Google AdWords Click Through Rates: 2% is Average But Double Digits is Great

Jan 14, 2010 • 8:25 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

I don't believe you often see Google AdWords representatives talking about click-through rates. But in a Google AdWords Help thread, I spotted AdWordsPro, an official Google representative, taling about averages.

In short, he said that a good average to aim for in an ads click through rate (CTR) would be 2%. But he/she has seen CTRs in the double digits for campaigns that are constantly tuned and tweaked by advertisers. Let me quote AdWordsPro:

On the other hand, to give you a point of reference to shoot for, an average CTR is probably in the neighborhood of 2% - meaning that for every 100 impressions, you would have received 2 clicks. I personally don't think that a CTR statistic is particularly meaningful or even valid until about 1000 impressions have been received, however.

Advertisers who have really taken the time to learn how AdWords works, and who spend lots of time managing their account and tuning things up often 'earn' a CTR in the double digits.

Then, once you become a little more comfortable with AdWords, then it is time to stop focusing mostly on CTR, and instead focus on ROI or your Return On Investment.

I have heard of incredibly high CTRs, especially for Google ads with thongs in them. But outside of that, you know what to generally aim for.

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.

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No Name

01/14/2010 02:18 pm

I just read an article stating that Googles adword's are fading out of use. But this response sets a new tone. Achieving a double aggregate must be for well setup ads. Nice of you to catch the pro's off gaurd

Loudon Wilson

04/06/2010 12:27 am

What is the cumulative average click through rate, by which I mean, for all searches on Google, what percentage of searches result in the use of a sponsored link?

Tom Miskiewicz

08/28/2010 10:53 am

My ads have a click through rate between 8-18% all the time. Your ad need to be very specific. I also use the Search Network only. I don't use placements. When I was starting I was wasting a lot of money by not being specific enough.

No Name

10/21/2010 06:46 am

My click rate is around 9% with my high ranking sites and as low as 1-2% with low traffic sites, very frustrating. Not sure if some countries have better ads than others.


11/09/2010 04:18 pm

Got ours running at 20%~ CTR on Brand/Product centric campaign, 0.1 - 3% Broad/Generic Campaign based on our spending. The location of the ad makes a huge difference on the CTR, So if you are at the top, running Google Products & Google rated from review websites, you can see an immense increase in CTR vs a low spend on an ad averaging in position 4. There are many variables that affect CTR, you cannot give an overall average in my opinion. Managing over 500k personally on Adwords, you can imagine the diverse range of campaigns I have run.


11/25/2010 07:05 am

I'm just starting out and have seen my CTR vary but I'm still learning the ropes and trying to spend wisely. I appreciate the insights provided by the folks commenting because it helps give me an idea of what is possible.

eric @ led bulbs

01/26/2011 03:59 am

My CTR for one particular ad is about 5% and this is the highest I have ever got.


03/24/2011 01:03 am

Highest I have ever gotten is about 1.5% (over 20k impressions), and I was pretty happy with that :-D Double digits would be nuts...


05/19/2011 11:24 am

What do you mean by specific? Relevancy?


06/19/2011 07:26 pm

the historic clickthrough rate for our web site is 4 %


10/11/2011 03:09 pm

I manage a number of camapigns for clients achieving between 6% and 36% CTR, with monthly spend exceeding 10,000 for each client. More important is that the conversion rate is high, lots of visitors are great, but they need to buy or become a lead to make the advertising campaign worthwhile!

blogsite consulting

11/11/2011 09:14 am

 I couldn't agree more.  I would love to hit 6% and anticpate doing so by the end of the year.  Conversion is key!!  Keep up the good work.


02/05/2012 12:19 am

I have never been able to get a score above 1% for our site:  What is your guys' secret?

Robert Clark

04/05/2012 06:26 pm

One of the bigger problems (depending on the niche of course) is competitors clicking on your ads like crazy. I know one guy who has outsourced this overseas for a few bucks a day to do nothing but click on his competitors ads and run their costs up. It's highly unethical but I doubt he is the only one to run such a strategy.  Even modest people will often click a competitors ad a couple times a day when they see them.

Dr Umesh R Bilagi

04/17/2012 01:00 pm

double digit CTR is it myth or reality. 


05/03/2012 07:25 pm

Wow, my site just doesn't seem to be able to generate the licks at all.  I'm wary of the cost of all this...

David Urmann

05/21/2012 07:05 am

It seems like too many variables for any generalizations to offer much value to a specific campaign that is targeted at one niche.

Shreyansh Modi

05/25/2012 11:42 am

Its Reality! I can say this because I have earned those. :)

Shreyansh Modi

05/25/2012 11:42 am

'Double Digit CTRs' on High Taffic & High Competition keywords are Exceptionally Awesome, I know this because I have earned those. :)

Shreyansh Modi

05/25/2012 11:57 am

By being specific Tom means using Phrase Match & Exact Match types for Keywords. Broad match can attract a lot of irrelevant traffic if not used properly.


05/31/2012 07:18 am

We have a conversion rate of 7.19% and a click through rate well over 10% on a site we manage. the reason is that , among other things, it's a well known brand. On another site we manage we have a conversion rate of Zero (the big goose egg) and a click through rate of 1.2%. This is a very little known brand. We think the copy and the selection of keywords in both cases is fairly well done, but the harsh fact is that Adwords alone is not enough to gain recognition that translates into sales. You need to use other advertising mediums also. Incidentally, we use Search Network only.

Kirk Salisbury

06/04/2012 04:38 pm

Seriously, I feel like we've got a bunch of macho guys out here boasting, but I'm not hearing anything that's relevant to actually performing. It looks like a bunch of guys trying to SEO their sites with their no good links back to them... http:://

starfall zone

06/06/2012 11:41 pm

what cause having a ctr of lower than 1%? is this dangerous to get your google adsense ban? im just curious? as of now im having a ctr of 3%+ and i dont know if i should be confident to have this rate. As wiki says: the average is 2%, and what if some webmaster got 2digit ctr? Is this healthy or dangerous as well to get ban? im just curious!

Ben IncaHutz

09/12/2012 09:05 am

Of course we believe everything you say. No one lies on the internet!


02/12/2013 04:04 am

I have been running adwords for more than 3 years and never went beyond 2.5% and was feeling sick of that. After reading, it'a ha! I still wish to improve that to 5%. Any smart trips? I have too many keywords!

Scott Bateman

03/02/2013 01:18 pm

If you use just one ad and align it to just one keyword, and the keyword is dominant in the ad, you'll get a high CTR. But if you want mass audience, you have to run dozens if not hundreds of keywords. It's not practical to manage hundreds of ads. So the CTR starts to go back down.


09/11/2013 02:56 pm

phrase match - being specific? you must be joking.


10/23/2013 04:18 pm

Compared to broad match, it it much more specific. Long tail keywords are even better in phrase match. It's not a bad idea to use both exact and phrase match for awhile and determine which performs better. It WILL vary so it's worth checking.

Rick P.

05/09/2014 04:45 pm

Just tweaked a clients campaign that was set-up by a google rep and the client. It was a business looking to advertise local and they were set-up on the display network and they were getting tons of traffic (impressions & clicks) that did them absolutely no good. After removing them from display and some other tweaking they quickly went from the low 1's to over 3-4% on some ad groups.

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