What is CTR ? What You Need to Know About Click-Through Rate

What is CTR ? What You Need to Know About Click-Through Rate

So you have an awesome website, but no one is visiting? Or you have invested several dollars in your PPC ad campaign, but not getting enough clicks?

Poor click-through rate must be the culprit here!

For digital marketers, CTR or click-through rate is one of the most integral metrics that help gauge the performance of their website or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, and determine how effective the campaign is. For PPC ad campaigns, every click counts because the value generated from your entire ad spend depends on it. For websites, CTR matters because it helps improve organic traffic, driving better conversions.

In this blog, we will discuss everything that you need to know about Click-Through Rate:

  • Definition of Click-Through-Rate
  • Why it matters
  • Click-through rate for PPC advertising
  • Click-through rate for social media
  • Improving CTR for organic search
  • How to improve your CTR

What is the Click-Through Rate?

Click-through rate, or CTR, is a metric that measures “how often people who see your ad end up clicking it.” To put it simply, it is the ratio of users who clicked on a particular link to the total number of users who have viewed the advertisement, email, web page, etc. Generally, it is used to determine how well or poor your PPC ads and keywords are performing.

Below is the formula how we calculate the click-through rate of any digital marketing campaign:


                                                                 CTR =  —————–  x  100



Example for a given landingpage, PPC campaign, Facebook ad etc:


                                                            CTR =  —————–  x  100  = 18,9% CTR                    



CTR = Click-through rate

Clicks = Number of clicks that your campaign receives

Impressions = Total number of times your campaign is seen

For a PPC campaign, you can measure CTRs for each of your ads and keywords. This way you can monitor which ads or keywords are performing optimally, and which ones need improvements.

A high click-through-rate is indicative that your target audience has found the ad or content relevant and helpful. The more your keywords, ads, emails or website content relate to what the users expect, the more likely it will receive a click.

Neil Patel, another great marketer you guys might already know, have also created a short and helpful video about how click through rate (CTR) can make your Google Ads more profitable. Another good way of showing why CTR is so important, both for SEO and PPC.

Why Click-Through Rate is Important?

 Click-through rate plays a significant role in customer acquisition and retention. There is an impact on Search Engine Optimization and organic traffic as well as on Customer Acquisition Cost since most digital advertising models consider the Cost per Click approach – the advertiser pays for every click on the advertisement. At the same time, the quality score of your marketing campaign also relies heavily on click-through rate.

As such, marketers use CTR as a measure of success, whether it is SEO, paid advertising, social media campaign or emails. Typically, a higher click-through rate would mean more number of people clicking your ads.

However, CTR is used for more than just gauging how many users clicked your ads; it is also an important factor that helps determine the reach and success of your social media ads, Google AdWords campaign, and organic page rankings in search engines.

Let’s first understand why click-through rate matters in digital marketing.

  1. Get Most From Your Google AdWords Budget

The higher your click-through rate, the better will be the Quality Score as your target audience finds the ad more relevant than that of your competitor’s having lower CTR. This will help reduce your Cost Per Click, and you will have more clicks at the same budget. Likewise, a high CTR on Google AdWords helps improve your impression share, i.e. your advertisements will show more often than usual but at no additional cost.

  1. Helps Improve Your Social Media Campaign While Minimizing Advertising Spend

Just like Google’s Quality Score, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have their own scoring systems – Relevance Score and Quality Adjusted Bids respectively.

Both the scoring metrics depend substantially on how well your users interact with your ads to decide on how many times they will be displayed, its total reach, and other essential factors. Having a high CTR plays an important role in determining how well your social media ads will score.

By improving your CTR for ads on Facebook and Twitter, you can enhance your overall user engagement. As such, your ads will reach more number of people without actually increasing your ad budget by reducing your cost per engagement.

Why this matters because the cost per engagement varies significantly on social media. An advertisement having a budget of $10 but a high CTR can potentially get over 10,000 engagements, while an ad with the same budget and a lower CTR can have just 1 user engagement.

  1. Boost Your Organic Search Results

High CTR is also crucial for the Search Engine Optimization of your website. The higher your click-through rate, the better will be your organic search rankings. For instance, if you have a page that ranked #5 earlier on a search engine result page (SERP) with a click-through rate of 17%, but the page that ranked #4 just above you had a CTR of only 3%, you hold a better chance of getting improved page rankings over time. Major search engines like Google reward high CTR websites with higher rankings, thus, leading to increased web traffic and better conversions.

