Definition of Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a metric used in digital marketing to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, whether it’s a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, an email marketing campaign, a display ad, or other online advertisements. It represents the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.

CTR is usually expressed as a percentage, and it can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing in terms of attracting clicks.

The formula to calculate CTR is:

CTR = (Number of Clicks/Number of Impressions) × 100


  • Number of Clicks is the count of how many times the ad, link, or call-to-action has been clicked on.

  • Number of Impressions is the count of how many times the ad, link, or email (or any content with a CTA) has been viewed or displayed.

For example, if an advertisement is displayed 1,000 times and receives 20 clicks, the CTR would be:

A few things to consider about CTR:

  1. Indicator of Relevance: A higher CTR can indicate that your ad is relevant to users and is effectively grabbing their attention. Conversely, a low CTR might suggest that the ad isn’t resonating with the audience or isn’t well-targeted.

  2. Influences Ad Cost and Visibility: In PPC platforms like Google Ads, a higher CTR can positively influence your Quality Score, potentially reducing the cost per click (CPC) and improving the ad’s placement.

  3. Not the Only Metric: While CTR is an important metric, it’s not the only one to consider. Conversion rate (the percentage of clicks that lead to a desired action, like a sale or sign-up) is equally, if not more, crucial since it directly relates to ROI.

  4. Varies by Channel and Industry: Average CTR can vary widely depending on the advertising platform and industry. For instance, a good CTR for a Google search ad might be very different from a display ad or an email campaign.

In summary, CTR is a fundamental metric in digital marketing that provides insights into the effectiveness and relevance of ads or campaigns, but it should be analyzed in conjunction with other metrics for a comprehensive understanding of campaign performance.

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