CTR is one of the main metrics in contextual advertising, it shows how effective advertisements are. We explain how to calculate this indicator and whether it is possible to determine the optimal CTR that is universal for all advertisers.
Briefly about what CTR is
CTR stands for Click Through Rate and characterizes the click-through rate of an ad. This is the ratio of clicks to impressions, that is, the more often an ad is clicked, the higher the CTR. The indicator is influenced by many factors, here are some of them:
- quality of ad text: clear, readable text with a clear indication of the advertised product will appeal to users more than just a set of keywords and vague wording;
- information about the promoted product: the more the user learns about the product from the ad (price, delivery time, etc.), the sooner he will go to the site to make a purchase;
- position in the search results: this applies to search advertising, usually the higher the position, the more often they are clicked;
- compliance of the ad with the search query and the user’s intent: it is necessary to carefully work out the semantics and draw up lists of negative keywords so that ads are not shown for non-targeted queries;
- Interested audience targeting: It is important to understand who your target audience is and set up your targeting correctly in order to reduce the number of inappropriate impressions and clicks.
Summarizing, we can say that the better the ads are made and the more competently the settings are made, the more often the ad will be clicked. Therefore, it is important to track CTR in order to find ineffective ads and correct them, as well as monitor the effectiveness of keywords and thematic platforms.
CTR and cost per click
The click-through rate indirectly affects the position and cost of a click in the search. Typically, ads with lower bids but high CTR end up in higher positions than those with higher bid and lower click-through rates.
Let’s consider an example:
- The first advertiser with a CTR of 10% sets a bid of 30 rubles.
- The second advertiser with a CTR of 5% sets a bid of 50 rubles.
Let’s calculate how much money an advertising system can get for 100 impressions of each advertiser:
30 × 10 = 300 rubles for 100 impressions
50 × 5 = 250 rubles per 100 impressions
We see that more benefits can be obtained from showing the ads of the first advertiser, therefore, the advertising system will give preference to him and show his ad in the top position.
Thus, due to the high CTR, you can pay less for clicks.
And what about thematic sites
The situation is different on thematic platforms. The system analyzes CTR separately for each site. If your ad’s CTR is higher than the average for the site, then you can qualify for an ad unit with a lower bid.
Read more about working with CTR in search advertising and advertising in networks in the article by eLama evangelist Konstantin Naychukov.
Calculation formula and practical examples
You can calculate CTR using the formula:
CTR = Number of clicks Number of impressions * 100%
For example, an ad was shown 9,000 times and was clicked 45 times. Let’s calculate the CTR:
CTR = 45/9000 * 100%
CTR = 0.5%
This seems like a low CTR, but in reality there are no universal metrics. For example, for a search campaign, a click-through rate of 0.5% will be considered low, for ads on search, an average CTR is considered to be 5-10%, more than 10% – a high one. But on networks, click-through rates are much lower. So if we are talking about a campaign on thematic platforms, then a CTR of 0.5% can be considered quite normal.
Note that these values are the average temperature for the hospital. They can be guided by, but they cannot be considered universal. Each campaign is unique, so you can’t rely on CTR alone as a measure of performance. For example, you might have an overwhelming CTR of 20%, but you only had five impressions and one click. You need to focus on CTR when you have accumulated enough data in the campaign, and in conjunction with other performance indicators.
A few tips on how to increase your CTR
Tracking the CTR and increasing it, of course, is necessary if you want more people to come to the site and advertising to give results. Let’s give some tips on how to increase this indicator.
Use mid and low frequency keywords
High-frequency phrases are usually too general, so your ads may be shown to irrelevant audiences. Try to include more specific keywords in your campaign. For example, you can add clarifications to the phrase “buy sneakers”:
- model: buy sneakers nike air;
- color: buy white sneakers;
- geolocation: buy sneakers in St. Petersburg;
- model for: buy children’s sneakers.
