The Basics of the Clickthrough Rate


While considering how marketing campaigns and Google Adwords work best, you may have heard the term “clickthrough rate.” This measure of marketing effectiveness, also known as CTR, stands above many others as a result of its face-value simplicity. However, dissecting that simplicity can lead businesses down many more paths as they attempt to refine their campaigns.


What is CTR and How Does it Function?


The underlying algorithm could not be simpler:

CTR = Clicks / Impressions

Clicks occur, of course, when users click an advertisement to find out more about what it has to offer. Such clicks often lead viewers directly to brands’ webpages. Impressions are simply the total number of people who have seen an ad in question.

As an example, when 100 users view an ad within their Google searches and five of them click that ad, it results in a CTR of five percent.

5 / 100 = 5%

This is a score most businesses would love to have. Across one million impressions, that rate leads to 50,000 clicks. If even a fraction that population purchases a brand’s product, it will make for an excellent quarter.


How Keywords Can Improve CTR


Even with high markings, there are still a number of other things marketing teams can do to make their ads even better. These teams know that their ads are driven by keywords. In fact, in Adwords, teams can make sure only select keywords trigger their ads for dispensation.

The problem here is that broad keyword bases can be misleading. Telling Adwords to use broad-match keywords could get your ads in front of many viewers because your defined search terms will trigger your ads often. This could lead anyone who searches for “London show tickets,” for instance, to trigger your broad-search keyword term “show tickets” even though you don’t sell tickets for overseas venues.

In later posts, this blog will discuss proper keyword usage, how you can refine your terms, and how Adwords can help reduce your spend. For now, though, it’s only important to know that keywords are what drive CTR. The correct search terms will get your ads in front of the right faces, and when only a select clientele see your ads, you will spend less per click and see your return on investment improve.


Keep Both Eyes on Your CTR and Keywords


The best way to improve CTR is to pay attention to all its elements. If you witness a large number of viewers but few clicks, it may be time to reexamine your keywords. Adwords lets you break down campaigns into individual ads and keywords so you can see which factors show the most effectiveness.

You’re likely to see a number of keywords that do not receive any clicks. In that case, suspend those words for another time. Stick to the keywords that work best, and maybe add a few keywords from other campaigns that show effectiveness elsewhere. In that way, you can build a powerhouse of search terms that get your meaningful information before potential customers.

Generally speaking, a high-quality CTR for any campaign is anything at one percent or higher. To some, the five percent quoted earlier may seem like a myth from the marketing gods, but you can achieve higher rates by simply paying attention to your overall CTR and finding out which keywords affect them the most. A little attention can go a long way.

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