In digital advertising, many different metrics are measured to establish a deeper understanding of a PPC campaign’s overall effectiveness. While it is necessary to use all available data and KPIs when making strategic adjustments, the purpose of this post is to single out CTR. We’ll be discussing what it is and how it relates to the overall success of a Google Ads campaign. 

What is CTR?

CTR stands for click-through rate. Click-through rate is a metric that represents the number of clicks weighed against the number of impressions. For example, if an ad had 100 impressions and was clicked on by five users, it would have a click-through rate of 5%. 

Calculating the click-through rate (CTR) is simple: 

(number of clicks) / (number of impressions) = click-through rate

What is a Good Click-Through Rate?

This is a complex question to answer. It largely depends on your industry, business type, business goals, and other factors. Certain industries are far more competitive in the Google Ads landscape, and therefore, require different benchmarking. 

Like so many questions in digital marketing, there is no magic formula. It depends.

Average click-through rate in Google Ads is 1.9% for search and 0.4% for display. These statistics are only slightly helpful. Averages give a useful indicator of performance, but they’re still just averages. They leave a lot of telling information out of the picture.

But for the sake of satisfaction, let’s say that a healthy click-through rate on Google Ads is 4%+ on the search network and 0.5%+ on the display network.

Obviously, a good click-through rate is something better than average. It will lead to a higher Quality Score and conversion rate.

What Does a Low CTR Mean?

Simply put, CTR tells you how efficient your ads are at enticing potential customers. A low CTR suggests one of two things: either your keyword bidding strategy is not well matched to searcher intent, or the ad itself is flawed. Either way, low CTRs indicate a need to go back to the drawing board to work on refining the approach.

CTR directly corresponds to Google’s Quality Score, ad position, and actual cost per click. Google rewards advertisers that make searchers happy. A lower Quality Score will result in poor ad placement and higher cost per click. Figuring out how to achieve a healthy CTR is vital to improving the overall effectiveness of your Google Ads campaign.

Improving Click-Through Rate

Achieving a high click-through rate is dependent on several factors. A well-run ad campaign requires research, planning, analysis, and ongoing adjustments.

The most obvious place to make improvements is in the ad copy itself. Your ads should be clear and enticing while offering a unique value proposition. A lot of marketing is psychological – use it to your advantage. It is also recommended that you use ad extensions, which allow your ad to take up more real estate in the SERPs.

Another place to look is the landing page. If you have a decent CTR but a low conversion rate, chances are your landing page is not optimized to convert. This cause users to bounce before taking any meaningful action, and undermines your ad spend. The point of paying for clicks is to gain viable leads. 

Here are some suggestions for gaining momentum with your PPC campaign:

  • Bid on the right keywords
  • Aim for cost-efficient clicks
  • Write good ad copy that integrates keywords in a smart and natural way
  • Optimize the landing page to convert
  • Research which search terms are converting
  • Incorporate negative keywords that don’t show intent

The Takeaway

This has been an overview of understanding how to use click-through rate to improve a Google Ads campaign. Some additional things to keep in mind as you go forward are:

  • CTR for the Google Search Network is almost always higher than CTR for the Display Network. Display ads are much broader and don’t so closely match intent. This isn’t a bad thing. Display ads are good for heating up a cold audience and building brand awareness.
  • Softer conversions, such as free quotes and email capture, generate a higher CTR than more expensive services.
  • Bidding on branded keywords can drastically improve your CTR and improve your overall Quality Score.

There it is. PPC CTR in a nutshell. Now get out there and make some money!