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CTR: Full Definition and How to Improve It

Last updated: May 08, 2023

CTR: Full Definition and How to Improve It
Cover image: An illustration of CTR (click-through-rate), which is the percentage of page clicks per number of impressions. Check out the explanation in this guide.

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Figure 1: A picture of cubes arranged into a CTR text as a representation of the click-through rate, which is the ratio of clicks obtained from the number of content impressions. CTR is one of the important metrics in SEO, read more in the following article.

Search engines have the main goal of providing the most relevant answers to their users' queries. In this case, search engines will display search results from both paid search and organic search.

CTR is an essential metric for pay-per-click (PPC) ad managers to understand and monitor. Optimizing CTR and SEO will succeed your campaign. The more relevant your ad page is, the more users will visit it, and the more conversions you will receive. Find out all about CTR here.

What is CTR?

First thing first, let’s give you exposure to what is CTR. CTR stands for click-through rate which is the percentage of the impressions that resulted in a click. In a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign, the more people who click on the ad, the more money search engines make.

CTR is not only important for search engines, it is also essential for PPC advertisers. The goal of a PPC advertising campaign is to get more potential visitors to click on their website links. That way, their brand can be better known and the chances of conversion are greater.

How to Calculate CTR

After you understand what CTR is, you might want to know how to calculate it. To calculate CTR, you need to know how many impressions and total clicks a website has managed to get. How to calculate CTR is to divide the total clicks and the number of impressions, then multiply by 100%. Take a look at the following CTR calculation formula:

Click-through rate (CTR) = (total clicks/number of impressions) x 100%

For example, your web page containing the keyword "how to knit" gets 2000 impressions with a total of 100 clicks. Using the above calculation formula, the CTR of your web page is 5%.

A high CTR value indicates that your page has been visited by many people. It indicates that your ad or content has been successfully shown as relevant content and answers the users’ questions.

The good organic CTR average is around 3-5 percent. However, this is not an absolute standard of CTR values. A good CTR average does not refer to these standards but depends on the following factors:

  • Industry type
  • Collection of bid keywords
  • Individual campaigns in PPC accounts

How CTR Affects Ad Rank

Only understanding what is CTR is not enough for advertisers. Many advertisers rely on CTR in digital marketing because it affects ad rank. An ad's position in the Google search engine is determined by the ad's ranking, which is influenced by several factors such as the advertiser's offer, web page quality, ad relevance to users' search results, and of course click-through rate (CTR). In this subsection, we will show you how CTR affects ad ranking.

Ad ranking determines the position of your ad in the SERP. Ads in the top position are not the ones that can bid at the highest prices but are largely influenced by ad ranking.

Google will measure the comparison of CTR obtained with the expected CTR. The high CTR will increase the ranking of your ad. On the other hand, a low CTR value can lower your ad's ranking, no matter how much budget you spend bidding on the ad.

How to Improve CTR

You know what is ctr, how to calculate it, and now let’s improve your CTR.  As we know that a high CTR value indicates that the website's performance is good. However, getting a high score on CTR is not an easy thing to do. It requires you to compete with millions of other websites. In fact, the pages that appear in the top results in the SERPs may not always get a high CTR.

Although somewhat difficult, improving CTR is not an impossible thing to do. Some actions you can do as a way to improve CTR are

Ad copy optimization

The first step how to improve CTR is Ad copy optimization. Besides seeing the relevance of ads to the overall content being promoted, internet users tend to click on ads because they are interested in the copy.

Therefore, it is vital for advertisers to do keyword research in determining ad text. You can also take advantage of long-tail keywords in your ad text because these types of keywords tend to be more specific, have low competition, and have the potential to increase web conversions.

Use Effective Meta Description

One way to improve CTR is to create an effective meta description. The meta description is the snippet of text that is displayed under the title tag on the SERP. An effective meta description should contain a brief description of the information presented on your web page.

Not only that, but the meta description must have persuasive language and be relevant to the user's search query. If it is possible, you can add a call-to-action (CTA) such as “read more” or “find out here” so that the meta description can attract internet users to click on the post.

Implement Structured Data

Besides optimizing the meta description, applying structured data or schema markup is the other solution. Schema markup is program code that can be added to content to improve its quality in organic search. Schema markup is also one of the SEO strategies to facilitate the crawling process.

Also, adding schema markup can make your content live in the form of a snippet located at the top of the SERP. In fact, the snippet can be above the organic search results. There are several types of snippets displayed such as reviews, FAQs, job postings, food recipes, and so on.

The snippet makes it easier for internet users to get the information they need. If they are interested in more information, they will visit your page via the link in the snippet. Take a look at the schema markup code sample used to create the following FAQ snippet:

<script type="application/ld+json">
    "@context": "",
    "@type": "FAQPage",
    "mainEntity": [
            "@type": "Question",
            "name": "Apa itu SEO Checklist?",
            "acceptedAnswer": {
                "@type": "Answer",
                "text": "SEO checklist adalah daftar langkah penting yang dapat dilakukan untuk mengoptimasi sebuah situs web. "
            "@type": "Question",
            "name": "Mengapa perlu optimasi website secara rutin?",
            "acceptedAnswer": {
                "@type": "Answer",
                "text": "Optimasi mesin pencari merupakan sebuah proses berkelanjutan. Anda harus melakukan pemeliharaan dan perbaikan situs web secara rutin untuk mendapatkan hasil terbaik."


This is a preview of the FAQ markup schema implementation on the search engine.

Figure 3: The image is a preview of the FAQ markup schema implementation on the search engine. Displays two questions and internet users can click on the two questions to see detailed answers provided by the website owner.

Content Localization

Creating and optimizing local content is a way to improve CTR in digital marketing. The way to create effective content for local SEO is to add your location in the content, meta description, and title tag.

With local content, you can target audiences efficiently, so you can get visitors who are intent on converting to your site.

In addition, you can also register your business on Google My Business to make it easier for internet users to find information related to your business. This helps you to maximize your performance on search engines because your business profile will show up on web searches and Google maps.

Use Ad Extension

For a more optimized implementation of Google Ads, you can take advantage of relevant extensions. Extension formats include phone buttons, additional text, links to specific sections of your site, location information, and so on.

The use of Ad extensions offers many benefits for your advertising campaigns. The Benefits include: increasing the visibility of ads on search engines, bringing in more traffic, and providing interactive options for customers to reach your website (via map or phone).

However, adding an extension does not guarantee that your ad will be shown at the same time as the extension. Ads will come with extensions under two conditions: when the combination of extensions is expected to improve ad performance and when your ad's position and ranking are high enough to show the extension.

A/B Testing

A/B testing to improve CTR in digital marketing is a testing method used to find out the best advertising and content marketing strategies. Usually, the testing method is done by comparing two different strategies, then analyzing which strategy the customer prefers and brings more benefits to the business.

For example, you have created an ad text “Cheap Backlink Services” and then share it through your site. After a few months, you update the ad text to “Quality Backlink Services, 100% White Hat”. You can do A/B testing by analyzing the difference in the results obtained by the two ad texts.


Well, that's an in-depth discussion of click-through rate (CTR), starting from what is CTR, calculation formulas, and how to improve it. Understanding CTR in digital marketing is one of the important things for PPC advertisers

The higher the CTR, the more traffic the website gets. It increases the chances of conversion on a website. In addition, a high CTR value will signal to search engines that your website has provided content that is relevant and useful to users.



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