What is CTR in Marketing?

As a digital marketer, you must be acquainted with several marketing terminologies and metrics such as CTA, ROI, and CTR. Click-through rate or CTR is one of the most used metrics in marketing. You must have a clear understanding of what is CTR in marketing, its importance, how to calculate it, average CTRs across industries and marketing channels, and CTR improvement best practices.

This article covers everything you need to know about CTR in marketing. While you might not become a master of CTR optimization, you’ll get a complete overview of CTR in the post.

What is CTR in Marketing?

CTR is an abbreviation of click-through rate that is a measure of how many times a link or button is clicked. It is the rate at which a link is clicked. Technically, it is a ratio of total impressions to the total number of clicks and is measured in percentage.

The formula for CTR is:

ctr formula

Whenever you have to measure and report the total number of clicks vs. total impressions, you’ll use CTR.

How to Calculate CTR

Calculating CTR is a straightforward process. It is pre-calculated already in all the leading analytics tools such as Google Search Console, Google Ads, and more. But you must know how to calculate it manually as a marketer.

Here is a simple formula to measure CTR:

Total Clicks / Total Impressions = CTR

Here is an example of CTR from Google Search Console:

ctr example

And here how it is calculated:

Total clicks / Total impressions = 11/442 = 0.0248

The result is converted into percentage:

0.0248 x 100/100 = 2.5%

Easy, right?

You can create a formula in an Excel sheet and calculate CTR based on clicks and impressions on autopilot. Just in case your analytics tool doesn’t calculate it for you.

CTR Importance

Click-through rate is an important marketing metric that provides you with a lot of useful information. It is a simple yet very effective percentage. Here are the key reasons and benefits that make CTR an important metric for your business:

  1. It is a simple marketing metric that measures the click-impression ratio for any marketing channel
  2. It measures the effectiveness of CTAs on any given page on your website. A high CTR means your CTAs are persuasive and working well
  3. CTR tracks clicks in comparison to the impressions received (and not just website visitors). This makes it a reliable metric that goes beyond website traffic and visitors
  4. It impacts the conversion rate. A high CTR means people are clicking CTAs and vice versa. CTR is one of the first metrics that you need to test and improve during a CRO process
  5. CTR is widely used in advertising campaigns where it is used to measure the ratio of people who see your ad vs. people who click an ad
  6. You can use it to track any marketing campaign ranging from email marketing to content marketing and more.

What is a Good CTR?

The click-through rate varies depending on the marketing channel you are using and your industry. A good CTR for an ad campaign might be different from a good CTR for an email campaign.

You can easily find average CTR for Google display network and Google search ad campaigns across industries. It helps you compare your campaign’s CTR against the industry benchmark:

ctr for google ads benchmark

If you are running a Google search ad campaign in the legal industry, 1.35% is the industry average CTR. If your campaign’s CTR is above it, that’s great. However, if it is lower, you must try increasing it.

This gives you a decent idea of what’s a good ad CTR in your industry.

Similarly, there are email marketing benchmarks by industry that help you compare the CTR of your email campaigns. MailChimp publishes email marketing benchmarks with average CTR across industries:

average email CTR

The average email CTR across all industries is 2.62%. 

But what’s a good CTR for your website?

It depends.

The higher the CTR, the better. There aren’t any benchmark reports for website CTRs for landing pages. However, you can check the average conversion rate for websites to get an idea of what your CTR must be. Since CTR leads to conversion, therefore, it makes sense to use conversion rate to track website CTR.

Here is a study that shows the global conversion rate in 2019 was 2.58%:

average website conversion rate

The average CTR must be in the range of 2-3% for your website as not all clicks lead to a conversion.

How to Improve CTR

Click-through rate is related to conversion rate and this makes it an important metric. All conversions begin with a click. So, if you want to improve the conversion rate, you must increase CTR.

It needs to be improved to persuade visitors who see your ad or CTA to click and convert. Here are a few best practices to improve CTR across all marketing campaigns and channels:

  1. Improve your call to action. This is the first thing you must do if you have a low CTR. If your CTA isn’t persuasive and fails to grab attention, it won’t drive clicks. Read this article for tips on improving your CTA.
  2. Target the right audience. Audience-ad mismatch leads to a low CTR. You need to improve targeting if your campaign has a significantly low CTR. This means you are showing the right ad to the wrong audience or the wrong ad to the right audience.
  3. Improve headline. If you want to improve the CTR of an email marketing campaign or a landing page, work on improving the headline. A great headline will make visitors read the copy and click the CTA. It must develop a hook and connection with the readers. If it fails, you’ll have a low CTR as people will leave your landing page or won’t open your email.

Final Words

Click-through rate is an extremely useful metric that tells you a lot about your audience and marketing collateral. It tells you how effective your headlines, ad copy, and CTAs are.

In most cases, CTR alone doesn’t show the complete picture.

For example, a high CTR with a low conversion rate for your ad campaign means people are clicking your ad but they aren’t converting. It shows something isn’t right with the landing page.

When CTR is used with other marketing metrics, it becomes more effective and useful.

Featured Image: Pexels

More from Jesse