Click-through rate (CTR) Definition

What Is Click-through rate?

CTR is an abbreviation of “Click Trough Rate”. Click-through rate is a measure of the proportion of those who have seen an ad or post and who then click on it and move on to, for example, your website.

The measure is always displayed as a percentage and is used to show how successful your campaign is, as well as to be able to compare different campaigns against each other in a fair way.

If your ad is shown to 100 people and 10 clicks on it, you have a clickthrough rate of 1%. This means that the higher your clickthrough rate, the better. The formula you use is: number of clicks divided by the number of exposures.

What is a good CTR?

What constitutes a good CTR varies greatly from case to case.

It depends on various factors:

  • Whether it’s about CTR for ads, organic results or on a particular page.
  • What you are advertising about or what your page is about. Different industries and products have different average clickthrough rates.
  • Which ad network an ad is placed on.
  • If the ad or search result is displayed on a desktop, mobile, tablet or in an app.

Tip – CTR must be compared over time to get an idea of what is a good level for your particular company. Note what happens when you optimize.

You can get an understanding of how things are in the industry by looking at “auctions insights” in Google Ads.

It estimates where you are in bidding against competitors with the same selected keywords.

How can I measure CTR for organic traffic?

Easy. In the same way but it is done differently based on what you want to measure or look at.

For example, if you want to see what effect a CTA investment has, you should measure the number of visits to the page on which it is located and the number of clicks on the CTA button or whatever it is.

In the Google Search Console you will find it easily and can check it at page level, which question you have clicked on, etc.

Very useful because it is Google’s own tool, it is also correct data. In the Search Console you also get indications of how your individual pages perform, which questions have good exposure and good CTR and more, so use it.

To help you write good content to increase your CTR, there are several different tools for.

Remember to always start from the person when you want to increase your CTR and the commitment from the visitors to your website.

Different CTRs at different times

CTR can also vary depending on the time of day, day of the week or month an ad or search result is displayed. This is because people’s behaviors and habits change.

A person who is actively looking for information and wants to buy a product may, for example, be more inclined to click than someone who surfs without a specific goal – or vice versa.

It may depend on the industry and product.

In general:

  • CTR at most in the morning and gradually decreases during the day. At night it is often at its lowest.
  • CTR at most on Saturdays and Sundays. It is usually the lowest clickthrough rate in the middle of the week.

High and low CTR

A high clickthrough rate indicates that your ad targeting and content are relevant – you use the right keywords and are likely to have attractive ad text.

However, if you have a very low CTR, you should improve the ad or pause it.

Measures that may be appropriate are e.g. to review keywords and break out certain keywords in order to write more specific and customized ad texts.

Clickthrough rate is one of the measures used by Google’s algorithm to calculate your quality score, which is another very important measure.

Ads linked to keywords for your own brand should have a significantly higher click through rate than the average, which is important to keep an eye on.

Whether you advertise yourself or have an agency advertising for you, the results of brand advertising and non-brand advertising should always be reported separately, otherwise the total figure will be misleading.

Unfortunately, we also see all too often that companies fail to bid on their brand, which in the worst case leads to competitors bidding on it.

That, if anything, is an unnecessary way to lose traffic and leads.

How do I increase CTR in ads?

If you advertise on Google Ads, Bing Ads, or through another ad network, you can get more out of your campaigns by improving CTR.

Here are some ways to increase your clickthrough rate:

1. Improve ad and landing page quality

Well-designed ads and a good landing page give a higher so-called Quality Score.

This in turn leads to the ads appearing more often and in better places, which often results in a higher CTR and lower cost-per-click.

2. Use ad extensions

There are over ten different ad extensions on both Google Ads and Bing. It’s a kind of extra feature to the ads to show additional information that may be useful to the viewer.

For example, you can add links to subpages, discounts and price information.

This usually leads to a higher CTR.

3. Take advantage of smart bidding strategies

There are lots of different bidding strategies to explore.

For example, you can choose to maximize clicks, maximize conversions, or maximize conversion value. Choice of bidding strategy affects CTR.

Just keep in mind that maximum CTR is not necessarily always the best. Visitors must also convert to customers in some way.

4. Try different ad formats

Text ads, image ads, and video ads can provide different CTRs.

How big the ad is, how long the headline is and where the ad is placed are other factors that affect. Experiment!

5. Write good ad text

Good ad text increases the likelihood of a user clicking.

Feel free to name a few of your USPs and try to stand out from the competition as this will likely lead to higher CTR.

6. Test different ads

Add multiple variations of one ad to an ad group.

After a while, you can decide which of the ads gives the highest CTR and is most effective.

The art of improving the CTR

There are different methods to improve the CTR depending on which digital channel you want to work with. This is how I work on the organic search.

  • Personally, I usually use Google and refuel the entire site’s visibility through the Google Search Console. I usually choose to look at keywords and landing pages.
  • After that, there will be a lot of Excel trickery. By color-marking the cells that are above average with a green color and color-marking those that are below average, it is relatively easy to identify the pages that need to be corrected in the organic search. Sometimes I sort out the pages that have too few impressions because they are not statistically reliable.
  • I download all titles and meta descriptions automatically in excel. Since it is not visible via the Google Search Console, it will take a few minutes of work with the plugins that are in Excel.
  • Identify the landing pages that perform top 10% in excel and identify different unique selling points (Unique Selling Points) for an online retailer, for example it can be about open purchase, free shipping, prices, brands and these can be different in different categories.
  • Change the titles and meta descriptions
  • Improving CTR can mean big profits for your campaigns and digital marketing as you get more visitors.

Google relies heavily on user behavior in both Adwords and the organic results where CTR is a ranking factor.

Improving a site is an ongoing work and various CTR analyzes are necessary tools to strengthen the site.

Increase organic CTR

There are several ways to improve organic CTR. Common to all is that it is about writing a title and description that attracts more clicks.

Here are some ways to improve your organic clickthrough rate:

1. Write a good meta description

Write a meta description that can appeal to the applicant and that describes some of the interesting things to read on the page.

It increases CTR. Think about what might interest a person who searches on just such search terms that are most important for the landing page.

Stick to 150 – 170 characters. Do not be afraid to be a little emotional in the design, but do not exaggerate just to get clicks.

There is no guarantee that Google will use your meta description but it is a good practice to always write one.

2. Use parentheses in the title

A study from Hubspot showed that CTR is better for pages that use some form of parentheses, for example () or [], in the title.

It helps because it gives a sense of what the page contains. In addition, it helps the result to stand out from the crowd.

3. Use numbers in the title

Numbers and numbers convey a feeling that there are facts or something concrete on your page.

By including some form of number in the title, you can increase the CTR.

4. Have a short URL

Get short and nice URLs for all articles and subpages on your site.

It gives a tidy impression among the search results and increases the probability that you will get a high CTR.

For example, compare these two – which URL feels best?


5. Use the current year in the title and description

By including the current year in the title and meta description, you convey a feeling that your page is updated and has up-to-date information.

That’s good for CTR.

6. Use sitelinks and rich snippets

You can get sitelinks and rich snippets in your organic results using schedule markups or plugins (for example for WordPress).

These increase the visibility of search results and the number of links that users can click on.

This also improves CTR.



This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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