What Is CTR and How Can You Use It to Detect Invalid Clicks?

What Is CTR?

In the constant battle faced by business owners and advertisers to prevent click fraud on Google, CTR (click-through rate) plays a surprisingly important part. Though it is mostly known for its connection to SEO, CTR is also an extremely important tool for detecting invalid clicks in your Google Ads and in all your PPC advertising efforts. By monitoring and optimizing your CTR you’ll be able to better prevent click fraud on your account by creating what is considered a good CTR for Google Ads. Here’s a short guide on how to get started. 

CTR stands for click-through rate, a ratio showing how many people viewed your ad (number of impressions) and how many actually ended up clicking on it (number of clicks). The CTR formula looks like this: 

clicks ÷ impressions = CTR  

CTR can help you better understand how well your ads and keywords are performing and optimize them accordingly. Since CTR directly affects your Ad Rank, i.e. the position of your ad on the search results page, and your Quality Score, i.e. the rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads, it can determine how much your cost-per-click (CPC) will be as well as your ranking in Google Ad’s auction process. This is why making sure you’ve got a high click-through rate, meaning a high percentage of users are seeing and clicking on your ad, is essential to your PPC success.

With that being said, knowing what is considered a good CTR is quite difficult since the number varies by industry as well as by many other factors. In general, as WordStream put it, the average click-through rate in AdWords across all industries is 3.17% for search and 0.46% for display.

Every one of your ads, listings, as well as the keywords you’re bidding on have their own CTRs. These help you get a good indication of how your ads are viewed by your target audience. You want users to not only find your ads, but to engage with them as well; to find them interesting and relevant enough for them to decide to click on them. 


Why CTR is so important (particularly in relation to click fraud prevention)

There is no denying the impact CTR has on your overall PPC ad campaigns but it is also extremely crucial for your ability to recognize and detect invalid clicks to your account. CTR plays an important part in preventing click fraud on Google since it can easily help you track down any illegal activity to your PPC campaigns when you monitor and optimize it. For example, if you have a high CTR versus a low return on investment (ROI), this could be an indicator of click fraud on your campaign. However, going through all your advertising campaigns on Google or on Bing Ads can be quite the challenge, particularly if you’re doing it manually.


What is an invalid click? 

Invalid clicks are what Google considers fraudulent clicks. Whether they’ve been inflicted by bots or web crawlers, click farms, human error, or even your business’ competitors, click fraud is so prevalent that in 2020 alone, worldwide advertising fraud amounted to a staggering loss of $35 billion

As Google puts it, they take invalid activity very seriously. Google thoroughly examines each click to maintain whether it’s legitimate or not. They use over a hundred complex algorithms to track down click fraud activity on users’ accounts. Once they find any fishy activity, they attempt to automatically filter it from your reports and payments so you won’t be charged for it. However, not all attempts are successful and many advertisers find themselves paying the tech giant a big chunk out of their marketing budget, particularly when click fraud really is at bay. 


Relying solely on Google has its downside since Google won’t actually block fraudulent IP addresses from your campaign. By monitoring your click-through rates you will most likely be able to recognize invalid clicks yourself. 

Clixtell is able to provide you with the security you need by automatically reviewing and monitoring your Google Ads and Bing Ads for you. Our software takes into account the different factors each industry needs to pay attention to, and enables you to define how many paid clicks you allow for each user. We supply users with live data on their dashboard analyzing every IP address, unique device ID, network service provider, VPN provider, geolocation, keywords, time spent on page, and more. Unlike Google, we not only shut down any attempted click fraud to your campaigns, but prevent attackers from seeing your paid ads ever again by blocking their IP address. 

Our system records all your website visitors by video and gives you all the information  you need, including website analytics and click fraud data records and reports, to better optimize your ads while keeping them safe and protected.

When it comes to click fraud prevention, guaranteeing the clicks you’re receiving are legitimate is not only essential for safeguarding your ads and campaigns, but it can dramatically increase your ROI. Now you won’t have to rack your brain on how to check your CTRs and clicks manually and all by yourself.