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What is a Good CTR (Click Through Rate)? 2021 Benchmarks and Industry Trends

Click Through Rate

Digital marketing is all about measuring the key parameters that can take your campaign to the next level. Among these parameters, Click-Through Rates (CTRs) hold a prominent value, enabling you to understand your campaigns in a better way.

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is one of the most widely used marketing gimmicks, and CTR is a critical metric. With CTR, you can quantify your social media and email marketing, showing a general customer behavior pattern.

Therefore, you can better understand how many people want to know about your products and how many of them click your ads.

CTR Gives You the Big Picture

Big Picture

CTR can help businesses to optimize their marketing tactics. For instance, a CTR summary can help you to improve your store conversion and boost your online sales. When you have a high CTR, it means that your ad or link is drawing more attention, which means more traffic on your Shopify store or website.

Moreover, search engines like Google use your CTR data to give an accurate future CTR. Consequently, it impacts your Ad Rank and  Quality Score on search engine pages.

In short, CTR plays a role in your ad placement, so it helps decide whether your current campaign is doing well and how you can optimize it to perform better.

How CTR Works

How CTR works

CTR works on a simple formula. It’s a ratio of clicks on your ads or links to the impressions made by those ads. Unlike keyword performance results, CTR focuses on an average value for the overall campaign. So, it doesn’t focus on specific keywords.

For instance, a low CTR may suggest that your content or headline is not as effective. Maybe your target audience isn’t right, or maybe your keyword use isn’t right.

What’s the Ideal CTR?

It’s a common question for marketers, but there is no definite answer for it. Strange? A good click-through rate depends on the industry niche, nature of ads, search engines and more. This post will look at the top CTR benchmarks for 2021 and how the industry is affecting CTR values.

One of the key considerations while measuring a CTR is the network that the users are using. There are two types of networks, i.e.

  • Display Network
  • Search Network

Display Network

Display networks are more demand generators. Generally, the ads that create awareness about brands or products use display network strategies. In a way, they are unsolicited ads for the users.

Search Network

Search networks are used to provide to the user what they want. In such a case, your ads are already in demand, so there is no element of awareness. Generally, Search networks rely on AdWords to do the job.

Generally, search network CTRs are considerably higher than display networks. It’s because users come looking for your services in search networks, so they are more likely to click through your ads and explore your website.

On the other hand, display network ads may seem unwanted to the users, and they are likely to skim through without taking any action. Some trends suggest that users’ first instinct is to turn on an ad blocker to avoid unnecessary ads ruining their online experience.

Benchmarks for CTR

Now that we know the basics of CTR, let’s find out the best CTR rates for different niches in the industry. These trends focus on statistics from 2021, so you can apply them for the coming year and improve your store conversion.

CTR Benchmark for Industry

According to the Search Engine Journal data, the overall average CTR for the industry is 1.9%, but it doesn’t give a clear picture. It’s mainly because the industry has so many niches, and there is immense variation in CTR values for each niche.

When we talk about industry niches, some notable trends suggest that the display network CTR rate ranges from 0.39% in Technology to 1.08% in Real Estate.

Likewise, the search network CTR trends suggest an average rate of 2.09% in Technology to 6.05% in dating and personal apps and products.

Moreover, let’s look at the difference in the averages of search network CTR and display network CTR. Again, the Advocacy industry shows a significant difference, with search network CTR being more than seven times the display network CTR.

Finally, the Ecommerce and B2B industries have the least difference between the two types of CTR.

So, if your business is producing CTR within these ranges, you’re doing well.

Channel-wise CTR Benchmarks

Social channels play a major role in improving your CTR. Understandably, the channel you use to market your ads will directly affect the click-through rate. For instance, you might be searching for a product on Google Engine or through Facebook. Both are very different stories and have different click-through rates.

Each channel has its display format, and there can be many variations in the demographics too. For example, stats suggest that Twitter has the highest CTR with 2.21%, while LinkedIn ads haven’t done too well with an average CTR of just 0.06%.

It’s because LinkedIn is more of a networking app, so people are less likely to search for ads. The platform, therefore, provides limited advertising options to marketers.

However, it may not give a true representation of results because Facebook offers a video ad CTR of more than 2%, beating Twitter’s 2.21%. However, the overall Facebook average for CTR is just 0.72%.

So, as a marketer, you’re not just looking at the overall numbers. Instead, it’s more important to focus on different aspects that can boost your CTR.

Another important aspect of CTR channel benchmarking is newsletters and emails. MailChimp suggests that emails yield higher CTR (5.13%) in the Hobbies sector. However, if you’re looking to market your restaurant service through email, the expected CTR is considerably low (1.25%).

Also read: The social media trends you’ll have to master in 2021

Ad Position CTR Benchmarks

Ad Position CTR bench Marks

Where you place, the ad makes a big difference to your CTR. This means that your ad ranking will play a big role in your CTR rate. So, it doesn’t matter if you belong to a business niche with a higher CTR. But, if your ad ranking isn’t great, you will find your ad in a slightly inconvenient place on the search page.

As a result, users are less likely to pick through your ads. Here, your keyword ranking plays a significant role. If your keyword ranking is good, it doesn’t matter what your business niche might be. You will be in for a higher CTR.

Stats suggest that the highest rank ads can yield a CTR of up to 7.11%. Likewise, rank nine ads only produce a CTR of 0.55%.

Display Ad Format CTR Benchmarks

If your ad doesn’t appeal to the user, don’t expect a higher CTR. As ad position is crucial, it is equally important to have an optimal ad size and media format.

Generally, the ad formats can yield click-through rates between 0.01% to 0.05%, depending on the type of display ad.

How to Set Your Baseline CTR

Setting a CTR baseline is critical, and there are easy ways to do that. The average numbers and percentages are there to give you an idea, but your CTR goals can be quite different from these benchmark numbers.

While your CTR mainly depends on data analytics, you must use tools like WordStream to understand your current performance better. You can check your CTR benchmarking for ad position, type, channel, and industry with these tools.

Also, you must track the CTR and see how it performs on specific days and times. It will help you improve your CTR; speaking of which, here are some basic elements to focus on.

1. Thorough Keyword Research

With keyword research, you can use the right words for your ads. So, it will help you to rank higher in search results, and your ads will find better positions on the search page. However, if you pick keywords randomly, it may not yield fruitful results.

Often, it’s not about what keyword you think will perform better. Instead, analytics tools give a better understanding of what to accommodate in a specific ad type.

2.  Work with Different Ad Types

At times, campaigns don’t produce results immediately. So, instead, it’s time to revisit the ad type. Sometimes, your ads may not have the appeal for a specific audience. So, change your strategy. Here, it’s more important to try different types of ads.

For instance, adding an image or specific text to your ad can make a significant difference. However, it also means that you must continuously evaluate your content.

3.      Include CTAs

CTAs (call to action) will take your audience to your webpage. So, make sure that you throw in the relevant CTAs in your campaign. When your audience knows what to do with the ad, they are more likely to go on to the next step.

But don’t just add any CTAs. Create them in a way that prompts the user to go through with the deal. Using phrases like “Shop Now” or “Find out more” so that they know what to do next.


Knowing CTR baselines makes it easier for businesses to market their products and design campaigns more effectively across different channels. So, CTR analysis must be a regular part of your research leading to a marketing campaign.

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