What Is A Good Click-Through Rate (CTR) In AdWords?

Paid Media Advertising

What Is A Good Click-Through Rate (CTR) In AdWords?

What is a good click-through rate in AdWords? Would it even remotely surprise you if the answer were, “it depends?” It’s comforting to draw a line in the sand but that is rarely the reality in any applied marketing practice. Since a click-through rate is calculated as clicks divided by impressions, there are a number of factors that could change this ratio.

Instead of seeking out a prescribed “good click-through rate” take solace in the fact that your business is unique and you need to tailor your targets to your industry, brand familiarity, campaign goals, and more. Ask yourself these questions when you are trying to identify a target click-through rate for your AdWords account.

What Is A Good Click-Through Rate For Your Industry?

As you can imagine, user intent may vary dramatically from industry to industry. Some industries have relatively low click-through rates based on user behavior, legal and industrial services are good examples. These users are typically doing a lot of up-front research and may be less inclined to click the first result they see in their Google Search.

Luckily, Google has a tool that will help you understand your industry and its relative click-through rate by allowing you to look at estimated click-through rates for specific keywords. In order to set your target, login to your AdWords account and navigate to the keyword planner. There are several tools on this page but the one you are looking for is titled “Get search volume and forecasts.”

At this point, you will need to think of a couple of keywords that are quintessential to your industry. Keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily the keywords that you are targeting but the most succinct searches that your target audience will search. Since you have a working knowledge of your industry, this search will probably seem very simple to you. For instance, if you specialize in a tractor repair, type “tractor repair” into the search bar and click “Get Started.”

The “Get search volume and forecasts” tool will return estimated stats for this keyword, including the expected click-through rate. This number will not be exact but if you repeat this task with a couple of important industry keywords, you will find a decent estimate to set your click-through rate goal.

What AdWords Campaigns Are You Running?

Different campaign types receive different average Click-through rates based on their placement and the intent of the user searching for them. The average click-through rate of a search campaign is going to be different than a display campaign or shopping campaign and you need to identify different targets for each to be successful.

Search Campaign

Search campaigns use specific keywords that are matched to REAL searches on Google so the intent to buy or engage with your company is typically pretty high. That being the case, your search campaigns will usually have your best click-through rates.

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns are shown to users while they are visiting other sites. Although you will have some targeting in place to make sure that these people are LIKELY to engage with your ads, they are not currently in the process of seeking out a solution. Display campaigns will pretty much always have your lowest click-through rate but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t bringing in quality traffic. Learn more about the Google Display Network by reading about the Benefits of The Google Display Network.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns are typically somewhere in between search and display since users are still typing in queries and Google is matching their query to a product. Since there is still a high level of intent, click-through rates are typically better than display but since the product image and price are displayed in their search results, users can often make decisions without visiting your site. If you want to boost your shopping campaign performance and optimize off of more than click-through rate, read about Shopping Tips For Profitability.

If you look at the average click-through rate of all your campaigns to identify your target click-through rate, you will find it difficult to be realistic with your goals. Instead, scroll to the bottom the campaign tab in AdWords and you will see that Google breaks out your data by campaign type. Use this data to better understand your goals.

Are You Targeting Returning Users Or Brand Seekers?

There are two types of users that will change your click-through rate regardless of your industry or campaign type and without proper consideration, they may inflate your click-through rate dramatically. The first user type is a returning user which is just a user that has visited your site before and the second is a user that is typing your brand name into Google to find your site.

Users that have been to your site in the past are typically more likely to click on your ads, which increases your click-through rate. Studies have shown that these returning users are often your most valuable traffic since people typically engage with your site several times before they complete a contact form or purchase a product.

Someone that is searching for your brand in Google is obviously more likely to click on your ad. It is always a best practice to target your own brand as a keyword for a couple of reasons and this is one of them. By targeting your own brand, you will separate this traffic from your other keywords and get more accurate data for your account as a whole.

So… What’s A Good Click-Through Rate?

It may be unsatisfying to know that a good click-through rate depends on a number of factors but if you rely on principles and tools when driving your AdWords PPC strategy you will find greater success. The fact of the matter is that your business is unique and, even with Google’s advanced knowledge and access to nearly limitless data, you will always need to adapt their metrics, tools, and results with your business goals.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to address any questions that you have related to PPC and click-through rate, contact the Intuitive Digital team and we would be happy to chat!

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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