SEO TIPS: Understanding Your CTR

What is CTR, and what does it mean to have a high CTR? How does it affect you, and what does Google say? CTR stands for click through rate, and having a high one means a lot of people click on your ads to go to your site. That is a pretty good thing – in fact it is a really great thing! A strong CTR means you are doing things right and probably are enjoying a fair amount of conversions as well.

A good CTR makes Google happy (Especially since they get paid for each click) and you can be happy because you get visitors to your site and have a chance to convert them. Your CTR is calculated by dividing the number of views an ad has by the number of clicks it receives. It is a simple formula and it is a very reliable benchmark for who well your ad campaign is working. If you combine your skill for writing ad copy with your landing page relevancy, you can increase your CTR and actually pay less per click – all at the same time! Isn’t that a heck of a trick you’d like to learn how to pull off!

Here are a few things you need to know before we get into things any deeper. Your CTR depends on the ad copy you write. You can have good CTR if your keywords are very focused and targeted, and you are running them in the right market at the right time. There are a lot of factors that play into creating the perfect advertising storm. A good CTR is runs around 1-2% -out of 100 people that see it.That means 1-2 people click on your ad. The more specific your ad group and better written your copy, the higher your CTR. That’s the goal.

Also, try to make sure you keep the following points in mind. Your CTR is just one aspect of what you pay per click. Not everyone realizes this by a long-shot. You have to make sure that your landing page is actually relevant to your ad copy or you will have serious problems. When Google sees people using ads that look like they were about one thing to trick people into clicking on them – then serving up a landing page about something unrelated to the keywords used, they get mad. Their reputation for serving up relevant content is being damaged. they take their anger out on the responsible party in ways like PR hits and sandboxing.

For this reason, Google looks at your entire setup and assigns you a Quality Score, which factors into your charge per click. If your landing page is NOT relevant to the keywords you are bidding on, Google penalizes you by charging you higher rates for each click. If you are badly abusing the system time after time is when you get the harshest treatment – but a little irrelevancy is actually okay so long as you pay for it because Google is a bit like a prostitute in that particular respect.

Rather than taking your chances, however, just do everything right from the start. Be smart, and don’t try to trick the search engines – it’s just not worth it! Is a 1% gain worht paying 10% more for or risking site penalties? In all likelihood, the answer will almost always be “no!”

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