4 things you must check to understand how good or bad your CTR is.

"woman saying that CTR is bad"

4 things you must check to understand how good or bad your CTR is.

Click Through Rate…

A key metric, sure, but CTR in which position?

Because a CTR of 5% in position 1 is bullshit but, a CTR of 5% in position 4 is super good.

First, how do you achieve position 1 or position 4?

It’s all on the bid. So, depending on how much money you pay, Google you will show either in one position or another. That’s why I say that a CTR of 5% in position 1 is wasting your money and you should rethink and revise all your keywords.

But it is even worse if you have a bad CTR in position 1 your Quality Score drops and you start paying more and more to keep that position.  You’re still in position 1 but it will cost you much more. It’s going to be more and more expensive every day until you find and fix the reason why that CTR is so low.

This is the flow: Bad CTR  –> QS drops -> Price rises

"bad ctr makes QS drop and prices rise"

So, CTR is a metric which is usually used too lightly though it is key to your business. The point here is that few people completely understand how it works.

To accurately know which is our real CTR, we should first segment our reports by network.  This means, knowing which is your CTR in the Google Search, in Google Partners and Display networks. The second thing we must do is segment the results by device; tablet, desktop or mobile. This will help you see if your Ad is of any interest in a mobile phone. What people search in a mobile might be entirely different from what they look for in a desktop. So, if in a mobile the CTR is better than in desktop, your Ad might be very oriented towards mobile. The third thing we must check is the position, and the last thing to check is the match type.

You must always check the CTR of your Keywords in an exact match versus the CTR of those same keywords in all other match types.

When you bid for a keyword with a good CTR, you should know which search terms are behind it. You might have a few excellent search terms but many with tremendous CTRs. And this info, per se, may lead you to think the keyword has a bad CTR. Let’s talk clear, the keyword does not exist. Only the search terms do exist. So, you should pay attention to what CTR your keywords in exact match have. Then take those keywords in other match types and have a look at their related search terms and their CTRs.

The main obstacle to doing this is Google. Google does not give you all the search terms. They’ll give you a few, the ones they want to give you. They say there are so many search terms per day that they do the filter for you. If there are 20K search terms, they will give you 4K, which implies your info will always be pretty biased.

Summarizing, to make an excellent analysis of our CTR we must revise

"CTR podium"





As Avinash always says, on average hides the truth. So, if you skip looking the search terms grouped around a particular keyword you are losing sight of the reality.

Once you know which your Objective CTR is, you should always aim for a CTR of 100%, never less!

Obviously, this is a chimera, but how come you want something inferior to 100%?

You want your Ad to be viewed and clicked on by everyone. This is what your dream. Utopia, but a good CTR must always be above 10%, and anything below 3% is horrible if you show on the first page. Though it is great if you show on the second page.

So, where should we want to be? We’ll keep on talking about CTR in next posts. 😀

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Shawn Catherwood
Content Crafter at

Shawn has worked in the marketing field for many years. He stays current with the latest SEO keyword strategies, which change often and loves writing about it.


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