Blog / Calculate CTR: Click Through Rate in online marketing

Calculate CTR: Click Through Rate in online marketing

Titelbild Blogbeitrag CTR
Maurice – December 22, 2023 – 10 min read

Wondering what’s behind the three letters CTR? Whether you’re a start-up, an established business or an individual marketer, a sound understanding of CTR can transform your online advertising strategies.

Dive into the world of CTR -Click Through Rate- with us, learn how to optimize it and discover the profound impact it can have on your campaigns. Are you ready to take your advertising efficiency to the next level? Then let’s explore the dynamics of the CTR together!

Definition Click Through Rate – What is a CTR?

Definition of CTR

The click through rate (CTR) is a key figure in online marketing that shows how many people who see an online ad actually click on it. It is a key indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The CTR thus serves as a barometer for the attractiveness and relevance of an ad in the eyes of the viewer.

Key performance indicators measure the most important benchmarks for companies. They are immensely important in marketing, as otherwise companies would hardly be able to find out in which areas they are performing well and in which improvements are still possible or even necessary.

A “good” CTR is relative and varies depending on context, industry and the specific advertising channel. In general, a good CTR is one that is above the industry average for the respective channel. These can be values between 0.5 and 10 percent. But the rule is: the higher, the better.

Importance of the click-through rate in online marketing

As a key performance indicator in online marketing, CTR is relevant for various channels such as affiliate marketing, Facebook Ads, Google Ads and email marketing. It provides information on how effective an ad is by measuring the ratio of ad clicks to total views, the ad impressions.

Let’s take a look at the importance of click through rates in different marketing channels:

Google Ads

The CTR plays a decisive role in Google Ads. A high CTR can indicate that an ad is relevant and appealing to the target audience. Google takes the CTR into account when evaluating the quality of ads, which in turn has a direct influence on ad positioning in the search results.

  • Good values: About 2-5%. A CTR above 5% is considered very good, especially in highly competitive sectors.
  • Bad values: Under 1%. This could be an indicator of poorly targeted ads or irrelevant keywords.

A concrete example: An ad for running shoes with a CTR of 5% shows that the ad is particularly well matched to the users’ search queries, which can lead to a higher positioning in the search results.

Meta ads

Similar to Google Ads, the CTR is also an indicator of ad performance for meta ads. It helps to determine the relevance of an ad for the Facebook audience.

  • Good values: About 1-2%. Values above 2% are excellent, as users on Facebook do not primarily search for products.
  • Poor values: Under 0.5%. This indicates that the ad does not resonate effectively with the target group.

For example, a Facebook campaign for a new restaurant with a CTR of 2% could indicate that the ad is successfully attracting the attention of the target audience and encouraging them to find out more.

Affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, the CTR is an important indicator of the effectiveness of partner links. A high CTR means that visitors actively click on the affiliate links, which indicates a high level of interest in the advertised products or services.

  • Good values: Around 0.5-1%. A higher CTR shows that the affiliate links match well with the content and the interests of the audience.
  • Poor values: Under 0.1%. This could indicate a lack of relevance or poor placement of the affiliate links.

For example, a blog post about fitness equipment with embedded affiliate links could achieve a CTR of 3%, which shows that readers are not only interested in the content, but are also willing to explore the recommended products.

Email marketing

In email marketing, the CTR is crucial for measuring the effectiveness of email campaigns. A high CTR in an email campaign shows that recipients not only open the email, but also click on the links it contains.

  • Good CTR: About 2-5%. This shows a high level of engagement on the part of the recipients and a strong interest in the content of the emails.
  • Poor CTR: Under 1%. A low rate could indicate uninteresting content or an untargeted recipient list.

Let’s say an email campaign for an online course has a CTR of 4%, which indicates that the email is effective in piquing recipients’ interest and prompting them to request more information or sign up.

Although the CTR is an important metric in online marketing, it should always be considered in the context of other key figures. It provides valuable insights into user behavior and ad performance, but is only part of the overall picture when evaluating marketing success.

