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What is a Good CTR (Clickthrough Rate)?

CTR stands for clickthrough rate. Sometimes this shows up in your account as “interaction Rate”. 

Simply put:

Interaction = Click

Interaction Rate = Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough Rate is the percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it. If 100 people saw the ad, and 1 person clicked on it, your CTR is 1%.

So, what is a good Clickthrough Rate for search ads? Well, it depends. 

A good range is 5%-15% CTR for search campaign ads. This depends and varies on several factors.

Keyword Targeting

You are going to have a very high clickthrough rate if:

  • Your keyword targeting is extremely focused
  • You’re using very specific keywords
  • You’re using specific location names within your keywords 
  • You’re using specific brand names
  • You’re using specific attributes of products within your keywords

The reason why the CTR is high in these situations is because you already know precisely what the person is searching or asking for. If you can give them an exact answer to their question, they are very likely to click on the ad.

The chance that you’re going to answer the question of a searcher goes down if:

  • You’re targeting keywords that are more generic
  • Your keywords have little relation to what you’re actually selling 

You can still have a great campaign with a 5% CTR. I have some campaigns with 2%-3% CTR,and they work. But within those campaigns,there are definitely keywords with much higher CTR as well as low CTR. But I make sure that those keywords with low CTR are still profitable. 

If you’re targeting very broad keywords, around 1% CTR or less, that should tell you that the ad is shown to too many people. Add the fact that there’s alway going to be people who click on your ad with no intent of becoming a customer. That’s why things aren’t going to typically work as well with a lower CTR.

With a higher CTR, you’re usually getting enough good customers because you’re matching what you’re selling to what people are looking for. The traffic is good enough that even the extra people who might click on the ad (and with no intention of making a purchase) don’t completely destroy the campaign.

But with too low CTR, the tendency is you’re going to get mostly bad traffic. Any CTR that’s less than 5% is pretty questionable. You want to keep a close eye and make sure that traffic is actually converting and profitable for you.

Ad Positioning

Another thing that has a big impact on your CTR is your ad positioning. Is your ad at the top of the page or is it lower? Or is it at the bottom of the page? This has a big impact. The ad at the top of the page is always going to get a high CTR. People are more likely to click on the first result that comes up.

Let’s say you are running an ad, and you’re bidding higher so that it’s in the top position.  Some other day, you decide to bid lower for the same ad, so it ends in the 3rd or 4th position. That same ad will definitely get a higher CTR when in the top position.

I’m not saying you have to be in the top position all the time. Sometimes that’s too expensive and you’ll end up being more profitable in the 3rd or 4th position. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking at your CTR.

What is a bad CTR for search ads?

1% or less CTR is really bad. In this case, you’re being too broad with keywords, you need to tighten up your targeting and get a little more specific. 

What is a good CTR for display network?

On the Display Network, you can expect less than 1% CTR, and that is still fine, because these people did not come to a website with the intent on clicking on anything. They came to a website for a different reason. If the thing that you’re selling is an exact match to the topic of the website, you might see a higher CTR. On the display network, high means 1% or higher. 

On the Display Network, it’s usually bad to see an unusually high CTR because there are people out there who scam Google and advertisers. The scammers perform by setting up a website and install the code for Google Ads. It’s a website that nobody would go to for any reason, except the owner of the website will go there and click on these ads. Perhaps his friends or someone that he pays will also go there and click on these ads in an effort to make money for the website owner. This is an absolute scam, and obviously against Google’s policies, but it happens.

If there have been 100 to 200 impressions, and you’ve seen a CTR that is 3% or more, that’s the first sign that you’re running into a scam, and you can just exclude that ad placement. Again, maybe that’s not the case if what you’re selling is extremely matched to the topic of the website. If the website has nothing to do with what you’re selling, that’s a scam, go ahead and block those high CTR sites.

What’s the bottom line?

Your CTR or Interaction rate will help you see if your Keyword Targeting is going well on Search Ads, and whether you need to block high-CTR sites for being scams . Watch it well!

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