What's Your Highest Click Through Rate (CTR)?

Jan 16, 2008 • 9:51 am | comments (11) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords

A WebmasterWorld thread asks how well you're doing on your Google AdWords advertising campaign. What's your highest CTR? One forum member says that he had 7% and after split-testing ads, got a 12% CTR. Others have actually seen 20% CTR. I have to say that this is pretty impressive.

Click Through Rates depend on a lot of factors, though. So if you're not doing so well, it's okay. Here are some factors you want to consider:

CTRs depend on so many factors... including the following and so many more: the vertical, your average position, the strength of competition, how well your ad is written, how close your ad matches the query, the match type of the keyword, seasonality, the day of week/time of day, the particular syndication partners that drive traffic to this keyword, what country you're in, who you're targeting, and more.

And if you have a high CTR, stop worrying about your competition. You're doing just fine as it is.

But in case you're curious: are you as lucky as some of these advertisers? Take the poll.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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Mark B

01/16/2008 04:46 pm

My Highest Click Thru Rate was on the domain MyGuildSpace.com, which was 588% . I have had the domain for about two weeks and I have over 200% CTR. Here is a screenshot of my parking stats: http://hostotter.com/CTR.png Mark


01/16/2008 05:50 pm

Mark, I don't think we are talking about the same thing. CTR is the number of times an advertisement is clicked upon over the number of times the advertisement is served. How could it possible be more than 100%?


01/16/2008 05:53 pm

Mark's talking about Adsense, it seems, whereas the topic is on Adwords.

Mark B

01/16/2008 06:21 pm

Sorry, I stand corrected. Yes, I was talking more about Adsense ads. The highest CTR on a PPC campaign I have had is like 10%.

Michael Seals

01/16/2008 06:37 pm

Here is a recent example of an ad group with a strong CTR. With over 18,000 impressions this month alone we have a CTR of 16.86%. That's about 3,100 click if you're not doing the math at home. The headline states the 50% off sale currently running this month. The desc. line 1 conveys the item categories currently on sale. Line 2 states the sale is going on now and a strong call to action. The display URL has our URL/(manufacturer)_sale. I have used this format in other ad groups with success as well.

Scott Clark

01/16/2008 07:41 pm

With a methodology I've worked out for adgroup splitting (derivative of peel&stick) I have *MOST* of my clients seeing over 8% and a few regularly between 10-14%. This doesn't happen instantly, you must optimize yourself to that point, but usually, depending on volume, you can split test to that level in 20-30 days. My lowest ever CTR (after optimization sweat) is around 2.4% - and this is for $150k franchises, so no ordinary market!

LeeAnn Prescott

01/16/2008 07:47 pm

I took a look at our client's CTR in December 2007, and found the highest CTRs on AdWords were over 10% and the highest was 14%. Two of these campaigns were heavily focused on brand terms and had high positions. A few retailers had CTR over 5% in December. I just posted an analysis of CTR by engine and channel here. http://blog.efrontier.com/insights/2008/01/click-through-r.html For AdSense, the highest CTR, at over 10%, was from a dating site.

Barry Schwartz

01/16/2008 09:31 pm

Thank you all for adding such great commentary to this post! I really appreciate it.

Andrew Holladay

01/16/2008 10:19 pm

I find that well known brand names on exact match, pos 1.1, DKI, only 2 keywords, blocking affiliates and good creative basically tops out between 30 an 50%. Hard to get higher simply due to users not clicking on sponsored links.

Frank Grasso

02/01/2008 06:45 pm

I am a late comer to this post – we have a recent case study where we achieved 14% ctr at account level over 6 months. There were over 70,000 keywords in the account. We achieved it by following best practices in campaign structure and ad testing. If you want to know more about it fire away your questions


04/01/2008 03:28 am

CTR can be misleading, If you are serving up multiple ads on a single page your maximum CTR is going to drop because of it on an ad by ad basis. Users are normally only going to click one ad per page. Opening a new window and the back button give you additional chances. But I suspect the high CTR folks are serving fewer ads per page. For adwords, CTR would be affected by not just position, but the number of competing ads on the page, a metric that I don't think google provides. For adsense and other ads, watch the revenue or consider the clicks relative to each other. A CTR of 1% on a page with 5 ads is generally equivalent to a single ad receiving 5%. Ads should be compared against an average CTR for all ads on the page.

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