The bottom line: clicks are a signal. And marketers, particularly those focused on paid advertising, live by those signals to inform their strategies and deliver increased results at lower costs. It’s no wonder that they obsess over the click-through-rate (CTR) of their Facebook ads.
For our latest report, we asked dozens of marketers and agency professionals to answer two questions: what’s a good CTR for Facebook ads, and how do you improve a subpar CTR?
Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook CTR.
CTR stands for click-through rate and is a Facebook Ads metric that measures the ratio of clicks (how often someone clicked on your ad) to impressions (how many times your ad was viewed on the platform) for individual ads.
How is Click Through Rate Calculated on Facebook?
Facebook calculates your CTR by dividing an ad’s total number of clicks by its total number of impressions. The result is then multiplied by 100 and expressed as a percentage.
For example, if 1,000 people saw your ad, and 100 people clicked on it, Facebook first divides 100 (number of clicks) by 1,000 (number of impressions). The result of that data calculation is 0.1, which is then multiplied by 100 to get your CTR percentage: 10%.
How to Find Your CTR on Facebook
Follow these steps to find the CTR for each of your Facebook ads:
3. Make sure you’ve selected the time frame you want to view.
4. Open the “Columns” dropdown and select “Performance and Clicks.”
5. Scroll right until you see the column for “CTR (All).”
What is the Average CTR for Facebook Ads?
According to a 2017 Facebook ad benchmarks study conducted by Wordstream, the average CTR for Facebook ads across all industries is 0.90%. But the report also showed that CTRs vary by industry, with employment and job training seeing the lowest average CTR at 0.47% and legal seeing the highest at 1.61%.
However, that study is now two years old, and Facebook’s algorithm has changed dramatically since it was conducted. So we wanted to dig a little deeper and see if we could find some more up-to-date statistics.
But using the data from those two studies, we can say that an average CTR for Facebook ads is probably somewhere between 0.90 and 1.33%.
It’s also worth mentioning that AdStage’s data shows that Facebook ad CTR has been consistently declining over the last year, from a median of 2.36% in Q1 2018 to a median of 1.33% in Q1 2019.
What is a Good CTR for Facebook Ads?
Knowing the average or median CTR for Facebook ads is a decent starting point for benchmarking your performance, but a better question to ask to improve your performance is “What is a good CTR for Facebook ads?”
Based on the results of our study, a good CTR for Facebook ads is between 2-5%.
We asked 30+ marketers to share their average CTRs for their Facebook ads, and more than half reported average CTRs within that range.
However, some respondents reported much higher CTRs: around a fourth reported average CTRs between 5-7%, and nearly 15% reported average CTRs above 10%.
6 Ways to Increase CTR for Facebook Ads
How are some marketers achieving CTRs that are significantly higher than both the average and median rates?
To find out, we asked our respondents to share their best tips for increasing CTR for Facebook ads. Here are the six strategies they recommend.
PRO TIP: What’s the overall engagement of your ad campaigns?
Want to make sure your Facebook ads are performing and trending in the right direction? There are several types of metrics you should track, from costs to campaign engagement to ad-level engagement, and so on.
Here are a few we’d recommend focusing on.
Cost per click (CPC): How much are you paying for each click from your ad campaign? CPC is one of the most commonly tracked metrics, and for good reason, as if this is high, it’s more likely your overall return on investment will be lower.
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): If your ad impressions are low, it’s a good bet everything else (CPC, overall costs, etc.) will be higher. Also, if your impressions are low, your targeting could be too narrow. Either way, it’s important to track and make adjustments when needed.
Ad frequency: How often are people seeing your ads in their news feed? Again, this could signal larger issues with targeting, competition, ad quality, and more. So keep a close eye on it.
Impressions: A high number of impressions indicates that your ad is well optimized for the platform and your audience.
Amount spent: Tracking theestimated amount of money you’ve spent on your campaigns, ad set or individual ad will show you if you staying within your budget and which campaigns are the most cost-effective.
Tracking these metrics in Facebook Ads Manager can be overwhelming since the tool is not easy to navigate and the visualizations are quite limiting. It’s also a bit time-consuming to combine all the metrics you need in one view.
We’ve made this easier by building a plug-and-play Facebook Ads dashboard that takes your data and automatically visualizes the right metrics to give you an in-depth analysis of your ad performance.
