How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Most online marketers talk about increasing traffic to your web site but few talk about how to get visitors to click through to your offer. If you receive thousands of visitors a day but none of them click through to your sales page you’ll soon be out of business.

Definition of Click-through rate

According to Wikipedia (an online encyclopedia)

CTR is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is obtained by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad on a web page by the number of times the ad was delivered (impressions). For example, if your banner ad was delivered 100 times (impressions delivered) and one person clicked on it (clicks recorded), then the resulting CTR would be 1 percent.

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.

CTR does not necessarily mean your ad or web site was successful because it does not measure conversion rates. A customer may click on your ad, read the information but still not buy the item.

How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate

There are hundreds of ways to improve your CTR. Then most important aspect is to test one factor at a time. If you change too many things at once, it will be hard to decipher which one had the greatest impact.

Start off by making one change to see if it increases your CTR, then change something else. If your CTR decreases simply undo it and try something else. Always work on moving up your CTA until you are happy with it.

4 ways to improve the CTR of an online ad

Online ads may include Google AdWords, banners or ads on web sites.

1. Test the headline

Create different headlines by placing yourself in your customer’s shoes. Try to see the headline from their viewpoint by asking “what’s in it for them.” This means you need to include a benefit in the headline.

2. Try different fonts types, sizes, colors.

One small change often creates a large impact, therefore try capitalizing the first letter of the headline or all first letters of each word in the headline. Experiment with common font types e.g., times roman, arial, verdana. Colors also have different effects on people so test other text colors besides black.

3. Use action words or phrases

Action words and phrases are more powerful than passive words and phrases.

Some good words to use include:

get, discover, secrets, powerful, read, how, how to

Questions also get your customer to check out your offer e.g.,

How do you write an article a day?
What are the 7 secrets to getting your article read?

4. Use short sentences

When writing an ad you are limited in the amount of words you can put into it. Your sentences need to be short and have an impact on the reader. Leave out filler words such as the, on about

If you want your headline to be spidered by the search engines include the keywords at the beginning of the sentence e.g.,

Instead of writing:

“The Top 7 Ways to Lose Weight in 7 days”


“Weight Loss – Top 7 Ways to Lose Weight in 7 days”


The most important aspect of increasing your CTR is to test everything but test one thing at a time and do it consistently. It will take some time to see substantial results so be patient. If so, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have the best possible ad. and don’t have to rely on the opinion of others.

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Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Development, SEO, Hosting


  1. Greetings from Brisbane, Australia. I’ve only been blogging for about 6 months now. I find it quite relaxing to put my thoughts into words on a screen. My favourite theme is Thesis. Thanks for sharing.

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