What’s Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Are you wondering what click-through rate (CTR) is?

Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of impressions you get divided by the number of actual clicks. In terms of Youtube, CTR can be the number of thumbnails impressions you get on your video divided by the number of people that actually click to watch your video.

Thumbnails are the snapshot preview of your videos that viewers see when they browse through YouTube after a video is uploaded. They can be uploaded as a custom image or automatically chosen from your video by YouTube.

Impressions are the number of times your content is seen. This doesn’t matter whether it’s clicked or not.

YouTube has a click-through rate impression range between 2% and 10%. When you compare your views to impressions, it never really adds up even though YouTube promotes video impressions through CTR.

The higher impressions you get, the lower the click-through rate if you have little views.

Here’re some points about click-through rate, CTR you should note:

  • If you have a video with a ton of impressions, it’s likely for your CTR to be very low
  • When your impressions go up, your CTR goes down. For example, if your video gets 10 clicks and 100 impressions, then you’re having a 10% CTR
  • Don’t distract yourself by comparing your CTR to someone else’s own, because you don’t know their audience and even if you do, you don’t know what their audience wants. Don’t get carried away when you check your analytics and it has a lower number than what YouTube suggests.

What’s A Good CTR?

To check your CTR if it’s low or high, follow the following steps:

  • Go to YouTube studio
  • On the dashboard, click on channel analysis
  • Click on Reach and you can find your impressions here

A good CTR can not be totally defined because there are too many variables that come into play. The level of CTR impressions all depends on the type of campaigns, strategies, accounts, companies, etc. The age of a video can also affect your overall CTR.

When you upload a new video to YouTube, all your subscribers get notified and it gets a boost from YouTube. This makes your CTR go up but that’s it. Your click-through rate (CTR) goes up at the first instance of uploading your video, then after a few boosts from YouTube, you get extra views from viewers that are not your subscribers, and gradually your CTR begins to go down.

Is this a good thing? Yes, it’s a good thing. As said before, the higher your impressions, the lower your CTR.

You would obviously prefer if YouTube shares your content amongst a large audience platform where they might not be interested but you are bound to get more clicks to YouTube sharing it amongst your subscribers, friends, or a close-knit community who are more likely to click on your content.

CTR impressions are based on your content, audience, and placement (where on YouTube your video was shown). Video thumbnails compete against other videos on the homepage, in the “up next” area, in search results, and more.

Having said all this, here are some important things to avoid doing with your CTR:

  • Testing several thumbnails or titles on the same video

You don’t need to unnecessarily test several thumbnails or titles on the same video. The differences you get in CTR might be due to other sources of traffic, not thumbnails or video titles.

If you need help creating good thumbnails try using Canva and I even have a YouTube video on how to create a thumbnail in Canva for Newbies that you should check out.

  • Making decisions with low data

Avoid analyzing your CTR immediately after uploading your video. You should analyze your CTR and make key decisions only after getting a sufficient number of impressions on your videos.

  • Using clickbait in your titles or thumbnails

YouTube has a clickbait policy. You should not misrepresent the content of your video with a clickbaity thumbnail as this might cause your video to be less likely recommended to new audiences. Your video thumbnail is clickbaity if it gets a high click-through rate (CTR) but low view duration and lower impressions than expected.

If your video is not suitable for viewing and it breaches YouTube’s community guidelines, it will limit the number of impressions your video gets. This limitation will lead to fewer views and less revenue.

In the same vein, if your content is not suitable for advertisers according to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines, the video might get no ads. Now, what’s a YouTube channel if it doesn’t generate money for you?

Always remember that the best way to get consistent impressions is to always make content that your viewers love, always create content that would impress your viewers, and also draw attention to your channel.

I also have a YouTube Checklist that can help you set up your channel for success from the start.

Shelly Hopkins

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