Calculation of the click-through rate

Calculating the CTR is a straightforward but meaningful process. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on an ad by the total number of impressions. The result is then converted into a percentage to determine the CTR.

Step-by-step guide to CTR calculation

  1. Count clicks: Determine the total number of clicks an ad has received.
  2. Determine impressions: Determine how often the ad was displayed in total.
  3. Perform division: Divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
  4. Convert to percentage: Multiply the result by 100 to get the CTR as a percentage.

Example for illustration

Let’s assume an ad has been displayed 10,000 times (impressions) and has received 100 clicks.

The calculation would then look like this:

Formula of the CTR

CTR = (number of clicks / number of impressions) × 100 = (100 / 10,000) × 100 = 1%

In this example, the CTR is 1%. Depending on the marketing channel in question, this can be a perfectly acceptable performance.

The CTR is a direct measure of the effectiveness of an advertisement. A low CTR can indicate a need for improvement, while a high CTR shows that the ad resonates well with the audience.

Significance of the CTR in context Understanding

The CTR should never be considered on its own. The following example makes this clear:

  • Relative importance of CTR: A high CTR (e.g. 50% from 10,000 impressions, which corresponds to 5,000 clicks) sounds impressive, but if these clicks do not lead to conversions (e.g. no purchase), then the high CTR does not necessarily reflect the success of the campaign.
  • Ratio of impressions to clicks: Look at the absolute number of clicks in relation to the impressions. A CTR of 1% with 1,000,000 impressions (10,000 clicks) can be more valuable than a CTR of 50% with only 10,000 impressions (5,000 clicks).
  • Additional metrics: In addition to CTR, it is crucial to consider other metrics such as the time spent on the website and the bounce rate during the purchase process. This data provides information on how effectively the ad not only attracts users, but also retains them.

The significance of the CTR is therefore limited as follows:

  • Not a stand-alone indicator of success: Although a high CTR is desirable, it does not automatically guarantee a successful campaign. It is important to evaluate the CTR in conjunction with conversion rates and other relevant metrics.
  • Internal benchmarking function: The CTR is particularly useful for internal company benchmarking. It allows you to compare the performance of current campaigns with previous ones.

CTR is a valuable indicator of users’ initial interaction with an ad, but it should not be viewed in isolation. A comprehensive analysis of campaign performance requires the inclusion of further metrics and a consideration of the CTR in the overall context of the marketing strategy.

How can the CTR be optimized?

In order to increase the conversion rate, it is often crucial to first optimize the click-through rate (CTR). CTR optimization focuses on adjusting and fine-tuning your ads based on user behavior and engagement.

We would like to tease four strategies for increasing CTR at this point:

  1. Observe user behavior: Analyze how users react to your current ads. Use the insights gained to understand which elements of the ad appeal to or deter the target group.
  2. Experiment with display elements:
    • Ad titles: Test different titles to see which ones best capture the attention of your target audience.
    • Ad snippets: Optimize the text snippets that appear in the search results pages (SERPs) to improve relevance and clarity.
    • Keywords: Experiment with different keywords to increase the visibility and relevance of your ad.
    • Ad copy: Revise the content of your ad to make the message clearer and more appealing.
  3. 3. A/B tests: Carry out A/B tests by running different versions of your ads in parallel. This will help you to identify the most effective elements.
  4. 4. audience customization: Customize your ads based on demographics, interests and previous interactions of the target audience to achieve higher relevance.

Optimizing CTR requires continuous monitoring and adjustment of your ad strategy. By testing different approaches and analyzing user reactions, you can achieve more effective ad performance and thus increase the likelihood of conversions.


The click through rate is an important indicator for the performance of an ad and can help you to optimize it in order to ultimately increase the number of conversions and thus your sales.

Like most key figures, it is not very meaningful on its own. You should never lose sight of other KPIs and never be blinded by a high click-through rate.

If you really understand CTR and draw the right conclusions from your analysis, it can help you improve the effectiveness of your ads on the internet and make better use of your advertising resources. You can benefit from this in growth marketing and ensure real growth.


8+ years of Growth Marketing
Published December 22, 2023


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