CTR (click-through rate) - definition and how can it be improved?

Definition and general

The click-through rate (CTR for short) refers to a percentage click rate. The key figure is used for ads on the Internet. It represents the relationship between advertising insertion and real clicks. In the field of online marketing, SERP and search engine optimization, it is an important success metric.
CTR (click-through rate)

How do you calculate the click-through rate?

The click-through rate calculation is calculated by the following formula:

Number of clicks / number of impressions * 100 = click-through rate

If a link / ad is clicked 30 times for 1000 views, this corresponds to a CTR of 3 percent.

Where are click-through rates used everywhere?

In principle, the click-through rate is very often used to measure success in online marketing. However, the reference values are different for banner advertising, search engine optimization and for search engine advertising:

  • CTR for search engine marketing
    The click-through rate in search engine marketing (e.g. Google Ads) refers to the frequency with which the advertising medium is displayed in relation to actual clicks
  • CTR for banner advertising
    Here, the display frequency in the advertising network in connection with the clicks applies
  • CTR for search engine optimization
    Here is the frequency of the ad in the search results pages in relation to the clicks
  • CTR in affiliate marketing
    When using affiliates marketing, the revenue can be improved accordingly by increasing the CTR

What is a good CTR or what is the average level?

This question cannot be answered in a general way. It is very much dependent on the respective media and the type of content.

In most cases, the CTR rates for Facebook or Instagram ads are higher than for classic ad banners. Depending on the ad format, industry, target group or campaign, the values vary.

What is the importance of click-through rates?

Looking at the click-through rate alone provides relatively little information. In our view, it must always be considered in conjunction with the conversation rate. This joint analysis can help you find optimization potential and compare different measures with each other.

Google itself takes the numbers to rank ads. In addition, they also have an influence on the search results pages, as they can provide information about the quality of the respective page in conjunction with the return-to-SERP rate. The return-to-SERP rate indicates how many users have returned to the search result after clicking and visiting the website. From this, Google draws conclusions as to whether the promised information was really available on the target page, because a user who receives the desired information will probably change his search after the visit or not search at all (except for price comparisons, etc.).

Do CTR, dwell time and bounce rate influence my ranking?

Yes, a good CTR in combination with a high dwell time of the user on the website combined with a low bounce rate leads in many cases to a good conversation rate. It also shows Google that the user has found something very interesting on the target page.

What can I do to improve the click-through rate?

There are different approaches on how to improve the rate. The possibilities also differ according to the type of ad. However, you should also try to improve not only the CTR - at the same time you should also keep an eye on improving the conversion rate.

To optimize the click-through rate, you have the following options (examples):

  • Create individual ads, which are specifically targeted to the different audiences
  • Tailor the advertising thematically and to the target group
  • Avoid advertising on general pages
  • Compare different ad formats / banners
  • Consider whether you want to do retargeting (Attention - pay attention to data protection!)
  • etc.


While looking at CTR is important - it's not the only metric.

However, it can help to find potential for improvement.

We are happy to help you improve your CTR