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Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate or CTR is the ratio of clicks to impressions for links, banners, advertisements, and emails. The metric is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiplying by 100%. For example, if a link was shown 300 times in a search engine and only 30 users clicked on it, the CTR would be 10%. CTR is commonly used to determine the effectiveness of contextual advertising, email campaigns, and SEO promotion.

Most analytical and marketing tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, calculate CTR. What is considered a high CTR depends on the level of competition and the platform for which the metric is calculated. For example, in search engine results for high-frequency queries, the CTR for the top results can reach 10-20%. For contextual advertising, a CTR of 5% is considered normal. A specialist in advertising who is responsible for its configuration can provide a more accurate optimal click-through rate.

CTR should not be confused with the conversion rate, as a conversion is defined as the completion of a specific action such as filling out a form or placing an order. Click-through rate, on the other hand, shows how effective the advertisement or email was in generating traffic. CTR can be used to assess the relevance of content and understand how interested users are in it.

However, CTR does not always depend solely on content. Depending on the platform, different factors affect clickability. For example, in search engine results pages, CTR depends on the position in the rankings and the snippet. The first three links receive more clicks, and if your link is not even on the first page, the CTR may be zero. An attractive and informative snippet attracts users' attention. Such a snippet makes the link more noticeable among others, so website owners try to obtain an extended snippet.

In contextual advertising and email marketing, the call to action and the relevance of the offer have a significant impact on CTR. If the call to action is not clear, users may not even understand what you want from them. Additionally, advertising must have precise targeting. Quality content and a call to action will not help if the advertisement is seen by an uninterested person or if the email is received by someone who did not give consent for the mailing.

To increase CTR:

  • set targeting parameters so that your target audience sees the ad;
  • specify in the ad text what you offer the user, without using overly complex or veiled phrases;
  • formulate a clear call to action;
  • make a title for the page that will interest the user in the search engine results and will be relevant to the query;
  • try to create an extended snippet.
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