You want to drive more revenue to your eCommerce website or landing page, by using PPC advertising but find yourself wondering: What is a good click-through rate for my business?
You´re not alone.
Most businesses that require the help of an eCommerce agency have already tried paid advertising in one form or another. It is almost inevitable. It is relatively easy to do, and Google, Facebook, and Instagram have become increasingly more aggressive in the way they push their paid services.
If you set up a business page on Facebook, the social network will bombard you with free tutorials, and will not stop showing you how your posts will perform “X times better” if you just give them your money. Google Ads also offers easy-to-follow instructions to create your first PPC campaign using their search network to get more clicks from searches, or their display network to attract more audience from ads displayed on select websites.
Moreover, they push their broad match and automated machine learning optimization features, making it look really easy to get more traffic. However, these features literally defeat the purpose of creating targeted campaigns and increasing ad spend efficiency. It is not uncommon to see startups go belly up just because they poured all their marketing money on poorly planned digital marketing campaigns.
For example, imagine you want to target the keyword “pet shop,” and your budget gets completely drained by people looking for the 80´s band that happens to keep releasing singles every year. That´s a real story, by the way, and the moral is, targeting matters.
Google Search vs. Display Network
Google display network ads can also quickly become literal money pits. Don´t get me wrong, this tool has its benefits, especially if your business needs to increase brand awareness, as it displays your ads on third-party websites and mobile apps. These might include wonderful websites with tons of traffic, or apps that have been downloaded by millions of users. The upside is that it increases your visibility and helps people keep your business in mind for future reference when looking for products related to your industry.
However, launching a display advertising campaign has its dangers. Your ads might end up showing up on high-traffic websites that target completely uninterested audiences. Or on spammy android games and apps used by kids with sloppy fingers. Companies that don’t do their homework will see very high click-through rates that come from accidental in-game clicks or people trying to download torrents from shady websites.
These skewed numbers cause a lot of people to believe they “know” how to achieve great click-through rates and just want an eCommerce agency to help them increase revenue by capitalizing on their “success.”
But high click through rates are not always cause for celebration, especially once you’ve followed user behavior after the click. High click-through rates can result in disproportionately high bounce rates which drain ad spend without generating revenue to pay for those clicks. This exposes the inaccurate portrayal of high click-through rates as a metric that is “always” good.
This may tempt more cautious investors to drive a Google Search Ads campaign which offers you more control over where ads display. Since you can bid on keywords directly (or work with an experienced eCommerce PPC management team to optimize the bidding process, upping your quality scores) you can exhibit greater control over what searches result in impressions. Investing time in keyword research, defining your buyer persona and targeting your ads, if properly executed, can help you alleviate issues associated with high CTR and high bounce, or just plain low CTR.
That caution doesn’t always pay the investor back. Google Search campaigns also suffer from issues related to poor targeting, click-through rates, high bounce rates, and misalignment with customer expectations.
This makes it fairly important to establish realistic expectations associated with reasonable, attainable CTRs, as both high and low CTRs can be outliers, and cause for concern.
What Is a Good Click-through Rate for My Industry?
Here is the thing. An acceptable CTR should be around 2%. That’s the magic number. However, it can fluctuate depending on your particular industry and niche.
For example, the Auto industry has a very high average CTR, meaning that there are a lot of users searching for products and services related to it. However, there are very few people looking for brand new Lamborghinis online. Those in the luxury car niche know this so they aim for even higher CTRs and conversion rates by targeting very specific audiences that won´t waste their ad spend.
Let’s look at the average click-through rate per industry in 2021:
(Data sourced from SimilarWebs.com)
These numbers will give us realistic expectations at the time of evaluating eCommerce PPC campaign performances.
What You Think You Know About CTR Is (Mostly) Not Valid
Many feel that having high CTR is the be-all-end-all goal for every business.
We have seen eCommerce businesses increase keyword bids and broaden their target audience in order to outpace their competitors while keeping their eyes glued to CTR metrics. However, that’s the fastest way to burn through any marketing budget, no matter how deep, without achieving any positive results.
This makes it hard to convince merchants to create more targeted campaigns directed towards specific audiences with a higher purchasing intent. After all, they reckon, if they are not making enough money with their current (and distorted) CTR, how would lowering it do any good?
We found that there are two ways of approaching this problem. The first one is by explaining the costs of not hiring an eCommerce agency. Most business owners don’t have access to specialized keyword research tools, or the ability to build an accurate buyer persona, let alone the skills to create optimized content and websites. The result is they produce ad campaigns with very low click-through rates. Or worse; high CTRs with bounce rates that round the 100% mark. That last case will inevitably lead to paying for clicks that never turn into customers.
Many factors affect these metrics. The best way to reveal where your SEO or PPC campaign needs improvement is to perform a complete audit. Check out our in-depth eCommerce SEO audit tool.
Another way is to offer clients actual figures regarding the average click-through rates in their industries. These averages can then be compared to other verticals to give a sense of proportionality. This helps reduce the anxiety caused by not experiencing immediate results and allows for a more calculated approach when designing a marketing campaign.
What Can I Do With Average CTR By Industry?
It is a good sign to see clients listen to reason. When merchants understand the data, they intuitively reach certain conclusions and start.
Let’s suppose you are in the Business to Business industry. You learn that search engine average click-through rates are around 2.14%. If your ads are already giving you higher than average numbers yet your sales are stalled, we must first check the sources of these clicks to make sure you are not receiving traffic that is wasting your ad spend. So your focus should be on increasing conversion rates and sales instead of CTR.
There are many factors that could be causing a flood of bad traffic, such as incorrectly targeted ads, misleading ad copy, or even on-page problems like a confusing page structure or checkout process. We offer a comprehensive PPC audit tool that allows you to quickly identify the factors that need immediate attention and create a strategy to effectively increase your conversion rates.
On the other hand, if you are having lower than average click-through rates, you need to rethink your marketing strategy. When tweaking a PPC or SEO campaign, it is important to remember that Google SERPs focus on user intent. They favor content or ads that seem to give specific solutions to users based on how they formulate their queries. You need to target a more specific audience, make sure your copy is relevant, and that they find a satisfactory solution within seconds after they click. Improving your CTR, while taking into account all other factors that affect your conversion funnel at the same time, will certainly put your business closer to the top of search results.
Can I Improve My CTR? Can an eCommerce Agency Help?
You certainly can. However, bear in mind that the costs of PPC management and SEO services are, in the long run, lower than doing it yourself. It will not only force you to become a full-time SEO specialist, diverting time that can be put into growing your business. It also means that you will have to experiment with processes and methods that the best eCommerce agencies have already applied for years.
1Digital® Agency not only knows how to develop a cost-effective strategy that is best for your industry and particular brand. We have also perfected The Art of eCommerceTM through years of experience managing eCommerce SEO and PPC campaigns as a trusted, strategic digital marketing agency partnered with clients in a variety of different industries.
If you have any questions about how to increase your CTR and revenue, get in touch with one of our eCommerce SEO experts today at 888-988-8269 or email@example.com
- Marcel Casella
- September 3, 2021