HomeClick-Through Rate (CTR): Understanding Click-Through Rate for PPC

Click-Through Rate (CTR): Understanding Click-Through Rate for PPC

In Internet marketing, CTR stands for click-through rate: a metric that measures the number of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per number of impressions.

Achieving a high click-through rate is essential to your PPC success, because it directly affects both your Quality Score and how much you pay every time someone clicks your search ad. Are your click-through rates holding you back, or are they high enough?

In this CTR tutorial, you’ll learn:

What is click-through rate?

PPC click-through rate is the rate at which your PPC ads are clicked. This number is the percentage of people who view your ad (impressions) who then actually go on to click the ad (clicks). The formula for CTR looks like this:

(Total Clicks on Ad) / (Total Impressions) = Click-Through Rate

definition of click-through rate

Generally, you can view your click-thru rate within the dashboard of your PPC account. A high CTR means that a high percentage of people who see your ad click it.

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Why do click-through rates matter?

Click-through rate is important to your account because it directly affects your Quality Score.

click-through rate vs quality score

Google Ads and other search marketing platforms offer pricing discounts for ads that offer high relevance (read: make searchers happy). One means for doing this is to offer higher Quality Scores to ads with high Google Ads click-through rates:

  • High click-through rates lead to high Quality Scores.
  • High Quality Scores allow you to improve or maintain ad position for lower costs.

Additionally, if you are advertising on relevant queries, achieving a high click-through rate means that you are driving the highest possible number of people to your offering.

📘 Free guide >> Tricks to Get the Click: 11 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text Ads

What’s a good click-through rate?

This is a hotly debated topic: what is a good click-through rate?

From a purely statistical standpoint, it depends—on the campaign you’re running, the keywords you’re targeting, and the channel and purpose of your ad. So while you want to have a “high” click-through rate, there’s really no magic number.

Average click-through rate will also vary by industry, and your expected CTR depends on your ad’s position, among other factors. We’ve collected benchmarks for average click-through rate in Google Ads over the years, and below you’ll find our latest data:
ctr- average click-through rate benchmarks

As you can see, a good click-through rate depends on your industry. For example, for attorneys and legal services, the average click-through rate is 3.85%, so a good click-through rate for this industry might be something like 5-6%. For arts and entertainment, the average click-through rate is 10.67%, so a good CTR for businesses in this industry would be something like 11-12%.

However, those are the two extremes. You can see that most industries have an average click-through rate of between 4-6%. So a good Google Ads click-through rate is 6-7%+.

📚 Free guide >> 12 Secrets to a Higher Click-Through Rate (& Lower Costs!)

When higher click-through rates are actually bad for business

If a keyword isn’t pertinent to your business or isn’t going to generate sales, leads, branding gains, etc. then a high click-through rate for that term is actually bad for business. The reasoning for this is fairly clear:

  • You’re paying for every click.
  • A lot of clicks generate a lot of ad spend.
  • Sometimes you’re generating clicks on keywords that are priced too high, and won’t turn a profit even if they convert.
  • Irrelevant terms and clicks are just spending money without bringing in additional business.

diagram showing high click through rate with low conversion rate means higher costs

So you don’t always want higher click-through rates: what you want are high CTRs on keywords that are:

  • Relevant – Have to do with your ad text, your landing page, and your offering.
  • Affordable – Keywords that aren’t going to be profit-prohibitive.

So, in a nutshell, a good CTR means first targeting the right words, then getting as many people as you can to click on those ads.

Achieving strong click-through rates for your ads

Achieving strong click-through rates in PPC, then, depends on:

  • Targeted keywords to bid on.
  • Cost-efficient clicks.
  • Tools and methodology for closely integrating keywords with ad text and landing pages.
  • The ability to quickly and efficiently segment keyword groups to generate closer targeting.

Remember, the higher your click-through rate, the better your Quality Scores will likely be, and high Quality Scores are one of the single best predictors of success in PPC.

cycle showing how higher click-through rate in googlge ads leads to higher ad rank and lower costs

Want to learn how to increase your click-through rates in a few simple steps? Download our free Guide to Super-High Click-Through Rates to learn how!

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