Click Through Rate is overrated…

By Posted in - Blog & Site Traffic Control on June 15th, 2012 0 Comments

…Specifically related to Adwords (but could also apply to email marketing as well). I get clients that ask me all the time when we’re about to embark on a brand new Paid Search Campaign: “what would be a good click through rate be?” My answer is generally (fully realizing that it sounds like it’s the biggest cop-out of all time) “a number that is better than the one we had yesterday”

Although seemingly patronizing, the point of the statement is that there is no magic number for click through rate success in an Adwords campaign where every keyword is going to have a different level of relevancy and competition. Success in Click Through Rate should be determined by constant improvement and conversion rate rather than a magic number that we should aspire to.

It’s also important to remember that CTR does not ALWAYS equal success. Neither does Conversion necessarily, but it’s a much more accurate indicator of success in a Search Marketing sense.

EXAMPLE: If we’re selling yoga classes, would it be foolish to try and target “yoga” as a potential keyword? If we do, it’s probably very likely that we’ll have a extremely low CTR because of the almost infinite number of variations that could exist to go along with “yoga”. But if we’re good about leveraging negative keywords, and creating ads that are very exclusive keeping away the WRONG type of prospects, we have an extremely good chance of converting the variations of “yoga” that ARE relevant to the searcher. At that point seeing the different variations will give us more ideas for additional specific keywords to target (a fishing hole, so to speak), and we’ll be able to analyze it’s potential to convert to a lead.

As with anything, this rule doesn’t apply 100% of the time. We might soon find out that “yoga” is a stinker and produces nothing in the form of conversions, no matter how hard we try or how many negative keywords we use. In that case, it’s best to not target that keyword at all and move to more specific keywords.

The point remains that just because you have a low CTR, doesn’t always mean you won’t find some conversion gold in a more generalized keyword.

Bear in mind through all this that it IS important to constantly optimize and push for better click through rate in your search marketing endeavors. Just keep in mind that no “magic” CTR exists, and whatever your click through rate is, just make sure you push it to be better than it was yesterday. Just remember the Site Traffic Control mantra…Let Conversion Be Your Guiding Light. CTR is important, but it will always be a secondary metric to Conversions and Sales.

Thoughts on this?

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