Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the number of users who see your (usually pay per click) ad, versus the number of users who actually click on your ad link. CTR is a ratio or a percentage of users who click on the link.

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the number of users who see your (usually pay per click) ad, versus the number of users who actually click on your ad link. CTR is a ratio or a percentage of users who click on the link.

CTR is most typically used to calculate how successful an online ad campaign is doing for a website, or how well your chosen keywords are working for you. 

Is click through rate important?

CTR is considered an important metric by the search engines, and in turn you should consider it important too. Because a high CTR percentage means the more users are clicking your link, the more money the search engine is making (in the pay per click model) and therefore the more visitors are visiting your website (good news for you). Win-win. 

CTR is essentially an incredibly important metric because it tells you how relevant searchers are finding your advert. 

That and because Google’s main aim in life is to please the end user, if you’re giving the end user what they’re looking for via your paid advert, then not only will your users be pleased, but Google will too, boosting you up the ad ranks.

How do you calculate click through rate?

CTR is calculated by dividing the number of time that your online advert is viewed by the number of times the ad link is clicked on (clicks / views = CTR). For example, if 100 people viewed the advert, but only 5 of those people clicked on it – 5/100 = 5%. 

The higher the CTR percentage the more successful your advert is as people will find what you’re offering useful and relevant for them. 

However, it should be noted that the CTR percentage will differ for every industry. Some industries and businesses simply attract more people, so don’t be disheartened if your CTR percentage is considerably lower than the average CTR percentage. Find out what a good CTR is for your industry and use that figure as a benchmark to work against. 

CTR is most beneficial when determining whether your chosen keywords are working for you, or whether the adverts you’re running are appealing to your target audience. Essentially, the more you can tie together keywords and your adverts, the higher your CTR percentage should be, because users are more likely to click on your advert if the keywords match their search terms.

What is a good click through rate?

On average, the CTR rate for Google Ad campaigns currently stands at 2% – meaning that for every 100 people who see an advert, 2 of them will click on the link. 

Side note – when measuring CTR percentage, you can either measure each individual advert that you have running, or you can measure the average of all of your current adverts. 

Worth remembering that an extremely high CTR is not always a good thing if you aren’t seeing equally high conversions. It might just mean that your advert is attracting a lot of clicks without attracting the type of people who will actually convert. This could mean that your keywords are too broad, that your ad copy is irrelevant or more than likely, a combination of the two.

What does a low CTR mean?

If you have a low CTR compared to your industry average, it can affect your future advert placements, because a low CTR will typically signal that you’re not relevant for your target audience. This means that users aren’t clicking on your advert and taking a visit to your website. And if you aren’t giving your users what they’re looking for, you’ll fall down the ad rankings. 

Because it doesn’t matter how much money you bid for your adverts, if you have a low CTR and Google thinks you are irrelevant, they’ll never put you at the top of the page. 

How can I improve my CTR?

When you’re asking how to improve your CTR percentage, you’re essentially asking how can you encourage more users to click on your paid links?

Try these ideas out: 

  • Generate urgency. By which we mean – make users think they’ll miss out if they don’t click on your link now. We all hate to think we’ve missed a deal, so consider installing a countdown timer on your advert, or showing the number of products you have remaining – once the time is up or the products are all gone, it’s too late. 
  • Include reviews in your advert. Users feel reassured about unknown sellers by reading peer reviews. So consider installing review extensions on your adverts showing positive reviews or rankings from reputable agencies or sources within your industry. A staggering 90% of consumers say they use online reviews to determine if a company is trustworthy or not. 
  • Stand out from your competition. Try using symbols in your advert to draw your audience’s eye to your advert, thereby encouraging a higher CTR percentage. Symbols help adverts stand out from the sea of text selling the same item because they instantly add a point of difference. Try using % or $ symbols in the headline and body of your advert.
  • Be strategic with your keyword placement. Don’t forget to include the keyword you’re bidding on into the URL itself. People feel reassured that your advert is providing what they’re after if they can see the main keyword in the body of the URL. Don’t be in the 33% of adverts not using keywords in their display URL. 
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