In this post, you’re going to learn what expected CTR is in Google Ads, why it’s important, and how to improve it. We’ll point you to some resources for increasing your click-through rate and also show you how to use our free Google Ads Performance Grader to check and improve your CTR.
To understand expected CTR, you must first know what your actual CTR is. Your actual CTR, or click-through rate is the percentage of users who see your ad who then click on it. CTR helps you understand how relevant your ad is to the keywords it’s targeting and whether it’s compelling enough to users.
Expected CTR, or expected click-through rate, is a metric assigned to each of the keywords in your account. It’s Google’s prediction of that ad’s CTR—assuming the query is the exact match keyword and removing factors like the ad’s position on the SERP, its format, and extension assets. You can have an expected CTR of average, above average, or below average, and it’s based on your historical performance for that keyword.
The fact is, your click-through rate today directly impacts how Google Ads predicts your ads will perform in the future.
And why does this matter? Because your expected CTR is a key factor in your Quality Score:
And the higher your Quality Score, the higher your Ad Rank and the lower your cost per click.
This is why a high CTR is so important for maintaining account health and lowering costs.
To check your expected CTR in Google Ads, navigate to Keywords in the left-hand panel and select Search keywords. If you don’t see expected CTR in your columns, click on columns:
Select Quality Score and then check off Exp. CTR:
Now you’ll see your expected CTR:
The Google Ads Performance Grader is a free tool you can use to check your Google Ads performance and improve your return on investment. As part of your free report, you’ll get actionable tips to improve keyword relevance, Quality Score, and account structure. We’ll even let you know the expected impact of the changes we recommend, with an estimation of the clicks and leads you could generate with those optimizations.
The report includes a section on your spend, impressions, click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per action, and ROAS:
Use the tips to improve your CTR which will in turn improve your expected CTR and return on investment.
Your account is graded against the most current and accurate competitive benchmarks for PPC with KPIs including Quality Score, impression share, account activity, and wasted spend, thanks to our analysis of billions of dollars in Google Ads spend.
You can also check your account’s Shopping and Display ad performance, and adherence to best practices.
The free Google Ads Performance Grader is already helping hundreds of companies around the globe easily and efficiently optimize their accounts for higher CTRs, greater leads, and reduced spend. Small and medium businesses in particular benefit from the expert analysis and recommendations of our free tool, allowing them to maximize their often limited budgets and take advantage of insights gleaned from our analysis of a massive amount of PPC data. Try it now!