Expected CTR (Click-Through Rate): How to Improve CTR with the Google Ads Performance Grader

Expected CTR is Google’s estimation of the rate at which ad viewers will click through from your ads to your landing page. In calculating Expected CTR, Google considers how well your keyword has performed historically, based on the position of your ad. Google assigns your keyword a rating of above average, average or below average, using only the exact match keyword.

In addition to making your ads more relevant and therefore increasing leads, your CTR today directly impacts how AdWords predicts your ads will perform in future.

Expected CTR helps you understand if your keyword lacks relevance or specificity. A low CTR means your ad isn’t compelling enough to get people to your landing page to complete a desired action, whether it’s a product sale, newsletter sign-up, or other outcome. In addition, a low CTR negatively impacts your Quality Score, which makes your campaign less cost-effective.

Optimizing Your Expected CTR Reduces Wasted Spend, Improves Campaign Performance

Our Google Ads Performance Grader helps PPC marketers optimize their Expected CTR to improve campaign performance and return on investment. It helps improve CTR by giving you both a high-level and granular look into the CTR of your top 200 keywords, alongside targeted recommendations for improvement.

Expected CTR Curve

In the Google Ads Performance Grader dashboard, you will see our analysis of your CTR for both search and display. See how your keywords perform against the typical curve, with the ability to drill down into the impressions and clicks for each keyword.

Expected CTR Curve

Use our recommendations to weed out less relevant keywords, improve your Quality Scores and lower your costs per click. 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 our optimizations.

Track CTR Data Over Time to Improve Expected CTR for Your Keywords

The newest Google Ads Performance Grader release includes a performance tracker feature, allowing you to easily see how key metrics and overall performance trend over time with automatic account analysis every 30 days. 

What Is Expected CTR

This new tracking feature is particularly helpful for improving Expected CTR, as it allows you to track historic CTR data for each keyword. This is what Google considers when they calculate your Expected CTR. By default, we show you the change from your most recent previous report, but now you can dig into each historical report to find your CTRs from previous weeks and months.

See How Your AdWords Campaigns Compare Against Industry Benchmarks

Your account is graded against the most current and accurate competitive benchmarks for PPC – with KPIs including Quality Score, click-through rate, account activity, and wasted spend – thanks to our analysis of over $3 billion in total AdWords spend.

You can also check your account’s preparedness for mobile PPC with our Mobile PPC Readiness Score, which includes an evaluation of your account’s adherence to mobile PPC best practices.

As always, the Google Ads Performance Grader is free to use and offers account diagnostics, in-depth analysis and personalized recommendations to improve your AdWords performance. Our proprietary grading algorithm dives deep into 60 different factors including your ad spend data, Quality Score, ad ranking, impressions and more, to ensure the most impactful optimization recommendations for your account.

The Google Ads Performance Grader is already helping hundreds of companies around the globe easily and efficiently optimize their AdWords 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!