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Average CTR: Your Guide To Click-Through-Rate

Search engines are now placing a premium on an excellent click-through rate. Ultimately, in the PPC model, the more people click, the more money search engines make.

Click-through rate is arguably one of the most common metrics for digital marketing ad campaigns. And this is for good reason! Average click-through rate informs you about the number of people clicking on your ads compared to everyone who sees them, usually your target audience.

Simply put, this metric gives a rough idea about the effectiveness of your online ads at not only attracting attention but also influencing an audience to take action.

Obviously, no one works hard to be average. A majority of small businesses aim for an above average CTR in order to maximize their digital marketing ad spend. As a metric, click-through rate tells how relevant your ad is to searchers, and could be used in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Email, Display, etc. A higher CTR indicated greater ad relevance while a lower CTR indicates poor ad relevance.

Average CTR for Google Ads: When it comes to Ads campaigns, the average CTR is simply a measure of the number of clicks compared to the total impressions across the campaign or for every individual keyword.

Average CTR for Facebook Ads: This is an organic Facebook metric used to measure the ratio of clicks (how often your ad was clicked) to impressions (the number of times the ad was viewed) for individual ads. The result is usually multiplied by 100 to express it as a percentage.

Average CTR for Email: This is an organic email metric that tells you not only the number of people who opened your email but also those who went an extra mile to click the links in your email content. This link could redirect them to your landing page, take them to an abandoned ecommerce cart, or a specific call to action.

The ultimate aim of any PPC campaign is not only to get qualified users to a website but also get them to perform a desired action. As a result, click-through rate is the first step in the process of improving ad relevance and generating your desired actions.

What Factors Affect Your Average CTR?

Numerous factors can affect the click-through rate of your ads. From the headline, to the copy and trust factors, getting one wrong could result in a below average CTR. Getting all right could result in numerous leads itching to make a purchase. Let’s dig deep into these factors.

The Headline

Your main headline is a crucial aspect in PPC ads on the Google search network. Usually, it is what many users will first see and often lures searchers into reading the description copy. This headline is usually 60 characters long and divided into two parts which are separated by a dash.

Since this is the first stop for your users, you must ensure it stands out and is straight to the point. A dull headline could negatively affect your average CTR since a majority of visitors will read it and move onto the next advertisement. Altering your headline to something compelling and gripping could increase your average CTR.

The Copy

Just below an ad’s main headline is the ad copy, which many refer to as the description. In this part, an advertiser is only 80 characters away from persuading visitors to click on their advertisement. Usually, the copy follows on from the headline theme while at the same time expanding several benefits and calls to action.

In the copy section, it is essential that you give more details about the service/product you’re promoting and why you’re their best purchasing option. General information about your company won’t compel users to click your ad. Rather, you must offer solid reasons why they should pick your service.

The Ad Rank

A frequently ignored click-through rate factor on Google Ads is the position of your ad on the search engine results page. Obviously, Google and Bing won’t fit everyone’s advertisement on the first page, so an auction system is used to determine the ad that shows at the top.

And as you can already guess, the number one ad receives the highest CTR; a reason why people will pay more to remain at the top of search engine results.

Similar to the top search engine result, the first advertisement is often the first thing searchers see after the type in their keyword. Therefore, you should expect a high CTR when your ad is at the top as opposed to being down low on the page.

The Ad Creative

If you often use Google’s display network which typically displays advertisements on third party websites, your ads will probably take different ad formats compared to the regular Google ads. The display network ads use a picture format often referred to as a creative, and is what’s displayed on third party websites and which attracts of searchers.

Contrary to the organic search ads, the main difference is that creative are more like virtual billboards. This means that the advertiser has more control over the ad and how they are displayed to searchers. An advertiser can choose their own color scheme, font, and how much text is displayed. And despite having numerous options over an ad, new advertisers can make grave mistakes that greatly reduce their CTR.

The Channel

The platform where an ad is placed could also have an impact on CTR. Users on Google are quite different from those on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. For instance, Twitter ads offer the highest CTR among other social media platforms - averaging at 2% - with LinkedIn having the lowest - about 0.06%.

With display ads, click-through rate is greatly influenced by factors such as ad placement, traffic source and load speeds, with social media visitors exhibiting lower CTRs compared to visitors from search engines.

The Device

Click-through rate varies depending on the device being used mainly due to the ad rank. Mobile click-through rate is usually higher than what’s attained on tablets and desktops since mobile screens are relatively small and ads (Whether Facebook or Email) occupy most of the screen space before a user can scroll down.

Your Call-to-Action

Let’s face it; your call-to-action is the difference between getting users to ignore an ad and getting their clicks onto your adverts. The nature of your CTA will determine the number of clicks you receive for any ad campaign. It is always advisable that you steer away from demanding and generic CTAs like “click here.” Instead, you should focus on mentioning the benefits customers will get once they click the link, like “Get a free download.”

Images

According to Vero, campaigns with images have a 42% higher CTR than those without. And the reason behind this is pretty straightforward; images are incredibly powerful at intriguing, engaging, and enticing. The quality of your campaign won’t improve by throwing a bunch of pictures in your emails or Facebook Ad Copy. You’ll need to pick images which not only fit your message but also appeal to your readers. Besides, be sure to include alt texts just incase the images fail to display.

