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What is CTR?

How to check if your campaigns are working? Where to get knowledge about the effectiveness of mailing, paid advertising or other marketing activities? There are many indicators to help illustrate this. One of them is CTR (Click Through Rate). So find out what CTR is, what this parameter is about and how to use it in your internet activity.

CTR what does that mean?

The abbreviation CTR means the so-called click through rate or click through rate. How to understand it? It is about the ratio of the number of clicks to the number of views of a given content (e.g. advertising, search result, e-mail). If 1,000 people see your ad and 250 clicks on the link in your ad, your click-through rate will be 25%.

CTR is one of the main measures of audience engagement. It can refer to organic search results as well as paid advertising, email marketing, push notifications and many other activities. It is often referred to in the context of Google Ads ads as it allows you to check your effectiveness in driving traffic to the website. In short, the click-through rate shows how many people the message contained in a given ad (or notification, e-mail, etc.) reached enough to make them want to learn more by clicking on the link. Therefore, it allows you to check whether a given material performs its function properly. Constant CTR monitoring also allows you to track whether campaigns are going in the right or wrong direction.

CTR and other statistics in a mailing campaign

Of course, however, the CTR alone does not provide enough information about the effectiveness of the activities carried out. It is worth comparing it with other indicators to get a more complete picture of the situation. What correlations are worth paying attention to?

CTR and OR
A high Open Rate (OR, message open rate) means that the campaign has piqued interest, was timed, and made it through spam filters. However, if your CTR is also low, the content of the message may not have been enticing enough. Sometimes it can also indicate technical problems.

ROI is an abbreviation that stands for Return On Investment. This is actually the most important indicator of whether you are making money with your activities. If sales are low despite high click-through rates, it means, for example, problems with the offer itself or its presentation on the website.

CTR and unsubscribes
The combination of a high CTR with the growing number of unsubscribes is an alarming factor. This may mean that the content of the mailing does not reach the target group at all or is of little interest.

CTR in Google organic search results

Google uses CTR to evaluate the quality performance of Google Ads campaigns. It also uses it to evaluate organic search results. There are also reasons to believe that the index affects the position of the page in the search engine. (of course as one of many other factors). Google’s algorithms are constantly learning from Internet users’ behavior, so they likely also use click-through information to identify what is most popular and why. Therefore, high click-through rates mean not only more traffic on the website, but also better positioning for specific phrases, which will allow you to gain even more recipients (of course, this last statement is a presumption, not a fact). You can check information about your website’s CTR in Google Search Console.

CTR in the ad and the conversion rate

High ad click-through rates (e.g. Google Ads) should be a joy. The goal of a campaign, however, is usually not just to increase traffic to the site, but sales. Therefore, a high CTR should lead to an increase in the conversion rate. What if it doesn’t? What does it mean? There may be several reasons for this. The most common are:
– inappropriate matching of the ad content to the content of the website,
– bad matching of the ad to keywords,
– unattractive offer,
– UX / UI nature problems (e.g. unintuitive conversion path),
– technical problems on the site.

So if seemingly good ad performance doesn’t translate into profits, take a close look at what you’re doing.

Good CTR, or what?

How high should CTR be? There is no definite answer to this question. Optimum results will vary, including depending on the marketing channel. In the case of e-mail marketing, a few percent can be considered a satisfactory result – especially if it translates into conversion.

In the case of organic search results, high click-through rates improve the position of the website and, at the same time, increase traffic. The average CTR for the first link in Google search results is 30-50%. The second position can only count on 10 – 15%, and the third one on 5 – 9%.

When analyzing the CTR ratio, it is worth focusing not so much on its height, but on trends related to its increases or decreases. They provide information on the correctness of the election campaigns undertaken.

How to increase CTR?

When asked “how to increase the CTR?” also can be answered in many ways. The key is to arouse the interest of recipients. The message must therefore be tailored to the target group – personalized messages allow you to achieve much better results. You can segment your audience base by targeting separate messages to different groups of potential customers.

Regardless of the marketing channel, the factor that influences click-through rates is definitely the use of CTA (Call To Action). Even using such simple phrases as “Check!” or “Learn More!”, you are able to get better results. Undoubtedly, CTAs that directly speak about the benefits, such as “Download for free”, are also beneficial. It is worth analyzing the CTR level on an ongoing basis to see which treatments work best. The key to high click-through rates is constant optimization and improvement of conducted activities.

Also, remember not to overwhelm your audience with your message. This is a principle that mainly applies to email campaigns and push notifications. Too many messages lowers CTR and may increase unsubscribe rates.

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