Click through rate (CTR)

Click through rate is a marketing metric that measures how often people click on a link, ad or email.

Many factors affect click-through rate (CTR), including imagery, keywords, call-to-action copy and ad positioning.

Click through rate compares the number of time someone clicks on your content, to the number of impressions you get (how many times the ad was viewed). CTR appears as an important metric in email, display, social and paid search campaigns. Some common examples of areas where CTR is measured include:

  • Email links and call-to-action buttons
  • PPC advertisements
  • Links on landing pages
  • Facebook ads
  • On-site elements (buttons, image, etc)

How to calculate click through rate

Click through rate helps to measure the success of your advertising campaigns. By determining how many people actually click on your ads, CTR supports ad optimization. Improving click through rate is one of the best ways to generate more sales.

To measure click through rate in a campaign, you’ll need to divide your total number of impressions by total number of clicks. For instance, if a Facebook ad for software generated 8000 impressions and 100 clicks, your CTR would be 0.8%. Alternatively, avoid the math by using a social media advertising tool like Sprout Social.

A good way to determine the success of your campaign is to compare your percentage to industry benchmarks. For instance, average CTR for email advertising is currently around 3.42%.

How to optimize click through rate

Click through rate optimization is critical for businesses to get the most out of their ad campaigns. Companies increase CTR by improving the performance of elements that drive clicks, such as copy, titles, subject lines, imagery, keywords and descriptions. A few methods available or CTR optimization include:

  • Improving ad copy: The words you use will either engage customers or drive them away. Make sure you’re speaking the language that appeals most to your target audience.
  • Adjusting the call-to-action: Stay away from generic and demanding CTAs like “click here”. Focus on highlighting the benefits a customer will get by clicking on your link such as: “Get your free download”.
  • Changing keywords: A low CTR may be a sign that you’re targeting the wrong audience. Adjust your keywords or re-think the targeting elements in your ads.
  • Know your audience: Make sure you understand the audience you’re appealing to. When are they most active on the marketing channel you’re using? Which words and phrases do they like?
  • Updating design: If your ads include visual elements, try altering everything from the colors, to the images you use.

The easiest way to boost click through rate is to constantly test and analyze your campaigns. Social media marketing tools like Sprout Social help determine which of your ads are the most successful and why, and can even help you to figure out the best times to post. For instance, posting ads at the right time on Facebook can generate higher CTR.