Digital Marketing & SEO

What Is CTR and How It Affects the Success of an Advertising Campaign

After launching an advertising campaign, many advertisers notice that there is almost no traffic to the site. For example, there is a feeling that users see ads offering them to play at, but don’t click on the links. It may seem that the channels chosen are not effective, but there’s no need to jump to conclusions. It’s worth first analyzing the key indicators, one of which is CTR. What is it, how it affects the results of the campaign and how to increase it?

What CTR Means

CTR, or click-through rate, is the ratio of the number of users who clicked on a particular link to the total number of users who saw it. The indicator allows you to understand how well the ad attracts users to the resource.

The formula for calculating CTR is simple:

CTR = number of clicks / number of impressions × 100%

What CTR Affects

The click-through rate allows you to evaluate the quality of your ad.

CTR allows:

  • control advertising costs. If the CTR is low, the cost per click increases. CTR works for Google Ads as well. Control of the indicator allows you to improve the ad and increase the CTR within a single advertising campaign.
  • test creatives. By using different texts, calls to action, headlines and designs in your ads and by monitoring the CTR, you can draw conclusions about the effectiveness of marketing techniques. This is very important in targeting ads, which are usually run for a very narrow target audience.
  • Determine the effectiveness of a landing page. A landing page can be called a large ad consisting of graphics, text and conversion buttons. It should lead to a click. So here CTR – the main indicator of effectiveness.
  • Develop a strategy. Knowing what the target audience does not like and likes, you can plan the creation of other advertising campaigns and monitor their effectiveness.

What CTR Is Good and How to Increase It

Each advertising channel has its own approximate values of CTR in the norm, as well as ways to increase it. For example, an Instagram ad will be clicked less frequently than a contextual ad in a search engine. In the first case, the ads are distracting, and in the second, they help to solve problems quickly. The parameter has no strict numerical criteria, each situation is individual. Let’s break down what CTR is optimal and good for different types of ads.

Search Ads

Normally, ads that show up on Google search depending on the user’s query have a higher CTR than other tools. A good CTR for contextual advertising in search is 5-10%.

The figure is influenced by the niche. For example, it’s harder to sell smartphones than truck cranes. In the first case, the competition is high, so the CTR is lower.

Targeted Advertising

Targeted ads are shown only to those who meet the configured criteria. Although the settings are very flexible, in targeting the CTR usually doesn’t reach high values. This is due to the fact that the ads are seen by all users from the selected target audience. On the one hand, this is good, but you have to understand that not everyone is looking for what is shown in the ads. Therefore, many users pass by and clicks don’t grow.


For SEO, CTR is directly related to where the site is displayed. Statistically, the first three sites in a display get 50% of the clicks. At the same time the very first link is clicked by 28% of users.

One of the highest CTRs is for sites that are displayed for branded queries. According to PR-CY research, click-through rates on the first link can be as high as 70%.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters have a high CTR. On average, a good CTR is 2.14% or higher. The CTR value often depends on the industry.

In B2C, CTR is lower, at 2-3%. This makes sense for mass mailings. In B2B, the CTR value can be as high as 5% and higher. This can be explained by a more individual approach.

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