You might have seen this abbreviation being used on a multitude of business marketing blogs and never known what it really meant. CTR stands for click-through rate. It is the ratio of users that click through to a link to the total number of users who view the page.
For example, if you had a running ad campaign, the average CTR would show you the per cent of people who actually click on your advertisement out of those who have seen it.
Is My CTR Good or Bad?
On average, across all industries, CTR for search ads is 1.91%. Typically, the higher the ranking of your page on search engines such as Google the higher the click-through rate and therefore the more organic traffic your site should have.
A good CTR represents a successful ad that is relevant to the target audience on the targeted platform and is usually higher than 1.0%. A bad CTR is typically below this number
Where Can I Find CTR?
The primary tool used to track CTR is Google Analytics where every interaction with your site is recorded and tracked. This tool allows you to see where exactly your organic and paid traffic is coming from and how the pages on your site or your advert is performing. The success of a PPC (pay per click) can be determined by the CTR of an ad as this affects how much you pay every time someone clicks your ad.
To find out your CTR, you need to divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For example, if you received 5 clicks and 100 impressions (5/100=5) your CTR would be 5%.
Why track CTR?
CTR can also be used to gain more of a clear understanding of the keywords you should be using and to see which ads or keywords are and are not successful. This enables you to create a successful marketing campaign, which might take a few trial and error attempts to find which keywords and ad designs work for you.
How to increase CTR
CTR is an important factor when comparing how successful an ad campaign or webpage is. Higher CTRs are also favoured by search engines like Google and Bing as they want to provide users with the best, most relevant advertising and search experience as possible.
Below are a few proven ways that can help improve your CTR.
Yoast is a WordPress extension and is a great SEO tool if you are writing a post. It shows you information about your page that gives you an example of how it might look in search engine results pages (SERPs). It allows you to write meta descriptions and titles, including your chosen focus keyword. Utilising this WordPress feature will allow you to focus on the right keywords and create relevant titles in order to improve CTR.
Countdowns on Ads to Create Urgency
Are you ever online shopping and a message pops up saying something along the lines of
‘FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY ENDS IN 15 MINUTES’
If you wait around those 15 minutes that are quickly ticking down, you will find that usually the timer starts again, and the offer is still valid. However, users see this as an urgent countdown and so they rush their order, therefore increasing CTR.
Conversely, this can also have a slightly negative impact on the CTR as some users do not like to be rushed and will instead click off and visit a competitor.
As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. This is supported by the fact that the human mind processes visual data better than any other data.
CTR of emails has been found to increase by 42% when images are used. Images allow for a story to be told, and with the increased use of social media such as Instagram and Pinterest in recent years, the visual content proves beneficial to engaging with users.
Call to actions should be used in a number of places across your content, including your meta descriptions. A simple call to action that is ubiquitous is, ‘Click here to read more’ or ‘Buy Now’.
It was found that emails with a CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617% while making a CTA look like a button increased clicks by 45%.
Targeting the Right Audience
Potentially the most important factor affecting your CTR is the research and work done to target the audience who will actually want to see your advert or site. There is no point trying to sell unlimited ice cream to someone who is lactose intolerant…
Think about your product, who would want it and who would be able to afford it. Narrow down your audience using specific parameters until you have the most specific group of people to target. This ensures a higher click-through rate because although there may be lower impressions, there will be more clicks and so a higher CTR (%).
Site Load Speed
The time your site or page takes to load plays a key role in whether or not a user clicks off your page (bounce rate). The longer your page takes to load the more likely a user will leave and go to a competitor, lowering the CTR. Also, a longer site load speed will, over time, negatively affect your rankings in the SERPs.
You can test your site speed on PageSpeed Insights on Google. In order to improve your site speed, you have to, among other things, minimise HTTP requests, optimise images and CSS delivery, enable browser caching, and enable compression.
Overall, CTR plays a vital role in increasing organic traffic to your site and improving SERPs’ trust in you, allowing for you to rank higher. A higher CTR will reduce costs and increase sales. Who doesn’t want that?
By following these recommended tips, you too can start to see more engagement and completion of set project goals for the benefit of your business.
Guest Post Author
SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click) Assistant
Primarily tasked with making our client’s sites more accessible, visible and content friendly, she also writes for the Tillison blog from time to time.