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CTR (click-through rate): What is it? What is it used for?

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CTR, or Click-Through Rate, is a digital marketing metric used to measure the effectiveness of an online advertising campaign or link by calculating

One of the key indicators for web marketing professionals is the CTR (or click through rate). So what is it? How do you calculate it? And above all, how can it be optimised? We'll answer all your questions.

What is CTR?

CTR is an anagram of the term “Click through rate”. CTR is a performance indicator used to evaluate the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign. This applies to its content, design and placement (to whom it is addressed).

Before going into the details of CTR, it’s worth remembering that this indicator applies to different branches of digital marketing. Namely:

How do you calculate CTR?

To better understand the click-through rate, we need to understand how it is calculated. The formula is as follows:

CTR = number of clicks / number of impressions

As a reminder: the number of impressions corresponds to the number of times the content is displayed. For SEA and SEO, this is the number of times it appears on the Google results page. For email campaigns, it refers to the number of times it lands in the target’s inbox.

The higher the CTR, the more relevant the campaign. In other words, Internet users are interested in your advert. But beware: depending on the sector of activity and the level of competition, the results can vary considerably.

What is the click through rate used for?

Serve as a reference for billing

The click-through rate is often used by publishers to invoice advertisers. This is then multiplied by the CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Before launching an advertising campaign, companies are well advised to estimate their CTR in order to calculate their forecast budget.

To do this, they can use internal data (if they have already run this type of campaign before) or data supplied by publishers (Google Ads, Facebook Ads…).

Position yourself in relation to your competitors

Like all performance indicators, the click-through rate gives you a quality score. If it’s too low, you’ll already know that you need to take a number of steps to improve your campaigns.

But be careful: there is no such thing as a good CTR. In reality, it depends on a multitude of parameters, such as the sector of activity, the level of competition, the timeframe, the key query, and so on. The idea is to position yourself in relation to the competition for each query.

Improve your marketing campaigns

Based on the positioning of your click-through rate, it’s easier to identify the ads that need improving. But if you want to achieve excellent performance, we recommend that you continuously optimise all your campaigns (even those that are already well placed). Let’s take a look at how to do just that.

How can I improve my CTR?

How can I improve my CTR?

First and foremost, you need to take good care with your ads and emails. To do this, take care of :

  • Keywords: this concerns links based on referencing (natural or paid). In this context, the main query must be present in the title of the advert, the description and the URL.
  • Copywriting: the idea is to encourage the Internet user to click on the link or the e-mail. You therefore need to take care with the titles, descriptions and email subject lines to make them want to find out more.

A/B testing

The idea is to test different scenarios to find out what works. For example:

  • For a Google Ads campaign: you can modify the description of the ad, the choice of keywords, the definition of the target, etc.
  • For an email campaign: you can also work on the design, the subject of the email, the call-to-action button, the sales pitch, etc.

The idea is to test a hypothesis by changing just one element each time. The next step is to compare and select the elements with the best performance.

Targeting your audience

Search engine advertising campaigns can be sent to an exponential number of Internet users.

And with good reason: if you don’t target your advert, Google offers it to all its users: teenagers looking for entertainment, executives changing careers, overworked mothers, etc. But do all these Internet users correspond to your core target? It’s unlikely!

If you aim for too broad a target, you will drastically reduce your chances of conversion, because you won’t know how to address your ideal customer.

So you need to get to know your customers better. How old are they? Their gender? Their geographical location? Their personal, professional and financial situation? Their day-to-day problems? Their doubts? etc.

The idea is to understand your target audience’s needs precisely so that you can offer them relevant advertising.

Monitor your indicators regularly

To optimise your CTR, it’s vital to answer the questions below:

  • What are the most relevant keywords?
  • What are the least effective keywords?
  • What is the profile of those who click on your ads?

And all the time, because the market is constantly evolving. This will enable you to enrich your campaigns and optimise your click-through and conversion rates.

  • The CTR (or click-through rate) refers to the number of clicks on a link in relation to the number of impressions.
  • This indicator can be used to assess the performance of an email campaign or advertisement.
  • With the aim of achieving a higher CTR than their competitors, companies need to take care with their advertising, carry out tests, monitor their indicators and, above all, improve their customer knowledge.

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