Expected click-through rate: Definition

A keyword status that measures how likely it is that your ads will get clicked when shown for that keyword, irrespective of your ad's position, extensions and other ad formats that may affect the prominence and visibility of your ads.

This status predicts whether your keyword is likely to lead to a click on your ads. Google Ads takes into account how well your keyword has performed in the past, based on your ad's position. The expected click-through rate (CTR) that Google Ads provides for a keyword in your account is an estimate based on the assumption that the search term will match that keyword exactly. At auction time (when someone's search terms triggers one of your ads), Google Ads calculates a more accurate expected CTR based on the search terms, type of device and other auction-time factors.

There are three possible statuses that you can get: above average, average or below average.

  • Having an "average" or "above average" status means that there are no major problems with this keyword's expected click-through rate when compared to all other keywords across Google Ads.
  • A "below average" status means that you might want to consider changing your ad text so that it's more closely related to your top keywords.
  • Use this status to help identify keywords that might not be relevant enough to perform well.
  • This expected click-through rate is a prediction, so it's different from the actual click-through rates shown in the "CTR" column of your account. Unlike the "CTR" column, this status considers how the keyword performs both within your account and across all other advertisers' accounts. This status has also been adjusted to eliminate the influence of ad position and other factors that affect prominence and visibility, such as extensions.
  • It's possible for a keyword to have a high Quality Score and low expected click-through rate (or vice versa) because Google Ads looks at a number of different quality factors when determining Quality Score. Even if your overall Quality Score is high, looking at the individual factors can help you identify potential areas for improvement.
  • Paused keywords will retain whatever scores they had when they were last active. Therefore, it may not be useful to look at these scores over time. We encourage advertisers to focus on active keywords when looking at their Quality Score sub-metrics, since these scores will be constantly updated.
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