We’re picking up our “Metrics Explained” series with a new topic: how Google Analytics 4, G4, is impacting common metrics like CTR, users, and sessions. One of the most significant changes is how click-through rates are now presented more broadly in the data. So what is a good click-through rate and does it still matter for your brand?
What is a Good Click-Through Rate?
Instead of a click-through rate, Google now focuses on sessions, events, and specifics that lead to conversions. Events are the most similar to click-through rates in that they focus on a type of action that leads to a marketing goal (conversion), like clicking a button or call-to-action link to land on a specific page.
Universal Analytics previously supported five ways to track website goals (what G4 now terms ‘Events’): destination, duration, pages/session, smart goals, and event goals. For example, when a user clicks a CTA link, you could formerly track that event with a related term like “CTA” or “Sign Up.”
‘Users and Sessions’ Are Now About a Top-Down View of User Behavior Instead of a Drill Down Into Specific Actions
Learning the difference between a session and a user will help you to understand what these new changes mean for your marketing metrics and how you plan to use them.
According to Analytics, “a session initiates when a user either opens your app in the foreground or views a page or screen and no session is currently active (e.g., their previous session has timed out). By default, a session ends (times out) after 30 minutes of user inactivity.” This time-oriented metric helps you understand how long people spend on your website and which landing pages or content they view.
Users, on the other hand, provide information about your market. In other words, who is doing the searching, and what we know about them. Google has a whole set of “predefined user dimensions” you can use to filter information about your online audience. Some examples include age, browser, country, device (mobile or tablet), gender, new or return visitor, and city.
The point is Google is more focused now on an aggregate, top-down view of the data versus tracing individual user actions or patterns beyond their set parameters.
For this reason, it’s important to set up your metrics in G4 so you’re getting meaningful data because the migration to this new platform isn’t a one-to-one transition. There are significant differences between Universal Analytics and G4. Learning how to set up the right tags will have a significant impact on how you use the data for your marketing.
What User Behavior Qualifies as An Event? This Will Help You Track Conversions More Effectively
If you’ve had a marketer’s help, likely you’ve already adjusted your conversion goals for changes to the new G4 platform. In some ways, the new G4 way is simpler. There aren’t so many different types of goals now; instead, you must create an event for actions you want to track as conversions.
Every link hit is an event. In other words, all actions are events. Lost yet? Don’t worry; here’s a breakdown with a side-by-side comparison chart of differences between Universal Analytics and GA. Of course, we will know what those actions are, i.e. (page views, downloads, form submissions).
If, for example, you want to see how often users fill out your “Contact Us” form, these are counted as events. An event is only a conversion if the account owner marks it as such. The amount of customization is adjustable when setting up your G4 account.
Choosing the events you should track or follow is one of the steps you’ll need to do for making the transition to G4. Data is only data when it tells you the information you need to move you closer to your goals.
Navigating these changes doesn’t have to feel like doing your taxes. As a digital marketing agency, it’s our job to stay informed on these changes to help brands with their brand’s analytics, goals, and more.
What About Other Types of Click-Through-Rates, as in Paid Advertising?
Click-through rates are still used in paid advertising. Depending on where you’re advertising (Google Ads, Meta, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) a good click through rate can be high or low. A click-through-rate in advertising is the ratio of users who clicked on an ad to the total number of users who viewed it.
Some factors can help you assess the effectiveness and relevance of an ad, including targeting and placement, the relevance of the ad, the clarity of the call-to-action, and the competition in the industry.
Running an exceptional ad campaign requires balancing several metrics. This comes with time and experience of looking at the data and experimenting with campaigns and products to learn iteratively from what customers want.
Terms to Help You Understand A Good Click-Through-Rate
So how do you assess this? Many factors are presented differently in the analytics depending on what platform you are using. Here are a few of the most important terms to learn.
Measures the actions or clicks taken on an ad. This is not the same as the conversion rate (CR), which measures conversions through to purchase.
Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) (Or Cost Per Thousand)
Measures the cost of advertising per one thousand impressions on a landing page or ad.
Cost per acquisition (CPA) measures the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. So it’s the cost to gain a customer’s successful purchase.
Navigate Your Marketing Metrics With Savy
Click-through rate has a lot to do with quality score and relevance, but what it tells you depends on what you define as the click-through event or the action you take on a landing page or website page. Also, remember that using it in addition to other metrics is important, such as conversion rate, bounce rate, and looking at things like average time on page.
Data is an incredibly useful marketing tool that can provide insight into what your customers want, increase your website’s visibility and relevance, and ultimately help you attract more traffic. If you want to start with a marketing agency to help up your digital strategy and conversion goals, contact us to get a game plan.