On-Page SEO

Click-Through Rate

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jun 8, 2023

Click-Through Rate

What is the Click-through Rate?

Click-through rate (CTR) measures how often people click on an ad or link after seeing it.

It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times the ad or link was shown.

For example:

  • An ad was seen 100 times

  • It was clicked 5 times

  • The CTR is 5% (5 clicks / 100 views)

Why is it important?

CTR shows how effective an ad or link is at getting people to click it. A high CTR is important for several reasons:

  • Gets More Website Traffic: Higher CTR drives more visitors to your site.

  • Improves Advertising Return-on-Investment: You get more value or return on investment (ROI) for your ad spending with higher CTR.

  • Shows Relevant Ads/Content: A high CTR signals your ads or content resonate with your target audience.

  • Can Lead to Better Ad Placement: Search engines like Google often give better ad placements to ads with high CTR.

  • Generates More Conversions: More clicks from higher CTR means more potential customers converted.

  • Builds User Engagement: Clicking shows users find your content valuable and relevant.

  • Increases Brand Awareness: With each click and visit, more people become aware of your brand.

How is it calculated?

The click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an advertisement or link receives by the number of times it was viewed and then multiplying by 100 to express it as a percentage.

The formula for calculating CTR is:

CTR = (Number of clicks / Number of impressions) x 100%

For example, if an ad is shown 100 times and is clicked on 5 times, the CTR would be calculated as:

CTR = (5 clicks / 100 impressions) x 100% = 5%

In this case, the CTR is 5%, which means that out of 100 impressions, the ad was clicked on 5 times.

Paid vs organic click-through rate

Paid and organic click-through rates refer to the CTR for paid advertising and organic search results, respectively.

Paid CTR refers to the percentage of clicks that an ad receives out of the total number of times it is displayed, while unpaid CTR refers to the percentage of clicks on organic search results out of the total number of times they are displayed.

Paid CTR is typically higher than organic CTR because paid ads are often more prominent and visually appealing.

In addition, paid ads can be targeted to specific audiences, which can increase their relevance and effectiveness.

Organic CTR, on the other hand, is influenced by factors such as the quality of the content, relevance to the search query, and how well it's optimized.

Both types are important to track and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and optimize them.

Is CTR a ranking factor?

Click-through rate is not a direct ranking factor used by search engines like Google. 

John Mueller responded to a tweet and made it clear that high CTR is not directly proportional to ranking: 

John Mueller on CTR and rankings

He replied to another question this way:

John Mueller tweet about CTR

From these tweets, it is clear that it is not a direct ranking factor.

However, CTR indirectly impacts search engine rankings because it reflects the relevance and usefulness of a search result or advertisement to the user.

Moreover, a high-paid search CTR can improve your Quality Score, which is a metric used by Google to determine the relevance and usefulness of your ads.

A higher Quality Score can lead to lower costs per click and higher ad rankings, which can ultimately lead to greater visibility and more clicks.

What is a good CTR?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes a good click-through rate as it can vary widely depending on factors such as the industry, type of ad, and target audience.

A CTR that is significantly higher than the industry average can be considered good, as it indicates that your ads are more relevant and compelling to your target audience.

However, it's important to keep in mind that CTR is just one of many metrics that can indicate the success of your online marketing efforts.

Other metrics such as conversion rate, cost per click, and ROI should also be considered to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign.

Can high CTR be bad for paid results?

While a high CTR can indicate that your ads are relevant and compelling to your target audience, it does not necessarily mean that those clicks will lead to conversions or sales.

For example, if you are bidding on high-competition keywords with a lot of clicks but low conversion rates, you may end up spending a lot of money on clicks that don't result in profitable outcomes.

Additionally, a high CTR may also indicate that your ads are attracting clicks from users who are not actually interested in your product or service, which can result in wasted ad spend.

Therefore, it's important to balance CTR with other metrics such as conversion rates, cost per acquisition, and return on ad spend to ensure that your paid search campaigns are driving profitable results. 

How to check CTR in the Google Search Console?

  1. Go to https://search.google.com/search-console and log in with your Google account.

  2. Once you are logged in, select your website from the property dropdown menu (if you have multiple websites) and navigate to the Performance report.

  3. In the Performance report, select the "Pages" tab to see a list of your website's individual pages.

  4. In the "Pages" tab, you can see your CTR metric displayed as a percentage in the "CTR" column. You can also see the total clicks, impressions, and average position for each page.

  5. Once you have found your CTR metric, analyze your results to see how it compares to your industry benchmarks and your own goals.

 If your CTR is low for a particular page, you may want to optimize the page's title tag, meta description, and other on-page elements to improve its performance.

How to improve it?

There are several strategies you can use to improve your CTR:

Optimize your headlines

Write compelling, relevant headlines that grab the reader's attention and convey the value proposition of your content or offer.

Use emotional appeals

Use emotional appeals in your headlines and ad copy to tap into your audience's desires, fears, and aspirations.

Improve your meta descriptions

Write informative, benefit-driven meta descriptions that accurately describe your content and include a call-to-action to encourage clicks.

Use rich snippets

Use rich snippets to enhance the appearance of your search results with additional information, such as ratings, reviews, and prices.

Test different ad formats

Experiment with different ad formats, such as text ads, display ads, and video ads, to see which ones generate the most clicks and conversions.

Target your ads to the right audience

Use targeting options such as demographics, interests, and keywords to reach the right audience and increase relevance.

Improve your landing pages

Ensure that your landing pages are optimized for both relevance and user experience, with clear calls-to-action and navigation.

Monitor your results

Continuously monitor your CTR and other metrics, such as bounce rate and conversion rate, to identify areas for optimization and improvement.


CTR calculates the percentage of times people click on an ad or content after seeing it.

High CTR shows your ads and content are connecting with your target audience. Low CTR suggests they may not be relevant or appealing enough.

There are various optimization strategies to try to improve CTR - like testing ads, customizing for your audience, and providing engaging content.

Checking and working to increase CTR is essential. More clicks result in more website visitors, brand awareness, and potential conversions.

Continuously monitoring and optimizing CTR should be part of an effective digital marketing strategy for productive campaigns.

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