Managing paid search accounts takes a lot time and dedication. It’s certainly not an exact science and every marketer has her own ideas for maintaining success and profitable accounts. There are metrics that are (or should be) used to measure success such as value/conversion and value/cost, but there are countless others that marketers debate the relevancy and importance. Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is one of the metrics which some advertisers swear by, while others discredit.
CTR: The metric used to measure ad performance, calculated by the number of times an ad is clicked (clicks) divided by the number of times the ad was shown (impressions).
If I had an endless amount of time I could do regression model after regression model to test the relevancy of any and all metrics, but as it is, I do have other things to do…not to mention part of being successful is having some personal insight, common knowledge, and a knack to know what works. So, let’s go through some basics on CTR to figure out how important of a metric it is.
Why it’s important:
CTR certainly gives you a broad view of how well your ad attracts visitors. There’s a wide range of acceptable rates given your industry but it’s the most telling when your rates are extraordinarily low, or high.
Why it’s not important:
What’s more important?
Does that sound inconclusive? I thought so too. Basically, it does matter, and it doesn’t. Like all strategies it’s important to keep the big picture in mind and not get lost in the details. If your account has extremely high CTR’s but very low conversions or usability metrics, that’s probably a sign that you’re attracting unqualified visitors. If this is the case – work on your ad copy, keywords, and campaign targeting to focus in on more relevant searchers. If you have extremely low CTR’s –your account will certainly see the negative impact of that, low volume, higher relative costs, etc. Work on a strong call to action, and targeting relevant searchers.
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