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Click through rate in Google Ads

Click through rate in Google Ads

click through rate, google ads
CTR Click through rate acronym Internet campaign Marketing strategy Website traffic Presentation Conversion rate SMM metrics tools Vector illustration Number time clicks Online advertising analysis

Geschatte leestijd: 11 minutes

Click through rate metric

There are many metrics for example click through rate to track in Google Ads and you can see them in your reports. These metrics tell you how your campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords and so on are performing for you. Without them, you won’t be able to manage your Google Ads effectively and you could be losing a lot of money. Some metrics will be more important to you than others and you will keep a close watch on them every month. Click through rate is one of the key metrics. It’s also one of the easiest to understand.

What is click through rate?

Click through rate is the ratio of searchers that can view your ad to the total number of searchers that click your ad. It is expressed as a percentage.

Good click through rate in Google Ads

For example, if your ad has received 100 impressions and had 10 clicks from that. Then your CTR is 10%. Whether this is a good CTR or not depends on a number of factors. A good click through rate in Google Ads is only possible when ads are relevance to searches. If searchers find your ads related to what they are searching for. They will click. However there are many reasons why Click through ratio may be low or high. A good CTR will vary between industries and will depends on factors such as:

  • Ad position
  • Campaign type
  • Search intent
  • Keyword type
  • Device used and others

So it is not always easy to determine what a good CTR is. However the following points should help to explain this better.

Click through rate below 1%

CTR’s below 1% are common for Display and Remarketing campaigns. This is because people are on websites that are part of the Google Display Network and aren’t actively searching for your products or services. They will be checking out other content and are likely to ignore your image ads. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

click through rate, Google Ads

Google Ads – display campaigns

Traffic volumes are usually higher for display campaigns and it is expected the vast majority of people will not click your image ads. The people who click are usually highly qualified leads and these are the one ones you are interested in. For search campaignsd, click through rates below 1% aren’t good. They reveal that your ads are not targeted to the searcher or they are appearing at the bottom of search results. So aim to rank higher by improving quality scores and also bidding higher for keywords. Keywords with high Ad Rank generally have a higher click through rate. They also help to increase clicks and conversions and help you to quickly see what works or doesn’t.

CTR between 1 and 5 %

Achieving a click through rate between 1-5% is a good target for a new campaign. It’s a good place to start and with time and additional optimisation, this should be improved. This CTR is common for shopping campaigns and many search campaigns with targeted ads. One way to improve these click trhough rates is to check the search terms report and remove any that aren’t targeted or have low conversions.

Click through rate above 5%

If you are a charity using a Google Ad Grant, you will need to maintain a minimum of 5% CTR for your account. This is a new requirement for all charities running campaigns on Google Ads. Failure to maintain this means your account will be suspended. Google has taken this step because of advertisers abusing the free funding. The challenge though is that you can’t bids higher than 2 EUR, so your ads may not achieve top positions and that’s usually required to have a high CTR.

Remove all low CTR keywords

The first step will be to remove all low CTR keywords and search terms, especially one word keywords. The cary out keyword research to find new longtail keywords. Then carry out keyword research to find new longtail keywords that are targeted and will help you maintain that target. For all other advertisers achieving 5% CTR is not a must, but it is a good target to aim for. It ensures your ads are targeted and people are interested in what you have to offer. You can achieve this by bidding for higher positions and appearing in the top 3 positions. You can also optimise ads that have low click through rates.

CTR above 10%

Click through rates above 10% are great and are a sign of highly targeted ads. These are common for businesses that offer services and target a local audience. These might be businesses such as a accountancy business, local tradesmen, legal services and others that offer one or a few services with fewer searches to target so it is easy to know what they are looking for.

Click through rate above 20%

A click through rate above 20% are common with brand searches. People searching for a product brand, service brand or personality brand are likely to click through because they know exactly what they are looking for. You will see this if you bid on your brand name as above. However if you are already ranking highly for your brand name and no one is bidding on it, then you should not bid on your brand name at this would be wasted spend. These searchers can easily click on your organic listing and still come through to your website. A click through rate above 20% are rare for general searches. There is usually a lot of competition and searchers have many advertisers to choose from. Your Google Ads are also unlikely to be highly targeted for general searches so you ‘ll get fewer clicks.

click trhough rate

How to fix a low CTR

Improving your Google Ads click through rate has many benefits, including:

  1. Increases trafic volumes. When more people click your ads you then have more visitors which brings may benefits.
  2. Increases conversions. With more visitors you then get more sales and leads because you have more potential customers.
  3. Improves quality scores. This is one of the three quality score factors and when you improve Google Ads CTR your scores increase too.
  4. Higher Ad Rank. Your Google Ads are rewarded with higher positions when they are relevant to searches.

Achieving a good CTR should be every advertiser’s goal. You should continue to work on your targeting, ads, keywords, search terms, bids, positions and more to improve the click through rate.

