What’s Click Through Rate and Why Should you Pay Attention to It?

June 4, 2019

We all know that it can be challenging vying for potential customers to click on our ads on the search engines results pages like Google. This is where click through rate can help you understand if your hooking them in or letting them slip away.

CTR which is short for “click through rate”. It’s a percentage that shows the amount of clicks you had through to your website divided by the number of times your advert was displayed.

For example, if your advert was displayed 40000 separate times and 1000 people clicked it you would have a CTR or click through rate of 2.5%.

Or another way of looking at it - 2.5% of people that were shown your ad clicked it and went to your website.

Let’s Look at Click Through Rate in More Detail

First, we’ll look at Google’s definition of CTR which is

“A ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. Clickthrough rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing”.

So... Why is CTR or Click Through Rate Important?

Click through rate is a vital metric that can help you understand campaign performance and highlight areas for improvement.

For example, let’s say you sell online accounting software as a solution to small businesses and you had a Google Ads campaign to help increase your free trial sign ups.

Now let’s say you are bidding on the keyword “online accounting software” which happens to be a very popular keyword with lots of competitors bidding on it too.

You can see that the number of times your ad appeared in the search results for the last 30 days is 20000 and the number of clicks you received from those ads were 50 – what would your CTR be?

It would be a dismal 0.10%.

Now, I’m guessing you would like more visitors to your site so a good metric to focus on increasing would be the CTR – hence its importance.

But How Would You Increase the CTR?

There are several options you can look at to increase your CTR but here are a few to get you started:

1# Look at your ads to improve click through rate

Look at the ads you have running, are they relevant to the keywords your bidding on?

Keeping with the fictitious advertiser, if you are bidding on the term “online accounting software” but there is no mention of that term within your advert or your ad reads “accounting books”.

This can put people off from clicking, unconvinced that the ad will lead them to what they are searching for. Remember you are providing a solution to their problem.

2# Try increasing your bids to boost your CTR

Are you bidding competitively enough?

Maybe your bids are so low that they are not appearing on the first page of the search engine results page. It’s a common school of thought that many people do not really go past the first page of the search results to look for what they need.

Test increasing your bids slightly and measuring the performance until you find the sweet spot.

3# Ensure your ad extensions are populated to aid click through rate potential

The Google Ads platform provides not just space for the ad text itself but also to add additional information, enhancing the changes of getting clicked.

For example, you can add site link extensions which enables you to include extra page links to your site that the person searching may find interesting.

Your main ad link maybe to a landing page that describes the software, but you may want to include additional pages. Let’s say you had 4 variations of the software targeting different industries – you could have site link extensions to the different industry web pages which would make it more relevant and should increase the CTR.

Whilst there are many important metrics in the world of pay per click, click through rate is definitely up there as one of the top to keep your eye on. It can be a great indicator of how healthy your account or strategy is and a yard stick to measure against when you make improvements.

If you found this explanation of CTR useful and have other questions relating to PPC or online marketing, please get in touch and I would be happy to go through with you and create some valuable content for others to gain knowledge from.

About Stacey Pledge

I'm a freelance PPC Specialist who works with clients across the UK, Europe and US to help maximise their results from paid search and help reach their business goals.

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