What is CTR and how to increase it in paid search advertising
What is CTR
Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a metric that estimates the number of visits to a resource after viewing advertisements. Since not all impressions of advertisements and banners lead to visiting a website, the click-through rate shows how much your advertisement is interesting to a user.
How to calculate the CTR
What influences the CTR
CTR as an indicator of advertising performance
If a website has what a visitor was looking for and all the necessary conditions for performing a useful action, a conversion happens.
High CTR signifies that:
- the target audience saw your advertisement;
- users were interested in the advertisement text.
CTR and advertisement rating
The metric "expected CTR" is involved in the formation of the advertisement rating (quality score) and affects the results of the Google auction. This value is based on the effectiveness of keywords in the current campaign and also indicates the likelihood of a click and the marketing potential of an advertisement.
An increase in CTR after the launch of a new campaign will increase the ranking and position of advertisements in search results. This will bring new clicks and will further reduce the cost per click.
CTR and managing advertising budget
Based on the CTR statistics, you can evaluate how rationally the funds were spent, as well as more efficiently manage expenses in the future. When allocating a budget, you should consider the effectiveness of the texts of advertisements, keywords, and other targeting elements.
How high should the CTR be
Good click-through rate in paid search advertising
The most effective are phrases with callout extensions that have commercial potential: "buy", "order", "reviews", and so on. In this case, the CTR, as a rule, is at least 5% and can reach 10-20% depending on the competition factor and other targeting methods.
As for the average CTR of ads in Google AdWords, you can take the value of 8-10% which is an achievable indicator in most subjects.
If the CTR value is lower than expected, you should analyze the "Keywords" report, add negative keywords and possibly change the match type of keywords. The figure shows the respective tab in Google AdWords.
Which CTR is considered good for banner advertising
Anyway, effective targeting, analysis of websites on which banners appeared, and further adjustments will make impressions as targeted as possible and increase the number of clicks.
As for targeted advertising in social media, there are no public statistics regarding CTR of banners on social networks. However, a large audience of users and a high number of impressions make the click-through value low enough. The statistics of many advertising campaigns on Facebook indicate the dependence of advertising effectiveness on the industry of a business.
The average value across all targeting areas on Facebook Ads is usually within 0.9%.
How to increase CTR
Creating the right account structure
Bulk keyword lists in advertising campaigns are a sure-fire way to increase user reach. However, a large number of impressions with a low CTR often indicate that there are irrelevant, so-called "junk" impressions. The analysis of the "Keywords" tab allows you to find out what queries bring advertisement impressions and identify bottlenecks.
Narrowing match types
One way to target ads to the right user is to work out keyword match types. For example, instead of a broad match type, you can choose a phrase match or modified broad match thereby excluding impressions for queries that are similar in meaning, but not always relevant in the topic.
Analysis of search queries that generate advertisement impressions as well as the collection of keywords in the search results will identify negative keywords and exclude impressions for such keywords by adding them to the respective list.
When launching an advertising campaign, newcomers often prefer high-frequency queries considering them the key to success, that is, if users often enter such phrases in the search bar then the ads should generate a response. However, a high-frequency query that a user enters does not always mean the desire to perform an action useful for business, namely, to get acquainted with goods on a website, buy or order.
For example, a user enters a query "sushi". Moreover, the intention may be to search for a definition of a given word, photograph, ingredients, and a recipe. If you have a Japanese cuisine delivery service and you use the keyword "sushi" in an advertising campaign, a large number of people will see such an advertisement, but many will ignore it.
To increase the CTR of advertisements, you should use keywords aimed at potential customers: "order sushi", "sushi delivery", "sushi restaurant", and others.
It is also important to consider the location of the advertisement on the website page. The banner should be in a visible area of the screen and not interfere with viewing the content.
Increase the advertisement attractiveness
Advertisements must contain key phrases that match the needs of the target audience and be commercially attractive. This will provide an opportunity to identify the advantages among competitors and encourage the user to go to your website.
A keyword or phrase in the headline text signals to the user that the advertisement is relevant to their request. Therefore, the user is most likely to find on a website what he was looking for. Also, the key phrase with the maximum match with the user's query can be highlighted in bold on the search results page which attracts additional attention.
An expanded description of the advertisement allows you to talk more about the product or service. Here you can add a call to action (CTA), mention a promotion or a unique selling proposition (USP), indicate a time limit ("today only"), indicate data using numbers or other competitive advantages.
Note: to include as much information as possible in the advertisement text, fill in additional headlines and descriptions.
Using advertisement extensions
Adding a phone number to an advertisement will allow the interested user to go directly to the call. This action is equivalent to going to a website and, accordingly, increases the CTR.
Users often go to a website via sitelink extensions. Such links inform potential customers about other important pages of a website, that is, categories of similar products, pages with a catalog or price list, information about promotions.
Additional phrases about the benefits of your business will increase the attractiveness of the advertisement and save space in the description. Often use such callouts as "free delivery", "24/7 service", etc. Also, using these extensions you can talk about a wide range of companies.
Bright and informative banners
Delegate the creation of banners to professionals who will create a unique and aesthetically attractive design, choose the right color combinations and write advertisement texts, draw graphics and other visual content.
Other factors affecting banner attractiveness:
- resolution. You should be guided by the statistics of the most effective formats in your industry and keep in mind that large banners are more visible;
- high-quality contrast and bright images;
- using interactive and animated banners. Dynamic images gain more attention.
Testing advertisements and banners
Creating several text advertisements in each group, launching various banners and testing their effectiveness will allow you to determine the most effective options and find out triggers which are points of interaction with the target audience that give the maximum result in the form of visits to a website.
Bids adjustment for increasing positions
The easiest way to increase your search advertising position is by choosing the right bidding strategy.
For example, the "Target search page location" bidding strategy in Google AdWords which focuses on putting an advertisement above search results or in the first position will allow the system to adjust bids so that ads appear at the top of the page more often.
The main ways to increase the click-through rate of advertising include:
- efficient organization of the account structure;
- addressing your advertisements to the target audience;
- increasing the commercial attractiveness of ads and banners;
- testing ads to find the most effective solutions;
- bid adjustments.
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