I get this question frequently: What is a good click through rate (CTR) for an Adsense website? Well, to be completely honest, it is against the Google Adsense TOS to explicitly share your CTR with others – but there are some general guidelines that I can share that may be useful. After all, once you are getting the traffic to your site and lets say are ranking #1 in Google, there are only a few things that you can do to increase your overall earnings. One of these things is increasing your CTR on your site.
Some of the things that you can do to increase your CTR include:
- Changing your theme
- Changing the colors of your existing theme
- Placing ads in different locations on your site
- Changing the colors and sizes of your Google Adsense ads
- Other optimization techniques.
2017 Update: I now use a free ad tester called Ezoic which makes maximizing Adsense earnings very simple. Click here to try it out.
Today, I am not going to cover in depth what you can do to INCREASE you click through rate (that will be covered in the future); however, I am going to hopefully give you an expectation of what kind of CTR you might get.
How to Calculate Click Through Rate
First we need to define what CTR is and how we are going to calculate it so that we are on the same page. There are 2 different CTRs that you can look at:
1. CTR based on the number of VISITORS to your site
2. CTR based on the number of PAGEVIEWS on your site
The click through rate displayed on your Google Adsense account is based on the number of pageviews you have to your site. See this image (obviously I removed the data):
So, the Page CTR (as displayed by Google) is probably what most people talk about – but its hard to predict. I mean if you get 100 visitors to your site, your pageview CTR will vary greatly depending on whether a visitor looks at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or more pages per visit. With each additional pageview that you get on average, the lower your “Page CTR” will go down. So, if you are trying to predict what the earnings will be on your site (you can use the calculation I discussed for predicting the value of a keyword here); it can be extremely difficult to predict how many pages a vistor will look at on your site before leaving on average.
Just to be clear, let me give a hypothetical situation. Lets say that every visitor that comes to your site looks at 2 pages on average (2 pageviews per visitor). If you get 10,000 pageviews in a month, this means that you actually only had 5,000 individual visitors to your site. So, if your Google Adsense Page CTR is shown as 5%; this means that your Visitor CTR is actually 10%. Make sense?
Why Does it Matter?
Why does this difference matter? Well, I find it much easier to predict how many visitors I might get to my website when looking at a keyword, as opposed to how many pageviews I might get in a month. So, if I am looking at a keyword that gets 5,000 searches per month and I predict that I can rank #1 in Google for that keyword – then I can predict that I will get around 40-50% percent of the traffic for that keyword. Lets just say 50% to keep it simple – 2,500 visitors for the month for that keyword if I rank #1 in Google.
I have personally found that a 10% Visitor CTR is actually an okay prediction number. Sometimes its higher (over 15% is probably not realistic) and sometimes its lower (under 5% is getting pretty low). Obviously, depending on your keyword and what the market is – you could experience a lower visitor CTR than 5%. But on average, I can safely say that most of my sites get a Visitor CTR between 5 and 15%; with 10% being the most likely.
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Remember, I am not revealing what my Pageview CTR is here as shown by Google Adsense. So, if I have a visitor CTR of 10% and my site gets 3 pageviews per visitor (hypothetically), then my Page CTR as displayed in Google would be 3.33%. Or if I get 2 page views per visitor, the CTR would be 5%. Obviously, I am not going to share what my average page view per site is as to not cross the line with Google's TOS.
Predicting the Value of Your Keyword Using CTR
So, now you can complete your predictions using my formula discussed here for how valuable a keyword is. Or you can use a great free keyword calculator that Joe and Justin over Adsense Flippers just came out with. Essentially, if we continue with the example I provided above with a keyword that gets 5,000 exact match searches per month and we believe that we will rank #1 – we can expect 2,500 visitors per month for that keyword.
If we then predict a 10% CTR for that keyword, we can expect to get 250 clicks per month for that 1 keyword (you obviously should be getting traffic from other Long Tail Keywords). If this one keyword pays us on average $0.75, then we can expect to make $187.50 from that 1 keyword in a month. Looks like a good keyword!
Overall, its extremely difficult to predict exactly what your CTR is going to be on your site. But hopefully this information can at least give you some general guidelines that you can look at and follow. With time as you build more of your own niche websites, you will be able to more reliably predict what type of Visitor CTR you can expect on your sites.
What thoughts or questions do you have on the subject? Do these numbers look about right – or have your experienced something completely different? I would love to hear your comments below!