How a digital marketing agency can improve your CTR

How to improve your digital marketing agency‘s CTR…

Sometimes being marketer or digital marketing agency can feel a bit like spinning plates. For any marketing campaign there are constant deadlines to meet across a wide variety of channels. Not to mention all the people who need to be kept on track – from the decision-makers at one end to the deliverers at the other.

Then of course at the centre of all this is measuring the effectiveness of the campaign as it rolls out, and using this intelligence to tweak the campaign accordingly. Even this can be a minefield as there are so many tools and metrics around: it can often be difficult to know which to prioritise.

If you are using PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, then a key measure of effectiveness is CTR – Click Through Rate. CTR enables you to understand the interest your ads are attracting and how many actual clicks they are generating. It therefore provides a good indication of the relevance of your ads and helps you to develop a more impactful and cost-effective marketing strategy.

How to calculate CTR

CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of impressions.

Let’s sidetrack for a minute to make sure that we are clear what an impression is. In digital marketing, the two terms “reach” and “impression” are often confused and sometimes used interchangeably. This is wrong.

Reach means the number of individual people who see your content.

Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed to viewers.

An impression does not necessarily mean that the viewer has engaged with the post, and also bear in mind that one viewer could have multiple impressions for the same piece of content.

So for example if you had published an ad on Facebook and you have 1000 followers on Facebook then your reach would be 1000, because 1000 different people will see your post. But your impressions could be considerably higher because that post could be delivered to a follower’s feed several times, either by Facebook or by another follower sharing it. Each time it is delivered to their feed counts as an impression.

As we saw earlier, CTR is the number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions. So in our example above, if your Facebook ad had 2000 impressions and from that achieved 20 clicks then your click-through-rate would be 1%.

CTR benchmarks

But what is a “good” CTR rate? What should you be aiming for?

For both desktop and mobile, the average CTR in Google Ads across all industries is 3.17% for search and 0.46% for display.

Interestingly, for mobile the figures are slightly higher. This could perhaps be attributed to increased mobile internet usage or the demographics of mobile audience. But the average CTR in Google Ads across all industries is 4.10% for search and 0.60% for display.

Within the above figures, certain industries tend to achieve a higher CTR. For mobile these are arts and entertainment, hair salons, and travel and hospitality which all have a CTR of over 5%. However, the overall highest CTR across all devices is dating services!

In 2018, the industries with the lowest average CTRs included Technology, B2B, and Consumer Services.

So whilst these figures are useful benchmarks for you to measure your CTR, bear in mind that some industries do fare better than others.

How to improve CTR

But however you benchmark your CTR, be aware that a low CTR could impact on your Quality Score. To find out more about Quality Scores check out our article What is a Quality Score Anyway?

So what can you do to improve your CTR? Here are five things to try:

  1. Choose the right channel
    As well as CTR varying by industry, it fluctuates between different channels. So you need to make sure you choose the channel that is best for you. Here is some average CTR data for various channels for the last quarter of 2018:
    • Bing Search 3.11%
    • Google display ads 0.41%
    • Facebook’s newsfeed 1.46%
    • Facebook’s Audience Network 1.40%
    • Facebook Messenger 0.67%
    • Instagram 0.62%
    • YouTube 0.24%
    • LinkedIn 0.26%
    • Twitter ads 1.55%
  2. Target your audience
    This may sound obvious but unless you do it well, you are wasting your money. You can include all the offers and calls to action you can think of but if the audience isn’t interested you won’t get the CTR you are looking for. So start limiting your reach to those who are most likely to buy, then ensure that the content within your ad will prove too irresistible not to click on.
  3. Be specific
    Closely related to audience targeting is the need to be specific. You need to know exactly what the searcher is looking for and give it to them. Provide answers to the questions they are asking as soon as they click through, without them having to navigate further through your site. So if they want a pink spotted unicorn with yellow horns then take them to the page on your site that sells precisely that, not a homepage or other generic landing page.
  4. Add multiple sitelinks
    Sitelinks are an important part of successful ads because they show value to potential customers before a click occurs. Sitelinks are extra links relating to your ad that enable you to add more specificity to your ad and give the searcher more options to click on.

    According to Google, adding sitelinks can boost the average CTR on an ad by 10-20%. It therefore includes sitelinks in its catalogue of Google Best Practices. You should aim to include at least 6 active sitelinks for desktop and 4 active sitelinks for mobile, but you could have as many as 20 per ad group or campaign.

  5. Be creative with display ads
    As we saw above, display ads have a lower CTR than general search. To make sure that your display ads don’t struggle, you need to do everything you can to overcome this. As a starting point, follow Google’s guidelines for the following optimum ad sizes:
    • 336x280px large rectangle
    • 300x250px medium rectangle
    • 728x90px leaderboard
    • 300x600px half page
    • 320x100px large mobile banner

    Once you have created an ad it is vital to test it. Run different versions of your ad past a carefully selected audience to see which they prefer and what impact this has on CTR. Also check out what your competitors are doing. What type of content are they displaying in their ads and what levels of engagement – likes, shares, and comments – is this generating. This research and testing needs to be ongoing in order to continually create better and better ads.

If you follow the above steps then you will be well on the way to improving your CTR and being able to use it to measure and inform the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy (and agency!).