Click-through rate (CTR)

Fernando Maciá

Written by Fernando Maciá

The CTR, Click-through rate, is the percentage of users who clicked on a link or an ad with a link. It is usually one of the most important performance indicators in online advertising campaigns.

CTR is one of the most important performance indicators in online advertising campaigns.

This indicator is calculated by dividing the total number of ad views by the total number of clicks made by users. So, if an ad has been viewed 1,000 times and users have clicked on it 100 times, we will obtain the CTR as follows:

1000 impressions \ 100 clicks = 10% CTR


In the quest to optimize advertising campaigns, we try to improve the ads to obtain a higher CTR, which means that the ad has more visibility and, in principle, is more relevant to users.

In general, making a generic evaluation of the Click-through rate is very risky, since the value will depend on the media where the ad is published. An advertising banner published on a web page is not the same as a text ad published on Google. In the same way, it is possible that a CTR of 0.5% for a banner ad is a good figure, while a CTR of 2% for a search ad published on Google is not, therefore, CTR in the same context should be compared to see if it is acceptable or not.

It is also possible to talk about the click-through rate of advertising emails, since they are viewed by users and usually contain links pointing to web pages of the issuing company’s products or services. In this case, there are more specific studies that speak of acceptable CTR for email marketing campaigns higher than 3%.

In advertising emails, a CTR higher than 3% is usually positive.

In advertising platforms, such as Google AdWords, CTR is one of the quality indicators that affect the price of ads. If the ads of the campaigns obtain higher CTR data than those of their competitors, the platform will give a better quality score to the keywords that trigger those ads, corresponding a higher quality with a lower advertising cost.

CTR of Google AdWords campaigns

How to improve CTR?

To improve the CTR rate in the ads, they must be optimized in such a way that they cause greater interest to users and create a distinction with competing ads by providing the ad with greater uniqueness. To do this, you should try to make your ads as visible as possible, either with more eye-catching images or compelling text. In addition, the message must be appropriate for the target user. You can also use so-called “calls to action” that motivate the user to perform some action or to learn more information about the advertised product or service. For example some calls to action could be: “Contact now” or “Get a 30% offer now”.

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Fernando Maciá
Fernando Maciá
Founder and CEO of Human Level. Expert SEO consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He has been a professor at numerous universities and business schools, and director of the Master in Professional SEO and SEM and the Advanced SEO Course at KSchool. Author of a dozen books on SEO and digital marketing.

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