Click Through Rate – CTR

What is Click Through Rate?

The CTR or Click Through Rate of an ad or a link such as an AdWords ad or a link in a web page is a numerical way of expressing how effective it is at attracting clicks. The CTR is usually shown as a percentage and represents the number of clicks that the link or ad has generated per 100 displays.

So for an AdWords ad with a Click Through Rate of 3%, for every 100 times it is displayed it will get clicked on 3 times.

In practice CTRs jump around and particularly wth Pay Per Click (“PPC”) advertising the CTR will depend very much on where your ad ranks on the page with the top ranking ads getting the biggest share of the clicks.

If you want your link or ad to have a high click through rate you need to make sure it is as relevant as possible to the people who are seeing it. You also need to use effective copywriting techniques to attract the click in the first place.

In Google’s AdWords system there are some advantages of writing ads that get a high click through rate. The greatest of these is that you can let your ad ranking drop a little by bidding less whilst maintaining high levels of traffic.

A question a lot of people ask about AdWords CTR is what is a good click through rate. The answer will depend on the ranking of the ad and how many advertisers are competing for clicks for your chosen keyword. As a guideline you should aim for 2% or above. A very well-crafted ad in a niche where there is little competition can easily attract a CTR of over 30%.

If you are hosting AdSense ads on your site you will usually get a click through rate lower than this. Similarly, if you are running your own AdWords ads and using Google’s Content Network, you are likely to experience CTRs well under 1%.

The Click Through Rate for links on web pages will depend on a number of factors:

  1. How many links it is competing with for clicks
  2. The wording of the link – is it written to attract clicks
  3. Where it is positioned on the page

To illustrate how positioning can effect Click Through Rates you should bear in mind that the top left corner of a web page gets most attention in general so on a page where there are many links competing for clicks, positioning your most important link there can increase its click through rate. Similarly, you can include links at the end of articles because once someone has read an article they are going to want to do something else. An attractive link at the end of articles often gets clicked a lot.