Calculating Average CTR

Understanding how to calculate the average CTR is essential since that knowledge could help an advertiser better interpret the overall engagement of their ad campaigns. Besides, CTR could also be used to assess how well keywords and PPC ads are performing.

Here’s how to calculate Average CTR:

Average CTR calculation

What is a Good Average CTR

So, what’s a good CTR? The answer to this question, as with a majority of aspects in PPC, is “it depends.” Average CTR is often relative to:

  • The industry
  • Individual marketing campaigns within the PPC account
  • The keywords you are bidding on.

It isn’t anything out of the ordinary to see a double-digit average CTR on branded keywords when searchers are looking for brand name. Similarly, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see average CTRs of less than 1% on non-branded and negative keywords.

Average CTR on Facebook: According to Wordstream, some industries struggle with low CTRs and CPC on Google Search Network but receive impressive click-through rates on Facebook. Data on Facebook ads industry benchmarks shows that the industry average click-through rate for Facebook ads is 0.90%. As mentioned earlier, different industries have different average CTRs, with the legal sector having the highest (1.61%). It shouldn’t be a surprise that some industries’ ads perform better on highly visual channels like Facebook since they typically feature high-quality images.

Average CTR on Google Ads: The average CTR for search ads is 1.91% and 0.35% for Google display network. Looking at these figures, you’ll note that there’s a big difference in CTRs from display and search ads. Despite the different industries, search ad CTRs are higher than those of display ads mainly because of the quality of users who are viewing the ads. On Google search ads, the advertisements are displayed based on relative keyword searches alone.

On the display network, search engines like Google and Bing try to display your adverts on relevant sites but might not always get it right. As a result, you could get hundreds of impressions on your adverts but receive no clicks. Ultimately, this greatly reduces the overall CTR, which is the main reason display ads don’t perform quite as well.

Average CTR for Email: Of all email marketing benchmarks, the average click-through rate is arguably one of the most important metrics for understanding the health of all your email sends. And according to industry benchmarks, the average click-through rate is 2.69%, which is arguably higher than what we’ve seen with other paid ads.

How To improve Your CTR

It varies across each platform! But for this example we'll explain some simple steps to improving your Google Ads average CTR. The general concept is to catch the user's attention and get them to click on your ad/link.

1. Utilize All Types of Ad Extensions

There are numerous ad extensions you could use to make your advert stand out. Ad extensions increases the size of your ads while increasing their relevance, ultimately improving CTR. Here are a few ad extensions we recommend:

  • Sitelink ad extensions. This extension is just an additional line of text which displays when an ad appears in the top three positions. Up to 4 sitelinks can display below your ads but you could create more and Google will choose which ones to display. Adding a sitelink description or ad group lets you add two more lines of text below every sitelink heading. This feature increases CTR by making your adverts stand out and pushing down others in search results.
  • Location extensions. These extensions encourage searchers to come to your physical location by showing its location on Google Maps. This feature is best suited for physical store locations looking to drive more local traffic.
  • Call extensions. Adding call extensions makes it a breeze for people to reach out, especially for businesses where customer calls are mandatory in the sales process. People can choose to call using their phones or by software like Skype.
  • Structured snippet extensions. These could be created to display product data under the advert description lines. Snippets could be created for Brands, Amenities, or Neighborhoods, etc. and you could add up to 10 values per snippet.

2. Write Compelling Ads

It might sound quite straightforward, but if you don’t take time to create engaging adverts which include strong CTAs, your ad performance will be average at best. Look at what your competitors have and write an ad copy that stands out; probably by assessing the unique selling points of your business.

3. Include Target Keywords in the Advertisements

This might sound quite obvious, but if your ads do not include keywords you’re bidding on within the ad copy, then you’ll have a poor CTR and consequently pay more than you should. Be sure to include your target keyword in the main headline and within the ad copy as well as display URL.

4. Include Keywords You Are Bidding on In the Ad URL

Including the keyword you are bidding on in the ad URL is a great way to help build trust with searchers seeing your ads. By inserting the keyword in the ad URL, you’re letting your readers know that the ad, as well as, the landing page are relevant to the search they just performed. Searchers will take comfort in knowing the advert will give them what they were looking for.

5. Add Strong CTAs

A strong CTA in any ad copy could work wonders for your click-through rate. Once people view your ad, they immediately want to know what the next step will be. By being clear about what they need to do, you’re guiding them on the journey to conversion. A strong call-to-action helps you profit from a searcher’s curiosity by giving them reasons to click.

Wrapping Up

CTR is a crucial organic search metric that managers should monitor and understand. Optimizing for click-through rate, while at the same time optimizing for other business metrics will result in successful paid ad campaigns. It's easy to track average CTR across all of your campaigns with our PPC reporting tool.

Written by Lisa Raehsler

Lisa is a self-published writer and editor who has worked in the PPC/Search Engine Marketing niche for years. As a search engine marketing expert, she has led hundreds of paid advertising accounts for search engines, mobile, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. When she's not writing, she can be found with her nose stuck in a book.