AdWords Tips, PPC

What Is A Good Click Through Rate (CTR) For AdWords Campaigns?

Published by Neil Andrew

12th March 2018

When it comes to AdWords campaigns, every advertiser is continuously looking to improve their metrics. Whether it’s their quality score or click through rate (CTR), increasing your metrics is the surefire way to improve results and your bottom line.

But, how can you tell if your campaign is performing well or bad if you don’t have an average or baseline to work off? A 10% CTR might sound good, but if the industry average is 20%, then it’s obviously not. Without knowing the average AdWords CTR for your industry, you have no way of telling how well your campaign and adverts are performing.

So what is a good click-through rate for your AdWords campaigns and ads? Well, we’re here to find out!

Using several historical industry click-through rate averages released by companies in the past, it’s possible to calculate an overall AdWords CTR average. With this, you’ll be able to compare it to your own statistics and work out how well your ads and campaigns are really performing.

Before jumping into figures and statistics, what factors affect your CTR in the first place?

Click Through Rate Factors

google adwords ad

There are many factors out there that affect an adverts click-through rate. From the main headline, to the copy and trust factors, get one of them wrong and your CTR will be below average. Get them all right, and you’ll receive plenty of hot leads just itching to buy. When using the standard Google search network, there are 2 main CTR factors for your text-based ads which we’ll explore in a second. However, if you’re using the Google display network, then things start to get a lot more complicated. Not only are there more factors that could be affecting your CTR, but there’s also the problem of where your ad is displayed in the first place. As you’ll discover later on, the positioning and website your ad is displayed on can have a significant impact on your CTR. But first, what are the main click-through rate factors?

The Headline

When it comes to PPC ads on the Google search network, the main headline is one of the most important aspects. It’s often the first thing many users will see and acts as a way to lure users into reading the copy in the description. The main headline is 60 characters long and is split into 2 sections separated by a dash. Since this is the first thing that many users read, the headline needs to stand out and get straight to the point. Having a dull headline can often have a huge impact on your click-through rate as many people will read it and skip to the next ad. Just by changing your headline to something gripping and compelling can often result in a CTR increase.

The Copy

Just under the main headline of the ad is the copy, which is also referred to as the description. In this section, advertisers have just 80 characters to persuade users to click on their ad. The copy usually follows on from the main headline theme while expanding on the various benefits and calls to action.

When writing the copy section, it’s important to go into detail about the product / service you are promoting and why they should buy from you. Just talking about your company, in general, is not going to make someone click the ad. Instead, you need to give them solid reasons as to why they should choose you and your service.

Ad Position

An often overlooked CTR factor on Google ads is the position of an advertisers ad on the results page. Obviously, it’s impossible to fit everyone’s ad on page 1 of Google, and that’s why Google employ an auction system to determines whose ad shows at the top.

As you’ve probably guessed, whoever takes the number one spot often gets the highest click-through rate by far. There’s a reason why people pay more money to be at the top of the results!

Just like being the top result on Google search, the first ad is usually the first thing many people see after typing in a keyword. Therefore you can expect a much higher CTR when you’re the first result as opposed to being halfway down the page.

The Ad Creative

If you’re using Google’s display network that displays your ads on 3rd party websites, then your ad will use a different format compared to Google’s regular ads. The display network adverts utilize a picture format known as a creative. It’s this creative that is displayed on 3rd party websites and attracts the attention of users.

Unlike Google’s organic search ads, the major difference is that these creatives are like virtual billboards. This means Google gives the advertiser a lot more control over their ads and how they display it to the user. The advertiser can choose their own font, color scheme, and how much or little text they display. The ability to have complete control over your ad might sound like a good thing, but for new advertisers, it can often be daunting. With so much choice over how their ad looks, they can often make rookie mistakes that severely decrease their CTR.

If you run AdWords campaigns and are looking for some examples of high performing Google ads, then be sure to read our post on the best Google Ad Examples. Not only do we cover 10 excellent ads, but we also break down what makes them so good and how you can replicate their success. If you want to give your current ads a CTR boost, then save yourself some time and learn from these already successful ads.

Now you know the different factors that can affect your click-through rate, what is the average click-through rate you should be aiming for? To find that out we need to look at specific industries to generate an average.

What Is A Good Click Through Rate For AdWords?

ad campaign adwords

Currently, the average click-through rate for search ads on Google is 1.91%. Whereas the average click-through rate for Google’s display network is 0.35%. These statistics taken from WordStream, show the industry average click-through rates and should give you an idea of how well you’re doing. Although these statistics aren’t officially from Google, WordStream tracks thousands of campaigns from their clients and uses them to create interesting statistics. These are the closest stats you’ll get to Google’s real percentages.

Before we look at the stats, an important thing to note is the huge difference in click-through rates from search and display ads. For every single industry, the Google search ad click-through rates are always a lot higher than the display ones. This is mainly due to the quality of users viewing the ads. On the Google search ads, the ads are displayed on relative keyword searches only. While on the display network, Google tries to display your ads on relevant sites but doesn’t always get it right. This means you might get thousands of impressions on your ads but hardly any clicks. In the long run, this severely reduces your overall click through rate which is the main reason the display ads never perform as well.

Industry Average CTR (Search) Average CTR (Display)
 Advocacy  4.41% 0.59%
 Auto  4.00% 0.60%
 B2B  2.41% 0.46%
 Consumer Services  2.41% 0.51%
 Dating & Personals  6.05% 0.72%
 E-Commerce  2.69% 0.51%
 Education  3.78% 0.53%
 Employment Services  2.42% 0.59%
 Finance & Insurance  2.91% 0.52%
 Health & Medical  3.27% 0.59%
 Home Goods  2.44% 0.49%
 Industrial Services  2.61% 0.50%
 Legal  2.93% 0.59%
 Real Estate  3.71% 1.08%
 Technology  2.09% 0.39%
 Travel & Hospitality  4.68% 0.47%

As you can see from the industry averages above, the industry average click-through rate can range from as low as 2.09% all the way up to 6.05%. If your click-through rate is currently in between those figures then the chances are you’re doing well. If they’re lower, then your ads might need some tweaking to generate more clicks. If they’re higher, then congratulations! You’re an AdWords baller and performing better than everyone else in your industry.

However, remember that CTR can change at any time and should be monitored consistently. Just because you have a high or above average CTR now, doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. Be sure to keep an eye on them and get tweaking the minute you start to notice a considerable drop. By staying one step ahead of the game, you’ll be able to maintain a high click-through rate for as long as possible.

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