Are your click-through rates (CTR) what they should be?
How would you know!? Especially if you’ve never asked the question, “What Is A Google Click Through Rate)?”
In this article, I’m breaking down CTRs by channel and giving you tips on how to improve yours.
What We’ll Cover:
- What it is and how to measure it
- Why is it dependent on industry
- How seasonality affects it
- How content affects it
- Strategy for SEO
- Strategy for PPC
- Strategy for Display ads
- Strategy for Email
- Strategy for Social Media
It is important to be aware of what numbers you’re looking for, which is why I’m breaking down what is a good click-through rate, and how you can improve it across multiple marketing channels.
Watch A Video On Click Through Rate Or Read Below
It refers to the ratio of how many users click a specific link to the total number of users who view it.
The ratio would look something like this:
User Clicks: Total Views
It measures how well your link – whether it’s a Google ad or Facebook copy – attracts people to your website.
So what is CTR, and what does it look like? For example, the formula would be Total clicks/Total impressions.
It is commonly mentioned in regard to paid ad campaigns. But in reality, it is an important metric in all your marketing efforts, including email, pay-per-click marketing, social media, etc.
Anything that includes a link – paid or not – should be measured to know if your efforts are truly paying off.
CTRs let you know how well your ad or content is drawing users to your website.
In a nutshell, it’s a pretty big deal.
So, how do you find it?
Luckily, finding yours isn’t complicated. Most services will tell you your exact rate in your analytics reports.
Why Industry Matters
As you’ll see momentarily, industry has a huge impact on these rates.
Across all marketing channels – email, PPC, social media, etc. – the rates vary widely between separate industries.
Why Seasonality Matters
You may have noticed that your traffic fluctuates throughout the year. At times, demand for your product or service may seem much higher than others.
For example, B2B’s tend to see a drop-off towards the end of the year. Similarly, holiday or time-of-year related industries like chocolates experience a hike around Valentine’s Day or Halloween.
This makes it a better opportunity to run ad campaigns and send newsletters, and therefore results in higher click-through rates.
To avoid the recessions, make sure you adjust your marketing timelines to target national holidays and important dates in your industry. Identify your opportunities, and make them most of them through marketing.
Why Content Matters
It’s important to understand why content matters.
Because in order to click on something, users need a reason. That’s your content’s job – to catch the reader’s attention and pique their curiosity just enough for them to click.
Your content is your sales pitch, and when done correctly it will motivate your readers to take the desired action. In this case, that’s a click.
The kind of content you use will have a high impact as well.
For example, as a channel, Facebook doesn’t have the highest overall; that honor goes to Twitter, with a 2% CTR.
Facebook video ads, however, have a 2.21% CTR, making it even higher than Twitter.
That’s because video is at the top of the game when it comes to content, and including it in your ads can have a dramatic effect.
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for SEO?
What’s the ultimate goal of any SEO? A high placement in the organic search results.
Unsurprisingly, first page results see the highest rates. In our own study of 5,000 queries, we found the following click-through rates for each page:
- Position 1 – 20.5%
- Position 2 – 13.32%
- Position 3 – 13.14%
- Position 4 – 8.98%
- Position 5 – 9.21%
- Position 6 – 6.73%
- Position 7 – 7.61%
- Position 8 – 6.92%
- Position 9 – 5.52%
- Position 10 – 7.95%
A good click-through rate therefore really depends on which page your link appears on, and the best way to improve it is to work to improve your rank.
How to Improve It for SEO:
- Put together a list of quality, competitive (but not too competitive) keywords
- Focus on quality content, both on and off-site
- Develop a link-building strategy
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for PPC?
Now, you’re probably wondering how does it apply to pay-per-click ads?
In a study released by Wordstream they found that across all industries, the average for a search ad is 1.91%.
Of course, results vary widely across industries. For example, dating and personal services are well above the average with a 3.40% click-through rate. Finance, B2B, Consumer Services, and Technology also fare well, with 2.65%, 2.55%, 2.40%, and 2.38% on average, respectively.
On the flip side, industries like legal services, e-commerce, and industrial services struggle with CTRs when it comes to search.
Obviously, these are only averages. You’ll want to hit a number that’s above average in your industry.
For PPC, anything between 3%-5% will put you in a good range.
How to Improve It for PPC:
- Include special offers
- Use powerful CTAs
- Use long-tail keywords to reach more specific audiences
- Use Google Ads extensions such as seller ratings and sitelink extensions
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Display Ads?
That same Wordstream study revealed that the average for display ads is 0.35%.
