Common Questions About Google Ads Clickthrough Rates Answered

With the help of Answer the Public, we’ve identified some of the burning questions some novices and business owners have about Google Ads clickthrough rates and compiled some answers in this article for easy reference.

What is clickthrough rate?

Clickthrough rate is a ration showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking on it.

Keep in mind that Google counts engagements on your Gmail and Lightbox ads as clicks even though the user didn’t visit your site. This can result in a mismatch between clicks to your site and clicks you’ve paid for.

How to calculate clickthrough rate

The formula to calculate clickthrough rates is simple:

Clicks ÷ Impressions x 100 = CTR%

Clickthrough rates on Google Ads are calculated automatically within the platform and can be viewed by adding the CTR column in your Google Ads interface:

What is a good clickthrough rate?

Whether a clickthrough is good or average depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of campaign (Search, Display, YouTube or Shopping),
  • the industry in which you’re competing, and
  • the ad format you’re choosing (Image ads, responsive ads, Gmail ads or lightbox ads).

WordStream provides a comprehensive guide to what an average clickthrough rate is based on industry benchmarks. They also have a handy tool to compare your search and display campaigns’ clickthrough rates with those of competitors in your industry.

What is expected click through rate?

Expected clickthrough rate is a metric that Ads assigns to a keyword based on how well the keyword has performed in the past. This is not an actual clickthrough rate, but is given with the following metrics when you hover over the eligibility of your keyword:

  • Below average
  • Average
  • Above average

Improving your clickthrough rate, and ultimately your expected clickthrough rate, will improve your quality score and result in lower costs per click.

Is Clickthrough Rate important?

Unequivocally. Though clickthrough rates do not measure return on investment, it is a good indication of whether or not your targeting matches your ad message.

Additionally, as mentioned in the previous point, clickthrough rates have a direct impact on your expected click through rate which will affect your quality score and your cost per click in the long run.

Why you may have a low click through rate

Low clickthrough rates can be caused by a variety of problems within your account. Some of the more common reasons for a low clickthrough rate are:

  • Poor account structure – This occurs when you have too many variants of your keywords within an ad group. For example: electric fencing and plumbing keywords within the same ad group.
  • Misunderstood / broad user intent – Using search terms within your ad groups that have various types of intent linked to them can result in low clickthrough rates. For example: targeting “franchise”. If a user types in this search query, it is unclear whether they are looking for information or looking to buy a franchise.
  • Unappealing ads – It is important to keep to Google’s best practices when creating ads on any one for the advertising networks. These include
    • Highlighting what makes you unique
    • Adding a call to action clarifying the next step
    • Adding prices, promotions and exclusives
    • Including at least one of your keywords.

How to improve your clickthrough rate

There are various strategies you can look at to improve your clickthrough rate and go beyond the “average” to deliver the best results for your clients. These strategies include:

Do you have more questions about Google Ads clickthrough rates? Contact us and we’ll be happy to answer these questions in an upcoming blog.