CTR [Click-Through Rate]

What is a CTR?

CTR is like the cost per kilo of online advertising performance. It is the simplest way to compare the performance on a basic level of different ad campaigns.

It is the percentage of clicks you will get per 100 ad impressions. So for example if you get 1 click from 100 ad impressions, that will give you a CTR of 1%.

Calculator IconWork out the Click-Through Rate of your campaigns with our CTR Calculator >

What does CTR mean?

CTR stands for Click-Through Rate, and is a better measure of most campaigns performance than just clicks. This is because if you want to compare campaigns which have had different amounts of impressions, then it is unfair to just see which had the most clicks (as more impressions will usually mean more clicks).

Using the Click-Through Rate allows you to see what different campaigns could have achieved if they had the same amount of impressions.

Most ad servers provide the Click-Through Rates of campaigns, for you to compare them. Of course if the goal of an ad campaign is something other than clicks, it is not always the most useful measure.


CTR Formula

The CTR equation is:

CTR Formula or Click Through Rate Equation

Click to enlarge

CTR = (Clicks x 100) / Ad impressions


Average Rate

On average the Click Through Rate for the entire internet is about 0.1%. Most ad agencies will demand at least 0.2% from a display campaign, but of course the higher the better.


Top Tip

As a general rule of thumb a placement/page/site shouldn’t be judged until something has served over 1,000 impressions. This is because you want to give something a reasonable chance to get a click before writing it off, and 1,000 impressions is actually not that many. It is also a great benchmark because:

  • One click in 1,000 impressions is equal to a CTR of 0.1% (which is the internet average)
  • 1,000 impressions is like one unit of advertising – hence why ads are sold on a CPM basis (cost per 1,000 impressions)


Other names for CTR (synonyms)

Click-Through Rate, Click Rate


Not to be confused with




CTR Definition (Click Through Rate)


Find out more

CTR Calculator

What CTR Should I aim for?

Author: Justin Driskill

Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.

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