In fact, the averages across all industries are significantly lower than that of a search ad – but don’t panic. Because display ads are better bottom of the funnel, brand awareness campaigns, it’s to be expected.
If you happen to be in the tech industry, you’ll likely find the most success with display ads. They boast an average of .84%, the highest of all industries studied.
Advocacy and dating/personal services all saw above-average display ads CTRs, both coming in at .52%.
Employment services saw the lowest average at just .14%, with B2B services behind it at .20%.
For Display ads, anything between .5%-1% will put you in the good range.
How to Improve It for Display Ads:
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Email?
Email has some of the highest rates, so if you don’t already have an email marketing strategy, I highly recommend you get on it.
Some of the differences can be attributed to industry. For example, MailChimp’s broad Travel/Transportation industry returned a 2.17% CTR, while Constant Contact’s more specific Automotive Services industry received an 8.30% CTR.
Once again, success varies by industry; MailChimp’s Hobbies tend to see the highest rate with 5.13%, while Constant Contact’s Publishing industry returned a 13.67% CTR.
How to Improve It for Email:
- Use a clear call-to-action (CTA)
- Make sure you’re using a responsive design
- If you include images, make sure they load
- A/B to test to find which content is most effective
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Social Media?
In this case, it will depend yet again on which social media channel you use.
Twitter sees the highest overall, with an average of 2%. LinkedIn is on the opposite end of the spectrum with just an average of .06%.
Instagram (.94%) and Facebook (.72%) land in the middle.
The discrepancies in the numbers are similar to what you see in search vs. display ads; the intent of the user is different, as well as the intention of the ad.
LinkedIn, for example, isn’t widely known or used for advertising purposes; rather, its focus is on business relationships and networking.
And as I mentioned above with Facebook video ads, it’s important to keep in mind that not only do CTRs vary by channel, but by ad type.
In 2018, the average on Instagram ads saw a significant increase of 41%. Companies spent approximately $7.91 for every thousand impressions (CPM), and $1.41 per click. This led to 0.52% for Instagram ads.
Also in 2018, Pinterest CTR held on strong. A study by Fat Stacks blog took a look at 20 Pinterest accounts. It showed that the average for Pinterest is about 0.22%. This also varies depending on industry.
Youtube is another social media platform that can give you high CTRs. As of now, the average for YouTube varies from 2% to 10%. To understand your YouTube CTR, you need to be able to understand your audience, where they are coming from, and what they want to see.
How to Improve for Social Media:
- Use more powerful CTAs
- Create urgency in your content, and use gated content
- Use action words; “download,” “sign-up,” etc.
- Incorporate images that grab readers’ attention
- Avoid using clickbait images and headlines
1. How Can I Improve My Average Click-Through Rate With Video Ads?
If you want to boost your average rate with video advertising, it is important to keep your ads short, simple, to the point and interesting.
Viewers want instant gratification and they want to be able to access what you’re advertising effortlessly. So, user experience is extremely important.
Another thing to consider when creating your video ads, is that many viewers could be watching your ads on their mobile device with the sound off. Make sure you create an ad experience that relays your message with or without sound.
2. How Does My Average Click-Through Rate Affect My PPC Quality Score?
When it comes to pay-per-click advertising, your average click-through rate is a very significant factor to its success.
The higher the rate, the higher your Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score, the lower your costs to maintain and/or improve your ad position.
3. Can Having A High Average Click-Through Rate Ever Be A Bad Thing?
Actually, yes. There are certainly times when too much of a good thing is bad for business.
If you are having high number of clicks on irrelevant keywords, then you are just wasting away ad spend without receiving any benefit.
It’s not about scoring high marks on irrelevant keywords. You want to hit the nail on the head for keywords that also lead to a high conversion rate.
You may also be getting a high number of clicks on relevant keywords that are far too expensive. In this situation, the cost can be so high that you barely break even, or worse you lose money, even if the customer converts.
4. How Can I Improve My YouTube CTR?
The first thing you want to do is to avoid clickbait thumbnails and titles.
If a viewer is expecting one thing and they get something completely different after they click on your video, they will close the video. This will give you a low average view duration, and YouTube will not list your video in their “Recommended” section.
In short, keep your audience hooked by providing them with video content that they want to sit and watch.
Now that you have an idea of what it is, you’ll have a better grasp on how to measure your CTRs across the channels mentioned above.
Remember, don’t get discouraged if it hovers at average or dips below.
Instead, work to improve it by incorporating or improving your CTAs, types of content, keyword selection, and other elements listed in this article.
Once you do these things, you should see your CTRs begin to rise.