With this Facebook Ads dashboard, you can quickly discover your most popular ads and see which campaigns have the highest ROI, including details such as:
What are your highest performance Facebook Ad campaigns? (impressions by campaign)
How many clicks do your ads receive? (click-through rate)
Are your ad campaigns under or over budget? (cost per thousand impressions)
What are your most cost-efficient ad campaigns? (amount spent by campaign)
How often are people seeing your ads in their news feed? (ad frequency)
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Facebook Ads account with Databox.
“Improving your CTR on Facebook is always a combination of strong targeting, good ad copy, and a powerful visual,” says SIXGUN’s David Pagotto. “However, the biggest lever you have available is the targeting options.”
Nate Masterson of Maple Holistics agrees: “One of the most overlooked strategies when it comes to PPC in social media is marketing to a niche. This means more than just marketing to the people who have an interest that approach your niche. Instead, target your marketing to specific types of customers.”
“If your audience is too broad, then the message is typically pretty generic in an effort to accommodate the whole bunch,” says Amy Bishop of Cultivative Marketing. “At that point, it’s watered down and unlikely to have strong appeal.”
But on the other hand, “when your paid media strategist narrows your targeting, you’re speaking to a smaller customer base, and you now have specificity and empathy on your side,” says Evolve Digital Labs’ Ian Revling.
“Any time your creative becomes more specific to an audience, they’re more likely to click your ad, engage with comments, share with friends and family, or click through to a conversion,” Revling says.
“I recently worked on a campaign solely intended to test audiences. By doing some extra research on what interests my client’s target audience had that were not accounted for, I was able to double—and in one case quadruple—the click-through rate from week one to week two.”
And Darrell Evans of Yokel Local recommends changing how you think about your Facebook ads: “I think of every ad like an email sequence. If we have properly built awareness and moved our prospect to engagement, then high click-through rates on Facebook ads should result.”
“We work with some of our B2B clients to re-engage past users or customers who are 15 times more likely to engage than those who are not yet familiar with your brand and ideas,” says Hire Learning’s Chris Richardson. “They may have fallen off the map, but they start the process further down the sales funnel.”
Bogdan Zlatkov of RollWorks agrees: “The best way to improve your conversions overall is by staying top-of-mind after someone visits your site.”
“According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 91% of marketers who have used retargeting have found it to perform equally or better than search, email, or other display ads. When Oracle Dyn used retargeting ads they got a 4x return on investment and a 28% increase in marketing qualified leads,” Zlatkov says.
“One effective way to improve the click-through rate on your Facebook ads is to incorporate more engaging visuals such as videos, GIFs, or infographics,” says Jackie Tihanyi of Fisher Unitech.
“People are used to seeing the same static images when scrolling through Facebook, so spicing up the newsfeed with some dynamic content increases the probability of a click,” Tihanyi says.
KDG’s Keri Lindenmuth agrees: “The key to a successful ad campaign on Facebook is to make sure your content stands out. This is why videos and images work so well. Users are attracted to strong visuals, especially when they involve other people.”
By adding a compelling video and headline, Jumpstart Go’s Rene Cabrera increased his CTR by 10%.
But not everyone recommends video.
“Surprisingly, we’ve seen that images have better click-through rates than videos for Facebook ad campaigns,” says Jeneeit Jeyakanthan, CEO of Vilampara Media.
Jeyakanthan does note, however, that videos are better for brand-building and engagement.
It’s no surprise that your ad copy makes a difference in CTR. Several of our respondents offered their advice on how to improve your ad copy:
Add personal attributes to ads. John Morgan of The Penny Hoarder says his current campaign that uses the headline “If you live in Pennsylvania” is getting a CTR of 13.7%!
Write a compelling title. “From our experience, the number-one factor in improving your Facebook CTR is through effective titles,” says Angelo Frisina of Sunlight Media. “Having a correctly optimized ad title can increase your CTR by over 50%.”
Ask a question in your copy. “Ask a question in your ad, and be sure to follow up quickly and professionally on your responses,” says Mike Schiemer of Bootstrap Business. “The higher engagement rates with the ads will enhance the legitimacy of the ad. You’ll get more shares and link clicks.”
Answer a question. “Answer a user’s initial question in your ad, but also guide them to click through to your landing page,” says Rachel Bills of Intuitive Digital. Optimize your landing page so that when a user lands, it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for.”
“It all starts with the first sentence,” says James Robinson of Iconic Genius. “It must speak directly to a pain point or desire of your customer. For example, ‘Do you feel pain in your lower back?’ If the person says yes, then they will keep reading because it applies to them.”
