Click-through Rate (CTR)

Click through rate definition: Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of users who clicked your ad out of the total users who viewed your ad (impressions). For example, if your ad received 100 impressions and of those, 20 resulted in clicks on your ad, you would have a 0.2 percent click through rate.

Click through rate is one of many metrics that can be used to determine how relevant your ad is among your target audience.

What is a “good” click-through rate?

What qualifies as a good or satisfactory click through rate varies depending on things like your industry, your ad’s placement position, the keywords you’re bidding on and the format of your ads.

For example, in a study from Acquisio in which 50,000 campaigns from 11,000 advertisers were analyzed, ads from the retail industry had an average CTR of 3.49% while ads from the animal care industry had an average of 5.01%.

Ad position plays a part, too. Unsurprisingly, search ads that appear above the fold are likely to receive a higher CTR than those below the fold because they have higher visibility.

Factors like ad type also contribute to an ad’s CTR. According to Wordstream, search ads on the Google Network have an average CTR of 1.91% while display ads have an average of 0.35%. However, Facebook’s average expected CTR is between 0.5% – 1.6%.

As you can see, a good click through rate depends on a number of different factors. No matter what the “average” might be for your industry or medium, never settle and always strive for better.

What does a high click-through rate mean?

A high click through rate just means that a high number of users who see your ad click on it. It’s a good indicator that your ad and keywords are highly relevant to the users you’re targeting. Therefore, the message your ad sends is getting through to your intended audience.

How is CTR calculated?

The formula to determine an ad’s click through rate is the number of clicks your ad received divided by the number of impressions your ad received.

CTR = clicks / impressions

Why is CTR important?

Click through rate is important because it can help you gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaign. If your click through rate is low but your impressions are high, something in your messaging isn’t resonating with your audience. Be sure that you’re always testing different ad elements and targeting tightly-knit keyword groups.

It’s also good to always experiment with different elements like adding site links and using different calls to action in your copy.

Although it can be a good indicator for how effective your ads are performing, it shouldn’t be the only metric you use to determine campaign success. For one thing, CTR doesn’t account for those who visited your site later as a result of your ad. Click through rates also don’t tell you the quality of the visitor and can even sometimes be inaccurate due to fraudulent clicks. So be careful to recognize that although CTR is important, it isn’t necessarily the most telling indicator of overall campaign success. 

Click through rate is one of many metrics used to determine whether adjustments need to be made to ensure campaign success. It’s not necessarily the only metric to consider but is still a valuable component in helping you determine what changes you need to make, if any. 

Also see:

  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Call to action