What Is A Good Click-Through Rate (CTR) For Google Adwords?


You’ve built your campaigns, written your ads, and sent them out into auction. But your work is far from over. Your AdWords management is never done.

Sure, you’re probably the most concerned about conversions. Who found your ad and went ahead to give you some money? That’s a great metric to focus on, but you’ll also want to pay equal (or more) attention to your click-through rate (CTR).

What is a Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

It’s the result of some not-at-all-complicated math that Google AdWords does to give you an idea of how successful your PPC ads are performing. You get your CTR percentage by dividing the number of clicks your ad has gotten by the number of views, or impressions, it’s gotten. Then, that number is multiplied by 100 to calculate your percentage.

So for example, let’s say you wrote a really awesome ad that’s been running for a month or so now. It got 20 clicks and 1500 impressions. You would have a 1.3% click-through rate.

Is a 1.3% CTR something to be proud of or a result to be concerned about? What exactly is a good CTR for Google AdWords?

AdWords CTR: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

What counts as a good CTR and what does a bad CTR look like? Oh, how much simpler it would be if things were black and white here. Your CTR is measured relevant to your competition. If your CTR is better than the average for that search query, your quality score will increase. If your quality score increases, you get higher positioning for a lower cost. Looking for a “goal” across all ads? Unfortunately, your guess is as good as ours.

You didn’t come here in the hopes that your answer would be that there’s NO answer, right? We’ll give you something to work with and work towards. A decent suggestion is to prevent your CTR from dipping below a 1% and aim for a respectable 2% or 3% whenever possible. It doesn’t seem like much when it’s so far from that perfect 100% score, but 2% can be a completely honorable CTR for most campaigns, especially new ones. An even better way to create some CTR goals is to base it off of benchmarks for your industry. Also keep an eye on your quality scores and write various ads to improve it.

Why Even Care About Your CTR?

If there’s more or less no such thing as a standard “good” CTR, then why care about it at all? The people thinking along those lines were the same kids who stopped putting in effort when they realized homework wasn’t going to be graded the next day. Of course you should care about it, do you have no pride in your work?

For starters, you should care about CTR because it’s an indication of your hard PPC efforts paying off. If that sappy motivational garbage doesn’t get you, then maybe this will: a higher CTR increases Quality Score, and is an indicator that your ads are heading in the right direction. That direction means higher positioning, more traffic, more conversions, and more money in your pocket.

One of the golden rules of PPC ad copy is to keep your ads relevant. What better way to prove that an ad is relevant to a searcher than evaluating the amount of times they click on it? If your ad is super relevant to the searchers intent, it’s more likely to have a higher CTR because users see it and think, “Yes, this is exactly what I want.” A low CTR with a ton of impressions is a warning sign that something about your ad needs to change real quick.

If your CTR is lower than you’d like, it’s time to switch up your PPC strategy and bring it up to a comfortable area. That doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing process. We can get you started with our article on 5 Simple Tactics to Improve CTR. Thank us later.

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Roger Parent

Article by Roger Parent

Roger Parent is the Owner and Founder of Digital Position. He's been a developer, designer, and online marketer for almost 10 years spanning a variety of markets. He's also a very "passionate" (overly competitive) volleyball player.

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