“Next, you want to offer a solution to their problem. And then highlight the benefits of how the solution to this problem will improve their life. You want to paint the picture in their mind with words (walk without pain, enjoy playing with the kids again, get back to the gym, etc.).”
“Of course, you also need to have a stellar offer. In most cases, prospects do not see the value in clicking a link. You must have a head-turning, eye-popping offer,” Robinson says.
“The most effective way to increase CTR on Facebook ads is to increase and display social proof on your ads,” says Blake Aylott of RideYellow.
You can build social proof by getting more likes, comments, and shares on your ads.
“A new ad with a winning image/video and copy from testing usually only has few comments/likes/shares to start,” says Kalina Fridrich of Social Fulcrum. “This usually means CTRs are rarely above 0.5% for new Facebook ads.”
“To help boost CTRs, we build social proof by accumulating post engagement. To do this, we use Page Post IDs to link the same ad across various ad sets to ensure the post engagement is cumulative.”
“We also show new ads with low engagement to audiences with the most loyal customers (high LTV, long relationship with the brand) to collect positive comments from current customers.”
“We’ve seen the same ads with 0.5% CTR jump to 0.7%-1% CTR as a result of a rigorous collection of post engagement. We believe ad engagement provides social proof and builds virality,” Fridrich says.
Marketers love testing, especially when there are all sorts of things to test.
“When I say A/B testing, I mean you need to test everything in your ad: copy, targeting, objective, ad types, etc.,” says Growth Hackers’ Jonathan Aufray. “In fact, I recommend to do even more than A/B testing; I’d call it A/B/C testing or A to Z testing.”
“What I recommend is creating at least two identical Facebook ads where you just test one thing at a time (for instance, the copy). Then, once you find the right copy, you create several ads with that copy where you test different targets. Once you find the right target, you can test the ad format, and so on,” Aufray says.
R.J. Weiss of The Ways to Wealth gives similar advice: “For my ads, I rotate weekly through testing audience, image, headline, and text. Then, repeat.”
“The goal each week is to test at least four new ads in each campaign I have running. Often it can be weeks or months until I’m able to improve upon a control. But once I do, the reward means a higher CTR and lower CPC,” Weiss says.
Web Geeks’ Shane Carter emphasizes the importance of specifically testing creative: “Try split-testing ads with different images and text combinations to see which resonate the best with your audience and entice more people to click through to your content.”
And when you’re testing, Bruno Ferrão of My Personal Stylist says you should also be talking to your customers: “Make it personal. Get to know every aspect of the problem that you are willing to solve for them.”
Use All of These Tips Together to Improve Your Facebook CTR
“Selecting the right audience and aligning that audience with the creative is the most effective way to improve the click-through rates of your campaigns on Facebook,” says Affy Santi of SL Development.
“For example, one of our clients is a brand that sells retro stereos. They have created a brand heavily influenced by hip-hop music culture and a fun lifestyle that interacts with music influencers. From there, they have targeted an audience that fits into that following.”
“We target that following using creative and ad copy that engages that audience. This includes lifestyle and influencer images, as well as fun upbeat ad text,” Santi says.
Pixus’ Stephen Browne says to keep three elements in mind:
Audience: “Review the targeting options that Facebook provides you with and create an audience that closely matches who you want to advertise to. Focusing in means that your ad will only show to those who have an interest in what you’re offering (and are therefore more likely to click).”
Ad content: “Once you have the audience, you need to get the message out to them. Create engaging ads with a call to action, clear copy, and an image that speaks a thousand words. Make the user feel that they’ll be missing out unless they click.”
Testing: “Change the headline, image, or descriptions regularly and build up a picture of what your perfect ad looks like. Monitor the stats closely with your social media dashboard and make informed decisions.”
“Your first ads will never be perfect—and neither will your 10th or 11th—but the fun and the value is in creating new ads using Facebook’s huge range of tools,” Browne says.
In the end, it’s a lot of work to get everything perfect enough to build a Facebook ad with an above-average CTR, but as Matchnode’s Brian Davidson explains, it’s worth it:
Originally published in October 2018, this post has been updated with additional information and more recent data on average click-through rates for Facebook Ads.
About the author
Dann Albright Dann is a freelance writer who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. With an emphasis on organic traffic and conversion, he takes big ideas and turns them into highly practical content that keeps readers hooked.
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