Follow these tips to improve your Google Ads CTR

A top position on Google is a placement in one of the top 4 positions in the auction results. Ads that are at the top get significantly higher CTR’s than those at the bottom below organic results. There are two main ways to gain top positions on Google. First increase your bids and improve ad quality. Improving ad quality takes longer because you have to work on your ad relevance and ensure that keywords are tightly themed in the ad groups and related to text ads. Increasing bids is a lot quicker to do. You can increase bids manually if you are using a manual bid strategy or use automated strategy to outrank competitors.

Remove low CTR keywords

Check your campaigns for keywords with low CTR’s. If your target is to have a minimum of 5% CTR and some are as low as 1% or lower and with poor performance for conversions too, then you should remove them. Trying to improve these won’t help. It will waste time, which you could use to focus on better performing keywords.

Remove low click through rate search terms

Check the search terms report to look for low performing searches, if they have low CTR’s and conversions are low too. then you can remove them by adding them as negative keywords. It is not surprising to find search terms with CTR’s as high as 100%. That’s because search terms tend to be much higher in number than your keywords. People search in all kinds of ways and one keyword can trigger hundreds of search terms. Many of these will have high click trough rates. However, some will have low CTR’s and these you can remove. Doing so will help to improve keyword click through rates and overall performance.

Remove low CTR Ads

Each of your Ad groups should have between 3-5 ads for testing purposes. When the ad group is active, you will see the click through rate for each ad and over time you will see the best and least performing ones. You can also replace low performing ads with better performing ones.

Add Google Ads extensions

Ad extensions give your ads more prominence in search results. Adding many ad extensions helps to push your ads to the top as they become more relevant to searchers. Searchers are then more likely to click through, so try to ad as many sitelinks, callout, structured snippet, call, price and location extensions as you can.

Include keywords in the text ad

Add the keyword in the ad. The best place to add it is in the headline, and headline 1 in particular. This is the most prominent part of the ad and the clickable part that takes the visitor to your landing page. People are more likely to click when they see their keyword in the ad. They will perceive the ad to be relevant to what they need and they will find this on the landing page. Of course each ad group will have multiple keywords, each ad group should have at least 5. This then makes it difficult to have every keyword included in the ad. The soltion is to use Dynamic Keyword insertion. This syntax replaces the default text you add with the searcher’s keyword. Bear in mind it’s the keyword and not the search term that is included.

Make Google Ads relevant

The Dynamic Keyword Insertion symtax mentioned above is one way to make Google Ads relevant. Another way is to add key benefits and a unqiue selling point to entice visitors to click. It also differentiates your Google Ads from competitors. Many Ads in search results are drowning in a sea of sameness. They look like many others on the page and aren’t differentiated in any way, so searcers click on any they see because there’s nothing to differentiate them. From now on, study what your competitors are promoting. The look for ways on how to make your ads different by presenting your benefits and unqiue selling point

Click through rate in Google Ads – summary

Click through rate is one of the most important metrics. It is a basic metric for sure and easy to calculate. Hoever it tells you a lot about how your Google Ads, keywords and campaigns have performed. As a basic metrix, it helps you delve deeper into your reports to gain a greater understansing of how your campaign is performing. The search terms report is one the most important reports in your Google Ads account. It helps you see what searches you have actually received and you should look at this report every week. The search terms report is where you will see irrevelant searches you should add as negative keywords. Adding negeatives helps to improve the efficiency of your Google Ads and reduces your cost per acquisition.

click through rate, Google Ads
click through rate, Google Ads

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About Connect your World

Herman Geertsema is the owner of SEO Agency Connect your World based in The Hague. He is an experienced SEO expert and Google Ads specialist. Connect your World will do assignments in the The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Breda region. Click at the button below to ask me anything about the click through rate or about SEO optimalisation. I’m also available when you need a SEO specialist or a Google Ads expert.


Met meer dan 10 jaar ervaring met SEO en meer dan 15 jaar ervaring als content marketeer huurt u als opdrachtgever een zeer ervaren kracht in. Daarnaast is Herman Scrum en Lean Sigma gecertificeerd. Bent u op zoek naar een projectmanager voor online marketing projecten met veel inhoudelijke kennis, dan bent u bij Herman aan het goede adres. In 2018 kwam Herman zijn droom uit en startte hij zijn eigen SEO en Content Marketing bureau Connect your World in Den Haag. Herman helpt u om meer klanten en omzet uit uw website te halen en uiteindelijk om meer winst te behalen. Dit doet hij door het toepassen van on page SEO en off page SEO technieken, waarin goede content en linkbuilding centraal staan. Herman is lid van de Sales Marketing Group (SMG), een kennis en opdrachten netwerk voor marketing professionals. Er is daardoor ontzettend veel kennis beschikbaar om u te ondersteunen met uw online marketing activiteiten. Laten we eens bellen tel. 06-41226543 om met elkaar kennis te maken. U kunt ook een mail sturen naar info@connectyourworld.nl om een afspraak te plannen. Herman Geertsema, SEO specialist Den Haag

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