Click-through rate, abbreviated as CTR, is a key metric in online marketing that describes the relationship between impressions and clicks on an advertising medium or link. The higher the CTR, the more users have clicked on the ad or link. The SERP CTR plays an important role in search engine optimization.
Which statement can you get from the CTR?
The click-through rate is an important metric that can be used to measure performance. Two different uses can be distinguished:
- CTR in internet marketing: The click-through rate shows how often an ad or link is clicked in relation to the number of impressions. When the click-through rate matches an ad, for example, if the email click-through rate of a newsletter link is high, you can assume the popularity of the advertisement or the attractiveness of the topic in the newsletter. The CTR must then be set based on the conversions. In e-commerce, the CTR itself is not relevant, it should be set in relation to the leads or sales that the shop generates through the landing page.
- CTR in search engine optimization: for SEO, the click-through rate in the search results matches the results in such search engines as Google, Bing or Yahoo. The higher the click rate, the higher the likelihood of snippet optimization. However, if many users return from the landing page to the search results, this leads to a high bounce rate - similar to CTR.
What is a high click-through rate?
There is no single definition of an average CTR. The values are completely different. The standard definition is the following: in order to determine the CTR, the number of impressions is divided by the number of clicks.
- Click rate for display ads: The CTR for classic display advertisements is around 0.1 percent. This means that only every 1000th impression actually leads to a click.
- Click-through rate for Google Ads: The click-through rate for Google ads is 0.35 percent, which is slightly higher than the classic display banner ads of large networks. The reason for this is certainly because Google AdWords is also displayed on small specific websites, and Google ads are mostly displayed based on context. Even for Google Ads, which are keyword-based and rejected in the search results, the contextual proximity of ads to the search query can provide a higher click-through rate than regular ads.
- Click-through rate for Facebook Ads: According to WordStream, the average CTR for Facebook ads is 0.9 percent, this is significantly higher than for general display ads or Google ads.
- Click rate for email marketing: The number of openings and clicks in a newsletter depends on industry values. In practice, a 30 percent open rate and a 10 percent click-through rate represent a good CTR.
- CTR for organic search results: A high CTR for SERPs is an important parameter for search engine optimization. In organic search, the results have a specific CTR by industry and keyword.
Why is CTR important in online marketing?
Anyone setting up a paid Google Ads marketing campaign for specific keywords will use CTR as an important indicator. If the ratio between impressions and clicks is high, the ad is obviously well received by the user and the snippet is optimized accordingly. The same applies to email marketing: The CTR performance can be used to measure the response of a newsletter to a target group.
However, the CTR should always be seen in relation to the conversion rate, which is relevant for online shops or affiliate websites. Thus, if about 100 users click on the ad with 10,000 impressions, the CTR is 1 percent. If only 2 of those 100 users complete the transaction and lead to a confirmed sale or potential client, the CTR is only 0.02 percent. This value needs to be compared to cost per click (CPC) and the corporate goals.
How important is CTR for search engine optimization?
The CTR is important not only for online marketing or content marketing, but also for search engine optimization. As a key metric, the click-through rate indicates here how well or badly an average result is compared to your position in the search results.
However, the click-through rate also needs to be considered in relation to bounce rate and the time on site. If, for example, the snippet promises something different from what the landing page can provide, website visitors will quickly return to the search results and thus provide a higher bounce rate, less time on site and, therefore, negative user signals.
How can you optimize the CTR in SEO or in SEA?
- SEO: Options for optimizing the CTR in search results include changing the meta description or integrating rich snippets. Besides, the accuracy of the snippet match can be adapted to the content of the landing page.
- SEA: An online marketing campaign can be optimized based on the CTR. If the click-through rate is below expectations (industry standards), the ad targeting can be changed, or the ad or the banner can be repositioned.