And there are many more options. This will help your ads more closely match the user’s request.
Work with a negative keyword list
This will help to avoid impressions on non-targeted requests. For example, in the case of sneakers, an ad may be displayed for the queries “buy used sneakers” or “buy sneakers on Avito”.
To compile a list of negative keywords, you need to collect semantics using any convenient tool, say, Yandex Wordstat, carefully study the list of key phrases and exclude those that do not match your proposal. By the way, we have a detailed article on working with Wordstat, we recommend that you study it if you have not used this tool yet.
You can’t make a list of negative keywords once and forget about it. You need to regularly monitor queries for which ads are shown in order to find irrelevant keywords and replenish the list of negative keywords.
Add extensions and add-ons to your ads
Extensions and additions will make your ad more informative and voluminous, it will be difficult to miss and miss it. It is especially helpful to add quick links. This will help to significantly increase the number of conversions to the site. Even if the user is not interested in the description of the main landing page, he may want to follow one of the quick links directly to another section.
Any extensions will be useful: contact information, clarifications, extensions with messages, etc. You can also enter a readable word or phrase instead of the standard URL. It is desirable that this be a key phrase.
Read more about extensions in the materials:
Write clear ad copy without vague wording
If you have promotions or discounts, be sure to report them in your ad. The words “promotion”, “discount”, “sale”, “gift” are guaranteed to attract a certain part of users. But remember that if the ad is talking about a discount, then the landing page should also mention it. The user is unlikely to look for information about promotions in another section of the site.
Also include specific and reliable information in your ad. “Discounts up to 50%” instead of “huge discounts”, “sneakers from 1,500 rubles” instead of “the lowest prices for sneakers”, etc.
It is now difficult to get users interested in vague wording and aggressive sales, seeing such ads, people think that evil marketers are again trying to sell something to them, and do not want to go to the site.
More on the topic:
Disable DRF in Direct
Direct has a DRF option that matches additional search queries to keywords. The problem is that the option often selects irrelevant phrases, which increases the likelihood of inappropriate traffic.
Try to expand the semantics yourself and manually add keywords if you want to increase your reach. It makes sense to include the DRF only if your imagination has completely run out, and you do not know how to expand the list of keys.
Consider periods of audience activity
Use analytics systems to determine when your audience is most active and when there are no clicks at all. For example, hardly anyone will be interested in delivering meals to the office at 12 o’clock in the morning. At this time, such ads are impractical, so it is best to disable them by setting a schedule using time targeting.
If you do not want to completely disable ads during the dead period, you can simply lower your bids at this time, and, on the contrary, increase them during the period of user activity. We have an interesting case study on how to optimize campaigns based on information about audience activity.
Separate search and ad campaigns
Algorithms and auction work differently on search and on thematic platforms. In addition, the response of users to ads is not the same. In the search, the user should see an ad with the most relevant content to his request, since he is looking for your product or service right now and, perhaps, is ready to make a purchase. Therefore, search campaigns need the most accurate semantics and relevance possible.
In YAN and CCM, the tactics are different. The user is not looking for anything, looks at the content on the page. Your task is to distract and interest him. This can be done with creative headlines and vibrant images. Therefore, it is recommended to separate these sites in different campaigns.
Do not use stock images in banners for CCM and YAN
Faceless stock images won’t catch the user’s attention. They do not reflect your product, do not carry any message, the user gets the impression that he has already seen it somewhere, and nothing interesting on the site awaits him.
Add unique content: real product photos or draw your own banner. You can do this even without involving a designer, our articles will help you:
By increasing your CTR, you will increase your website traffic. But remember that this is an intermediate indicator that does not fully reflect the effectiveness of your promotion. You may have a lot of clicks but few conversions due to an irrelevant landing page, an awkward interface, or other reasons. Therefore, when assessing the effectiveness of campaigns, one cannot rely only on CTR; an integrated approach and analysis of all important indicators is required.