What does CTR mean in digital marketing?

When I help clients with marketing campaigns, I sometimes use the phrase, “no amount of messaging can compensate for poor campaign design.” In other words, before you launch a marketing campaign, it is vital to know exactly what your customer’s journey will be from beginning-to-end, from first notice to purchase. And, even then, the customer journey is arguably longer, when you take into account such things as customer retention and deepening customer loyalty.  Probably one of the most common misunderstandings when it comes to digital marketing is knowing exactly what you want a customer to do as a result of a digital ad that is served up, whether it is a Facebook ad, Google display ad, Google search ad, etc. A pretty ad means nothing if users don’t click on it. Actually, that’s not quite true. A pretty ad with no users clicking on it means two things: (1) you’re losing money if you’re paying per impression and (2) customers aren’t interested in your ad! What you’re aiming for is click-throughs! You can’t have conversions online if you don’t have click-throughs. So what does CTR mean in digital marketing? It means Click-Through-Rate!

Why does CTR matter?

CTR matters because, the higher the CTR the more traffic you have reaching your landing page, which is a vital step to converting the customer. A low CTR isn’t all bad, as long as it’s not zero, because if you have a low CTR, it means some people actually are interested in your product, which means your trouble might be in the way you’re targeting the ad or simple the design of the ad. There’s a host of ways you can tweak a digital ad while it’s in-flight in order to help boost your CTR. Whatever you do, don’t leave your ad stagnant. Monitor it!

What is a healthy CTR?

That’s a good question because it really depends on the industry and the ad platform (FB, Google, etc.) . As a general rule of thumb, a CTR between 1% and 5% is considered good. Above 5% and you’re rockin’! However, it really is wise to become familiar with what is considered a healthy CTR for your industry. Here is a helpful resource to begin learning more about that.

What if my CTR is really high, but my conversions are really low?

That probably means you’re putting ads that are too much like click-bait. Be honest and authentic with your ads.

I have good online sales, and I don’t track CTR. Why should I care about that now?

Congrats on having great online sales! Even if you don’t care much about the CTR for your ads, you really should if you care about your sales (which you do). Tracking CTR is just one step in the online conversion process. If you’re already measuring online sales (which you are), it takes hardly any additional effort to begin monitoring CTR. If you increase CTR by just 1%, it has the potential to increase revenue by a lot!


So, hopefully after reading this post you have a better understanding and appreciation for the role CTR plays in the digital marketing process. Stay tuned for more great SEO and digital marketing updates, and yes, even fun online game updates!


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