optimization

After seeing your display ad, the next logical step customers should take is to click on the ad and visit the landing page. That’s why the latter should align seamlessly with the ad’s message and offer a user-friendly experience. It should load fast and be optimized for mobile devices, otherwise buyers will quickly hit the back button, which will increase the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who checked only one page on a website).

You should always try to establish strategic relevance between the ad and the landing page – the content and the tone of voice should be similar, along with the colors and the unique selling proposition. Don’t forget about the call to actions, since they help you drive up the purchases, sign-ups or inquiries.

6. Monitoring and Optimization

Monitoring and optimization are highly valuable for display ads as they enable advertisers to tweak their campaigns for maximum performance. If you notice your CTRs are low, think about using a different image, a different color, another ad copy or change the call-to-action. However, avoid the temptation to judge the entire campaign based on a single metric. Try to get the full picture and look for other metrics, such as conversion rate, cost per conversion, landing page dwell time, etc.

This holistic overview of the campaign helps you identify which piece of the puzzle is missing, so that you can make an informative and data-driven decision. Double down on what works and cut the money spent on underperforming ads.

7. Learn from Your Competitors

By analyzing competitors’ ad creatives, messaging, targeting tactics, and placements, you can identify gaps in your approach and come up with ideas to refine your own campaigns. Additionally, keeping an eye on the competition can unveil emerging trends, audience preferences, and industry benchmarks that can help you catch up quickly.

Final Thoughts

Display advertising holds significant potential for local advertisers to connect with a broader online audience and boost web traffic. Enhancing CTR is paramount for campaign success, and the strategies discussed here offer a comprehensive perspective to achieving that goal. By approaching your campaigns strategically and trying to understand how all components fit together, you have a higher chance of maximizing your ROI potential.


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