Drive Results Using Click-Through Rate

In the early days of advertising, success metrics were limited to media circulation and focus groups. Today, advertising professionals have seemingly endless amounts of data to show the worth of an advertising campaign. While it is wonderful to use this data to prove success, sometimes we forget to leverage this information to drive results and make calculated decisions.   

One metric that you can use to drive online advertising results is click-through rate (CTR). This is a relatively simple metric with a seemingly simple formula:


If a campaign generates 1,000 impressions and 100 users click on ads in that campaign, the click-through rate is 10%. The higher the CTR, the more successful a campaign is proven to be. This basic explanation of CTR only touches the surface of how this statistic can be interpreted.

Online advertisers can use this metric to optimize multiple levels of an online advertising campaign -especially when using a robust platform like AdWords. When I study this metric, I study how it is impacted at the keyword, ad, ad group and campaign levels.

Campaign Level: A campaign click-through rate can give you a top-level idea of how a campaign is performing and how campaigns compare to one another. Use this level to decide where attention should be paid when running multiple campaigns simultaneously. When you are making this decision, be sure to consider how a campaign is targeted and if the audiences are similar. You do not want to compare the CTR of your retargeting campaign to one that you are running on the search network.

Ad Group Level: The ad group click-through rate can show you if your ad group is too broad. If you are gaining impressions for an ad group and the CTR does not improve when you adjust the ad copy, you may have created too broad of an ad group. To overcome this issue, create a new ad group using keywords that generate impressions but have a low CTR. This will narrow your keyword targeting to a more specific user while opening a new avenue to market your products.

Ad Copy Level: Instead of looking at how a specific ad performs based on its average click-through rate, look deeper into the relationship that a specific ad has with a specific keyword.In AdWords you can segment ad information by keyword/placement. Through this view you can determine the best ad copy to keyword relationship. Determine what the best keywords are for your ad copy instead of pausing ads based on an average CTR.

Keyword Level:  After you have narrowed the scope of your ad group and tested several ad copy variations, you can start to drive results by analyzing the click-through rate of a specific keyword. Remember, CTR helps determine ad position. Pausing keywords gaining impressions and showing a low CTR will boost this metric. You may be casting too wide of a net with your keywords – do not be afraid to pause them.

Click-through rate is a great metric to prove success and drive results. When you break down the variables contributing to this metric, you are able to make data-driven decisions that will boost the future performance of your online advertising efforts.

To learn more about pay per click management with Full Media, contact us today!