Click Through Rates and PPC

CTR is an important number to measure

Click through rate is a metric which is recorded in AdWords and is normally abbreviated as ‘CTR’. It’s a general rule of thumb that anything above 1% on search is decent and generally on display, anything over 0.04% isn’t awful.

CTR is certainly an important metric, but it is also, certainly not the most important.

The CTR percentage signifies how many people saw your advert versus how many people click on it. So, if your advert appears 100 times and it gets 10 clicks, the CTR is 10%.


Google tell us that the CTR is a big contributing factor to the quality scores associated with the account. So, good CTR means good Quality Scores which ideally means cheaper click costs.

You shouldn’t allow yourself to get too hung up on the accounts CTR. The main percentage metric you should consider is always your conversion rate and associated ROI.

This is because the CTR is relatively easy to manipulate. One trick, up your bid costs to dominate the top positions.

If you had previously been averaging an advert position of 6/8 your CTR is most likely poor, because your advert is on the right hand side and it could be below the top fold of the search results. No one sees it to click on.

Up the keyword bid, get in the top three listings and you’re going to get more traffic. More people actually see it and for those who don’t know there is a difference between organic and paid listings, could happily click away. Higher CTR.

Another, add a brand campaign. I would always recommend bidding on your brand name. It supports the organic listing and it makes it more costly for any competitor to go after the term. But the CTR should be high on a brand campaign, which bolsters the overall accounts CTR.

Another way to manipulate it is by adding terms such as ‘free’ or ‘cheap’. Everyone loves a bargain, they will most likely click on it. Only add this though if it’s true. If your product is relatively expensive, especially compared to your competitors, add the price. Surely you would rather a slightly lowered CTR then people clicking on your adverts, staying on site for two seconds and then leaving costing you budget.

If you really concentrate on your CTR, an experienced account manager can manipulate it. Concentrate on the conversion percent. We can manipulate that too but the results are far better!