 Whatever is your marketing goal or whichever type of campaign you handle, having a high CTR is crucial to make the most of your efforts and budget. A higher CTR is a measure of more relevance & user engagement of that particular campaign, while a lower CTR may highlight that your ad or content may not be as relevant. High click-through rate is vital because it shows more numbers of people are clicking through your ad or website, but they are also crucial for other reasons as discussed above.

What is a Good Click-Through Rate?

What is considered as good CTR depends on the type of campaign, what you are advertising, and the platform you are leveraging. Thus, it is not simple to measure what should be your expected CTR. There are several factors affecting the value of your CTR – the volume of clicks, relevancy of the clicks, which device is used to click, etc. are few examples that can influence your campaign’s click-through rate.

For most campaigns, having a high CTR is a great sign. However, having a high click-through rating is not always ideal, especially when you are getting tons of clicks but with no real-time results coming from them.

In such situations, there might be a problem with the landing page, email or the offer that is specified there. Having a high CTR but with no results is undesirable. Therefore, you should not only strive to improve your CTR but also your conversion rate.

Click-Through Rate for PPC Advertising

Click-through rate is one of the most vital factors that you should monitor when implementing paid advertising for customer acquisition. A higher CTR is imperative to ensure optimum performance of your advertising campaign because it indicates that you are attractive and relevant to users searching for a particular keyword or keyphrase. In Google AdWords, measuring the expected click-through rate is used to gauge Ad Rank at the time of auction.

And more relevant ads with higher CTR are rewarded with high-Quality Score by Google and other PPC ad platforms. By showcasing relevant paid ads, they satisfy the user base while also keeping the advertisers happy with an audience that is receptive and genuinely interested.

Therefore, every step should be taken to increase the CTR for your PPC advertising campaign or on Google AdWords.

       Improve Your CTR for Social Media

Social media has emerged as one of the biggest and most lucrative digital marketing platforms today. It is the best way to connect to your audience, promote your business, and create an impactful brand presence.

Everything you do on social media leaves an impression about your brand, and the level of user engagement is often determined by the Likes, Shares, Comments, or Retweets that your social media content receives. However, there is another powerful metric that helps determine the relevance, engagement, and conversion rate of your campaign – click-through rate.

The performance of your social media advertisement, news feed or video is best determined by the number of clicks it receives. If your social media content is relevant, unique and engaging, it will get higher clicks, directing your users for a call-to-action. Shares, Likes or Followers do matter, but the real objective of your social media campaign is achieved when someone clicks on the link provided and takes positive action. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to monitor the click-through rate of your social media campaign, directed to improve your conversions.

Click-Through Rate and SEO – What You Should Know

Does click-through rate affect your website’s SEO rankings? Does having a high CTR help improve your organic traffic?

Yes, it does.

In the perspective of organic search, click-through rate is a calculated metric that measures “how many people saw your search result and how many people actually clicked through to the page.” Even if your website ranks #1 on the SERP but only a handful of people click through, it is a waste of your time and effort. After all, only website traffic & conversions count, not impressions. Therefore, CTR optimization should be an integral component of your SEO initiatives.

But do pages with higher CTR tend to have higher search engine rankings?

The above image demonstrates the percentage of click-through rate and its corresponding page ranking in search engines. There exists a direct correlation between CTR and search engine page ranking – people tend to click more on the search engine results that rank top. There is a drastic drop-off when the ranking goes to position 4, 5, and beyond. But this isn’t surprising anymore.

The question is – does click-through rate affects your page ranking? That is if a page ranking low on SERP gets surprisingly high CTR, would it experience a bump in ranking?

Typically, page rankings are rewarded on the basis of expected CTR (and many other factors). If your website beats the expected CTR as set by Google or other search engines, then you are more likely to get a better ranking in prominent positions. When you beat the expected click-through rate, it is indicative that your page is more relevant to what the users have searched for. And search engines attribute this Relevance Score or Quality Score to higher page rankings.

Thus, having a higher CTR can help improve your organic search and as such increase your website traffic and conversions when optimized intelligently.

