click through rate

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The click-through rate is a key figure from the SEA (Search Engine Advertising) area and describes the relationship between the clicks on an advertising medium and the impressions (insertions) that the advertising medium has achieved.


Click Through Rate (CTR), or click-through ratio, is a ratio that shows the relationship between the number of clicks on a digital ad to ad impressions in percentage terms. The ad impressions indicate how often a user has seen the advertising medium in a certain period of time. In relation to the actual clicks on the respective affiliate media in this time period, the CTR, i.e. the advertising click rate, is revealed. The click-through rate plays a major role, especially in the advertising sector.


If you work with Google AdWords, you should know this term as it directly affects your quality factor. Google gives a discount for ads that have a high relevance to the user. To achieve this, you can offer higher quality factors for ads that have a high AdWords click-through rate:

  • High click-through rates require high quality factors.
  • High quality factors allow you to improve your current ad position or keep it low cost

Plus, achieving a high CTR – if you’re advertising to relevant search queries – means you’re driving as many people as possible to your offer.

In combination with dwell time and bounce rate, the CTR can be considered an important prerequisite for traffic to be directed to websites at all. However, a CTR for a specific keyword must also always be considered in relation: A CTR of 1.0 percent for 100,000 ad impressions is more visitors than a CTR of 10.0 percent for 1,000 view contacts. Together with a high dwell time as well as a low bounce rate, the CTR can ultimately signify a high probability of conversion.Formula:

Number of clicks / number of impressions * 100 percent = CTR

What does CTR mean for search engine optimization?

The CTR in the SERPsprovides information about how often the search result was seen and actually clicked on in the Google results. A high CTR indicates that the snippet is appealing to the user in the SERPs.

The conversion achieved afterwards shows how well the offer meets the user’s need. Basically, a low CTR in the organic search results is considered an important metric to optimize the meta description, title or both elements together. There is also the possibility to create Rich Snippets by markup of HTML elements. This makes the search results more eye-catching and can pique the user’s interest, thus increasing the CTR.

Even though CTR is an important KPI, it is not ideal as a criterion for comparisons between different platforms. Due to the different values that result depending on the ad format, campaign, industry and individual objectives, comparability is hardly possible. But the click through rate offers a good option to track the success of one’s advertising campaign. To do this, you compare past figures with the development of current advertising measures.

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What is a “good” CTR?

An honest answer to this much debated topic is: it depends:

CTRs vary from campaign to campaign and even from keyword to keyword. All the factors that determine how your ad is displayed have an impact – from the ad text to the position of the ad on the search results page.

Even though this means you naturally want to generate a high CTR, there’s still no clear numerical value for it. Average CTRs vary from industry to industry, and the CTR you expect will depend on your ad position, among other factors.

The average for AdWords CTR is about 1.9 percent for the search network and about 0.3 percent for the display network. But because it’s just an average, that means a good AdWords CTR is between 4.0 and 5.0 percent on the search network and between 0.5 and 1.0 percent on the display network. Basically, though, you want the highest CTR possible.


Get a strong CTR for your ads

To achieve strong click-through rates on AdWords, here are some factors to consider:

  • bid on specific keywords
  • Cost-efficient clicks
  • The tools and methodology for clean keyword integration in relation to ad copy and landing pages.
  • The ability to quickly & efficiently segment keyword groups to realize tighter targeting.

Note that the higher your CTR turns out to be, the higher your quality factors will be. And high quality factors are the ideal guarantee for successful PPC campaigns.


Properly looking at and using CTR can add tremendous value to your site. It is not a direct ranking factor, but as an indirect ranking factor it does have an influence on the position in the search results. A higher CTR means more traffic first and foremost, and that’s the goal of SEO. It’s all about how you can optimize the CTR sustainably, the ranking will then follow suit on its own. When evaluating your own snippet optimization, you can even see the CTR as a direct key performance indicator (KPI).


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