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 good click-through rate?”
In this article, I’m breaking down what is a good CTR, CTRs by channel, and giving you tips on how to improve your own social media click-through rates.
What We’ll Cover:
- What is a Good CTR and How to Measure it
- What Influences CTR?
- 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 going to discuss 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
What is CTR? This number 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.
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 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.
Factors that Influence CTR
There are plenty of factors that affect how low or high your CTRs can be.
One element that often gets overlooked is URLs. Your URLs should always include a keyword, whether it be short-tail or long-tail. In fact, URLs that include a keyword have a 45% higher click-through rate compared to URLs without keywords.
Utilizing long-tail searches will also contribute to a higher click-through rate so you should avoid optimizing for specific keywords.
And while meta descriptions may not impact the algorithm directly, they do impact your CTR. Even the smallest blurb in your meta description will make a difference.
As you’ll see momentarily, industry also a huge impact on these rates.
Across all marketing channels – email, PPC, social media, etc. – the CTR rates vary widely between separate industries.
You may have noticed that your traffic fluctuates throughout the year. At times, the 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 surge 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 the most of them through marketing.
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% click-through-rate.
The industry average CTR on Instagram is 0.88%, 0.9% on Facebook, while Twitter’s currently stands at 1.55%.
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 for non-branded queries, we found the following click-through rates for each page:
- Position 1 – 43.32%
- Position 2 – 37.36%
- Position 3 –29.90%
- Position 4 – 19.38%
- Position 5 –10.95%
- Position 6 – 10%
- Position 7 – 5.28%
- Position 8 – 4.13%
- Position 9 – 4.13%
- Position 10 – 3.11%
A good click-through rate therefore really depends on which page your link appears on, and the best way to increase 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
- Utilize Google Search Console
- Include a call-to-action in your metadata
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for PPC?
Now, you’re probably wondering how does it apply to pay-per-click ads?
The industry average CTR for PPC ads is around 2%.
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 farewell, 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 click-through-rates 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 calls-to-action
- Use long-tail keywords to reach more specific audiences
- Use Google Ads extensions such as seller ratings and site link extensions
- Increase your bids to gain more visibility
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Display Ads?
The average CTR for display ads is 0.46%.
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 0.84%, the highest of all industries studied.
Advocacy and dating/personal services all saw above-average display ads CTRs, both coming in at 0.52%.
Employment services saw the lowest average at just 0.14%, with B2B services behind it at 0.20%.
For Display ads, anything between 0.5%-1% will put you in the good range.
How to Improve it for Display Ads:
- Include main keywords in your display URL
- Use long-tail keywords and calls-to-action
- Eliminate underperforming ad exchanges
- Analyze device use and increase bid modifiers on the device types that are performing well
- Take advantage of the Outlook Inventory
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.
Overall, average email marketing click-through rates hover around 2.6%, according to Campaign Monitor.
Some of the differences can be attributed to industry. For example, government/policy industry industry returned a 6% CTR, while the food and beverages industry received a 1.7% CTR.
How to Improve it for Email:
- Use a clear call-to-action
- Make sure you’re using a responsive design
- Ensure emails are easily scannable
- 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, good social media click-through rates will depend yet again on which 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 0.06%.
Instagram (0.94%) and Facebook (0.72%) land in the middle.
The discrepancies in the social media click-through rates 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 click-through-rates vary by channel, but by ad type.
Youtube is another social media platform that can give you high click-through-rates. 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:
- Include clear calls-to-action
- 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 a 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.