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average google ads ctr

What is an Average CTR in Google Ads (AdWords)?


The average click through rate (CTR) varies for each business and from industry to industry too. It also varies for the type of AdWords campaign that you are running.


Display campaigns for example usually have a CTR below 1% and that’s mainly due to the fact that on Display, people are not actively searching for products or services but are browsing third party websites that are part of the Google Display Network (GDN).


So, any banners and text ads on a page are usually ignored. In fact, it’s common to find CTRs as low as 0.05% in the GDN but still have a high conversion rate.


AdWords Click Through Rate Guide


Search campaign CTR

For Search campaigns, CTR is almost always higher and will be above 1% because you are targeting people that are looking for your products or services.


However, CTRs below 1% are common for Search campaigns and this is often true for ecommerce searches. For example, people looking for shoes have a wide range of options to choose from and there are a wide variations of keywords. So, a high volume of searches and low click through rate are common. However, conversion rates may still be good which is what is more important.


For brand name searches, CTRs of 20% and higher are common especially for less competitive brand names.


Bidding on your brand name or competitors brand name will usually result in a high CTR. The search volumes may be low, but performance for metrics like conversions and CTRs will usually be high.


Search term CTR vs Keyword CTR

There’s a difference between keyword CTR and search term CTR. In your search terms report, you will see Search terms with CTRs as high as 100% and that’s normal.


But you will also find Search terms with very high impressions but low CTRs. These are Search terms that are usually not targeted because of the keywords and match types you have.


Remember, there’s a difference between a keyword and a search term. A keyword is what you put in your campaign. A search term is what people use to find your ad on Google and that is controlled by the keyword and is regulated by the match type you’ve used.


Overall, there’s an acceptable average CTR across sectors and industries and from my experience, a service based business should aim for at least 5%. Anything below that means the ads are not as targeted as they should be to the search terms.


Expected CTR is an important metric and is one of the three factors behind Quality Scores; with the other two being landing page experience and ad relevance.


Working on each of these will help boost your quality scores and improve the overall performance of your campaigns.

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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