Are your click-through rates amazing?
How would you know!? Especially, you never asked the question, “What Is A Google Click Through Rate (CTR)?”
In this article (and video), I’m going to tell you what a good CTR is.
Special attention should be paid to click-through rate. But to get an accurate read, you need to be aware of what numbers you’re looking for.
Which is why I’m breaking down what click-through rates are, and what qualifies as a good one across multiple marketing channels.
Watch A Video On Click Through Rate Or Read Below
What is a Click-Through Rate?
Your click-through rate (CTR) refers to the ratio of how many users click a specific link to the total number of users who view it.
It measures how well your link – whether it’s a Google ad or Facebook copy – attracts people to your website.
For example, the formula for click-through rate would be:
Total clicks/Total impressions = click-through rate.
You’ll most commonly hear CTR mentioned regarding paid ad campaigns. But in reality, your click-through rate 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.
Why? For starters, it lets you know how well your ad or content is drawing users to your website.
In a nutshell, it’s a pretty big deal.
And luckily, finding yours isn’t hard. Most services will tell you your exact CTR in your analytics reports.
From there, it’s a matter of determining what the averages are, and how yours are performing in comparison.
Why A Good Click-Through Rate is Dependent On Industry
As you’ll see momentarily, industry has a huge impact on click-through rates.
Across all marketing channels – email, PPC, social media, etc. – the rates vary widely between separate industries.
That’s because your industry has a hand in almost factors of your marketing strategy, from your target audience to yes, your click-through rate.
Why Seasonality Matters with Click-Through Rates
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.
Which 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
Content can make or break your click-through rate.
Because in order to click on something, users need a reason. That’s your content’s job – to catch 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 on click-through rate as well.
For example, as a channel Facebook doesn’t have the highest overall CTR. 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 on your click-through rate.
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for SEO?
The ultimate goal of any SEO? A high placement in the organic search results.
Unsurprisingly, first page results see the highest CTRs. 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 your CTR is to work to improve your rank.
How to Improve Your CTR:
- 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?
In a study released by Wordstream they found that across all industries, the average CTR 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 a 2.65%, 2.55%, 2.40%, and 2.38% average CTR, respectively.
On the flip side, industries like legal services, ecommerce, and industrial services struggle with click-through rates when it comes to search.
Obviously, these are only averages. To get to “good,” you’ll want to get a rate that’s above the average.
For PPC, anything from 3%-5% will put you there.
How to Improve Your CTR:
- Include special offers
- Use powerful CTAs
- Use more long-tail keywords to reach more specific audiences
- Use AdWords extensions like seller ratings and sitelink extensions
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Display Ads?
That same Wordstream study revealed that the average click-through rate for a display ad 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 click-through rate of .84%, the highest of all industries studied.
Advocacy and dating/personal services all saw above-average CTRs, both coming in at .52%.
Employment services saw the lowest average at just .14%, with B2B services behind it at .20%.
So what’s a good click-through rate when it comes to display? You’ll probably want to fall in the .5%-1%.
How to Improve Your CTA:
- Include main keywords in your display URL
- Use long-tail keywords and CTAs
What is a Good Click-Through Rate for Email?
Email has some of the highest rates when it comes to email (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 CTR with 5.13%, while Constant Contact’s Publishing industry returned a 13.67% CTR.
How to improve your CTR:
- 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, a good click-through rate will depend yet again on which channel you use.
Twitter sees the highest overall CTRs, with an average of 2%. LinkedIn is on the opposite end of the spectrum with just a .06% average CTR.
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.
How to Improve Your CTR:
- Use more powerful CTAs
- Create urgency in your content, and use gated content to encourage click-throughs
- Use action words; “download,” “sign-up,” etc.
- Incorporate images that grab readers’ attention
Click-Through Rate FAQ:
1. How Can I Improve My Average Click-Through Rate With Video Ads?
If you want to boost your average click-through 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.
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 your click-through 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 click-through rates on irrelevant keywords, then you are just wasting away ad spend without receiving any benefit.
Or, you may be getting high click-throughs on relevant keywords that are far too expensive. In this situation, the cost can be so high that you barely break even, or worse lose money, even if the customer converts.
Concluding the Click-Through Rate
Now that you have an idea of what a good click-through rate, you’ll have a better grasp on how to measure yours across the channels above.
Remember, don’t get discouraged if yours hovers at average or dips below. Instead, work to improve it by incorporating or improving your CTAs, different kinds of content, keyword selection, etc.
Once you do, you should see your rates begin to rise.