What is the average Clickthrough Rate (CTR) on Google Ads?

05 August 2020

Google Search.jpg

Google Ads is a powerful platform for generating revenue and conversions for your business in 2020 - but can be a difficult platform to advertise on if you’re not a PPC expert. One of the common issues advertisers have with the platform is running ad campaigns which have a low clickthrough rate (CTR).

The clickthrough rate of your campaign is the percentage of times that an internet user saw your ad (an impression), whether it be a Paid Search ad or a Google Display Network (GDN) ad, and clicked through to your landing page as a result.

Not only is this an important metric to measure as part of your Google Ads activity in order to track performance of your campaign, it also CONTRIBUTES to your performance as it is a factor used when generating Quality Score, a key measure of the relevancy of ads to your audience.

So, now we know what CTR is on Google Ads, what is a good average CTR, and what can you do in order to improve this figure and get more people to click on your ads?

Average CTR on Google Ads - Search or Display?

To provide an accurate answer to the CTR question - it’s important to break down our Google Ads campaigns into two distinct areas - those which appear on Search and those which appear on Display. 

Search Advertising, also known as Paid Search, places online ads on the search engine results page, taking into account demographics and intent combined with advanced bidding techniques. This includes Text ads as well as Shopping Ads. Here’s an example of a Paid Search Ad on Google:

Google Search Ad

Display Advertising is essential for reaching users at each stage of their customer journey, and is integral in generating brand awareness. Ads shown on the Google Display Network will appear in various areas of the internet while users browse in order to attract a larger amount of impressions for the ad - here’s an example of what Display ads look like on publishers such as The Mirror:

Google Display Ads

Understanding the difference between Search and Display ads is important when it comes to determining what your average CTR is - Search ads tend to have a significantly higher CTR than Display ads as users are actively looking for that product, service or query and as a result are more likely to click through. 

Readers of The Mirror above are less likely to click through via the Display Ad as it does not show what they are actively looking for at that time - so as a result is likely to have more people viewing the ad (impressions) but less clicking through. Display ads form an important part of the digital marketing funnel for many businesses - but their goal is not necessarily always to get you to click through to the advertiser’s website.

What is the average CTR on Search?

Search CTRs will vary according to industry - an in depth study by Wordstream in 2018 found that average CTRs can be as high as 6% for dating and personal websites, whereas highly competitive industries tend to see CTRs of between 2-3% for their Search Ads.

The same study found that the average CTR overall across Search is 3.17%, which is good news for advertisers considering the average CTR was under 2% just a couple of years earlier.

Average CTR on Google Ads

What is the average CTR on Google Display Ads?

As we have explained above, Display Ads tend to have a lower CTR as they are hosted on other websites and users are not actively looking for these ads. For the vast majority of industries the average CTR on Display ads is likely to be less than 1%, in many cases it will be significantly lower than this.

According to the same Wordstream study, average CTR on Display ranged from as low as 0.39% to as high as 1.08%, which was recorded for the real estate industry.

What can you do to improve the CTR on your PPC ads?

Got plenty of budget for your Google Ads campaigns but struggling to spend it and getting clicks from the most relevant users? There are a number of things you can do in order to increase your average CTR for your campaigns:

Use amazing creative - For your Display campaigns - think about what you would think about your Creative when you see it on a third party site. The quality of your creative will have the most significant impact on your Display CTR. High resolution images, clear and consistent messaging and branding are some of the keys to good creative for Display.

Responsive Search Ads - Using responsive ads as part of your Search campaigns means Google can show more relevant messaging to Google search users. By having a number of different headlines and descriptions Google will automatically choose the one most relevant to that user, and ultimately make it more likely that they will click through to your landing page.

Negative Keywords - The more generic your Search campaigns are the higher the likelihood of your ads showing for irrelevant keywords which will not be helpful to users. Identifying and ‘negging’ out these keywords will help to improve your CTR.

So in short, the best way to improve your CTR on Google Ads is about making your ads as relevant as possible to people, whether they come across your Search or Display ad.

By monitoring the average CTR of your campaigns and optimising them based on improving that rate, performance will ultimately be improved for your Google Ads account.

You may also wan to check out our article on Search vs Display Advertising for some useful tips!

To find out more about Google Ads, digital strategy or any of our other services, get in touch now to speak with one of our friendly PPC experts.

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