SERP » CTR (Click Through Rate)

The click-through rate, often abbreviated to CTR, describes the ratio of impressions and clicks, the ratio between the number of page calls and the number of clicks on a specific link. The click-through rate is considered a key performance indicator (KPI) in online marketing, especially for banner advertising and other advertising that is paid for clicks.

Detailed explanation

Advertising is nowadays everywhere. Advertising, however, is often a matter of indifference – whether it is an advertisement in a magazine that the user simply browses, a television spot where the viewer switches, or banner advertising, which the user ignores, is irrelevant. In online marketing, however, the website operators have a decisive advantage: You can use analytical tools to determine how many users have actually been interested in their advertising. The ratio between the number of people who clicked on banner ads, for example, and the number of people who ignored the ad is referred to as a click-through rate. The CTR is therefore an important indicator of whether a marketing measure works or not.

In the context of SERPs, the click rate and the click-through rate are also mentioned more frequently. The CTR is determined quite normally, however, it is determined here how frequently a website has surfaced in the SERPs on Google and how often it was clicked. For this purpose, Google provides appropriate analysis tools in the context of Google Search Console.

What is the average click rate?

As with most online marketing measures, the click-through rate is not a general value. In most cases, however, the CTR is in the per-thousand range – per 1000 impressions, there is only one handful of clicks. Older studies average on a click-through rate of 0.1 percent. Due to the ever increasing spread of adblocks and a general awareness of the user, this value should have decreased. However, with the help of a better thematic targeting of the advertising to the target group, it is also possible to achieve a higher click-through rate of between one and three percent. The banners, which have been popular for several years and are “blocking” on the actual website, also come to a better CTR – often even ten percent and more. In this case, however, the “misconduct” of the users must also be taken into account, as this type of advertising often generates clicks that are not actually – the users often try to close the banner by wild “hopping” and then accidentally land on the linked page. The effectiveness of such banner advertising is quite controversial in online marketing for this reason.

In e-mail marketing, higher click rates between three and fifteen percent are usually common. Please note, however, that only opening an e-mail increases the number of impressions. However, many advertising e-mails end up unopened in the basket so the click-through rate is slightly distorted.

The situation is quite different when it comes to banner advertising and other advertising campaigns on social media sites such as Facebook. The users seem to be particularly “click-friendly”, because the click-through rate is about 11 percent much higher than the click-through rate of a normal website.

How significant is the click-through rate?

Because the click-through rate is very easy to determine, it is not surprising that it is often chosen as a key performance indicator. It should be noted, however, that the click rate is only suitable for the assessment of certain factors. For example, the CTR can not provide information about the actual success of a marketing measure. Unfortunately, this is all too often forgotten, so that AdWords ads, Facebook campaigns and the like are running out.

The decisive factor is not how many clicks can be generated by a banner or other advertising on a website, but the conversion rate – the number of users who clicked on the banner and then actually bought something. This is illustrated very easily by an example. For example, an ad on a social media page like Facebook 1 euro per click and 120 out of 1000 users click on the advertisement, it sounds quite promising at the first moment. However, if the conversion is successful in only two of these 120 visitors, so only two people will actually become customers, the advertising is probably not efficient. The 120 euros for the 120 clicks would then have to face a corresponding turnover, which is rather unlikely with two customers.

Nevertheless, the CTR is quite a KPI and an important criterion for analysis in online marketing. Using the click rate, for example, internally different advertising measures can be compared. Is the eye-catching banner more effective or does the serious and simple banner advertising attract more clicks? Does the new advertising concept really attract more attention than the old one? Does advertising on a website attract more visitors than on a different site? These and similar questions can be answered using the click-through rate.

If the CTR is compared with the conversion rate, even more far-reaching conclusions can be drawn. For example, if an AdWords campaign attracts many visitors, the conversion rate is low, perhaps you should think about the design of the landing page. In addition, the efficiency of advertising on different portals can be compared with each other using CTR and conversion rate. This allows banners to be targeted, for example on social media pages, fan portals or Google.

Click-Through Rate, SEO and SEA

The click-through rate is also an important factor for search engine optimization. This is not the CTR for a banner, but the click rate in the SERPs. With the help of the click-through rate, you can determine how attractive the meta-description of a website is – the page often appears in the SERPs but is rarely clicked on, which is an indication that the meta- Description is not appealing to potential visitors. With an optimization of the metadata according to SEO standards, a noticeable effect can often be achieved here.

In addition, the click-through rate is interesting to compare regular customers with those who have found a search engine on the site. Cutting the latter well off, this is an indicator that SEO measures and content of the site fit well and that the site can meet the expectations of “search engine customers”.

In addition, the CTR also serves the assessment and optimization of Search Engine Advertising (SEA). As mentioned above, the click-through rate is not an absolute measure to assess the success of search engine advertising, but it is certainly a prerequisite for effective online marketing in this area. Therefore, there are several ways to increase the CTR so as to provide the foundation for a high conversion rate. These include, among others, individualized advertising ads tailored to different target groups, as well as a targeted selection of the pages on which the advertising is placed. In addition, A / B tests are often performed here in order to find the most effective among several display variants.


The click-through rate is an easy-to-find and useful tool to assess the behavior of visitors on a website. Especially in online marketing, the click-through rate is of great importance because it can, among other things, provide information about the effectiveness of different advertising campaigns. As an indicator of the success of a campaign, however, the click-through rate is only very limited – the conversion rate must also be considered. Then, however, a fairly clear picture emerges as to how much attention is attracted to advertising and whether the content of the page also holds what the advertising promises.