Clickthrough Rate

Definition

The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Information

It is important to distinguish what a click-through rate does and does not measure. The CTR measures what percentage of people clicked on the ad to arrive at the destination site; it does not include the people who failed to click, yet arrived at the site later as a result of seeing the ad.

As such, the CTR may be seen as a measure of the immediate response to an ad, but not the overall response to an ad. The exception involves ads that display no identifiable information about the destination site; in these cases the click rate equals the overall rate.

Merely getting visitors to a site had value when Web site traffic was generally accepted as a measure of success. The trend towards profitability, along with better tracking tools, has resulted in less interest in clickthrough rates and more interest in conversion rates.

A high clickthrough rate does not assure a good conversion rate, and the two rates may even share an inverse relationship. An advertisement geared towards curiosity clicks will result in fewer sales, percentage-wise, than an advertisement geared towards qualified clicks.

Synonyms

CTR

Related Terms

clickthrough, conversion rate

view all terms in the Online Advertising glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary

Articles

Designing Web Ads Using Click-Through Data
Useit.com (September 2, 2001)

The Beginning of the End of CTR?
ClickZ (July 12, 2001)

Bizarro Web: Life Without a Click-Through Rate
ClickZ (February 13, 2001)

Are Click-Through Rates Really Declining?
ClickZ (January 16, 2001)

Click-Through Rate, R.I.P.
ClickZ (June 26, 2000)

Killing Off the Almighty CTR
ClickZ (January 13, 2000)

The Cure For Declining Click-Throughs
ClickZ (September 14, 1999)

Escaping the Cult of Click-Through
ClickZ (July 26, 1999)