7 Proven Tricks to Improve Your Click-Through Rate

As the digital space is evolving at a rapid pace, advertisers need to pull out all their bells and whistles to attract clicks that result into better conversions. In this section of the blog, we will guide you through some valuable tips to increase your click-through rates for PPC advertising, social media campaigns, and organic search.

  1. Monitor Your CTR Winners and Losers

To start with it, evaluate the present CTR status of all your pages or ad campaigns on different platforms. For each search query, the report will show the number of impressions, clicks, CTR and average SERP ranking. Similarly, you can have the same metrics evaluated for landing pages. Monitor the reports continue to identify which keywords, ads or pages garner huge clicks and which are not performing at all.

For the non-performing ones, you can put the below-mentioned techniques into practice and improve your click-through rate with better conversion potential.

  1. Optimize For Long-Tail Keywords

Keywords are an essential component of your SEO strategy. They are also crucial for your Pay-Per-Click advertising or social media ads. By researching and integrating long-tail keywords into your website or ad copy, you are likely to increase the volume of clicks. This is because single keywords or generic phrases target broad search intent. For example, “bike.” On the other hand, detailed or precise search phrases target the specific intent of the searcher, and thus, are more likely to convert. For example, “best bikes under $600.”

When you target the later, i.e. long-tail keywords, you are actually targeting what the searcher is looking for precisely and have a genuine interest in the subject matter. Therefore, they are more likely to click or result in organic traffic.

  1. Have a Superb Creative

The quality of your ad copy, news feed on social media or Meta Description on the SERPs play an important role in influencing higher click-through. For PPC advertising, create an offer that is impactful, eye-catching, and tailored to your target audience and keywords they are searching for. To improve your organic search rankings through higher CTR, focus on writing effective Meta Descriptions that serve as the entry point of your landing page.

It is often said that “you cannot judge a book by its cover.” But in this regard, your ad creative or Meta Description acts as the elevator pitch for customer acquisition. The content should be attention-grabbing, engaging and most relevant to what has the user has searched for. Most importantly, it should target the high-converting keywords and must have a call-to-action.

  1. Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the best ways to increase your click-through rate is by including the component of ‘urgency.’ Whether it is your paid ad, social media feed, email or organic search result, try to integrate limited-period offers in your copy. Limited-time discounts or flash sales attract the interest of the users, influencing them to click.

  1. Get Emotional

Do you know that ‘emotions’ play a crucial role in influencing a person’s behavior and purchase decisions towards a brand? Advertisers have successfully used this emotional trigger since ages to increase their sales, and digital marketers are also not falling behind. Emotional baits are alluring and can increase your CTR dramatically when harnessed intelligently.

Here is a great example of how you can use emotional hooks to increase the click-through rate of your campaign:

Generic Title: “Last Screen Breast Cancer: 10 Things You Need to Know

Emotional Title: “With Late Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Survival Rate Falls to 22% – Get Screened Today

As the latter instills a sense of fear, it would garner higher click-through because people will be more interested to know more about the subject.

  1. Focus on Your Titles

Your ad copy, email, news feed or the search engine result must have a strong title – one that invokes your users to click. Here are some fantastic tips for you to create high click-generating titles:

  • Create headlines that are easily relatable.
  • Use emotional hooks or power words that catch attention and attract clicks. E.g. secret, amazing, proven, discover, etc.
  • Include numbers. E.g. “7 Proven Tips to Increase Your Click-Through Rate
  1. Use Descriptive URLs

According to a study by Microsoft, descriptive URLs garner 25% more clicks than generic URLs. So, optimize it in the best possible manner to increase your CTR.

One good way to do this is by implementing a ‘most-searched’ long-tail keyword in the page URL. Check out the below image:

Use Descriptive URLs

In the example above, Amazon has intelligently included a high-competition keyword “lawn mower parts & accessories” into the URL. It clearly indicates your audiences that they are looking at only a specific range of product they have searched for…nothing more, nothing less. As it appears to be more relevant, it is likely to get more clicks.


Organic search traffic, as well as traffic generated from paid advertising, is the holy grail of digital marketing. The only way to improve your website traffic is to get more clicks. By increasing your CTR, you will improve your overall search traffic (both organic and paid) and maximize conversions.

The above tactics will help you walk through the right path of improving your click-through rate.

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