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Why is Your CTR so Low? Because of Your Bounce Rate

There is a simple reason for so many bloggers having such a low click through rate: bounce rate. Just a quick refresh, the click through rate is number of clicks / page impressions while the bounce rate is the percentage of users that click onto a website and 'bounce; away to a different site rather than continue on other pages within the same site. Now, why would bounce rate effect your Adsense CTR? All will be explained in this article...

Your bounce rate is one of the most crucial statistics you need to bear in mind. A high bounce rate will kill your blog while a low bounce rate can turn your blog's success around overnight. Now, to explain why bounce rate effects CTR, let's use some numbers:
  • 500 Page impressions
  • 0.8% CTR 
  • 75% bounce rate.
From this basic information, we can work out everything.

Firstly, as we know the bounce rate and impressions, we can work out the exact number of people that clicked straight of the website: 500 X 0.75 = 375. This number is important as it shows that out of 500 impressions, 375 of them were pointless impressions as they clicked straight off the website. 

That means the conversion rate (successful impressions, opposite to bounce rate) is 25% or 125 impressions. So only 125 people actually stayed on. This is the true statistic you want to know.

To work out the real CTR for this blog, we need to find out how many people clicked on adverts through 500 X 0.8 = 4. So 4 people clicked on adverts.

Now we know how many people clicked on adverts, we can divide it by 125 to give us the real CTR which is 3.2%! That's an increase of 400%!

Can you see now that the CTR you are given by Adsense may be your overall CTR, but not the true CTR. In actual fact, you may think you are doing bad but your actually doing quite well! You will just need to work on lowering your bounce rate.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

4 comments so far:

  1. It is true today bounce rate is killing a website performance. Any website success and performance depends on their visitor. Some reasons of increasing bounce rate is poor navigation, bad content, poor designing and slow loading speed of site. Visitors are immediately leaved this type of site and jumped to another site.

  2. Exactly as they know there are other alternatives to the site they are already on. That is why you need to always strive to improve all of the things you listed about (navigation, content, deign and speed of site).

  3. I don't think you are right.

    First of all... what if I have a page which is 100% what they are looking for. They don't have to jump to another link on my website, as they arrived on a page which gives them all the informations they need.

    Let's say I am googling for "Why my CTR is so low". I land on your page which is this blog page, I read everything and now I want to leave. If you have good Adsense ad at the bottom I would click it and leave your blog.

    Based on your example:

    500 Page impressions
    0.8% CTR
    75% bounce rate.

    What if 250 of these 375 people leave with clicking on Adsense Ad? According to your calculation the new CTR would be 200% in this case.

  4. I think 250/375 clicking on Adsense is quite optimistic to begin with. Even so, I see where you are coming from. However, the boune rate measures unsuccessful conversions. This usually happens within the first 30 seconds of landing on a web page. Therefore, it seems unlikely that they will have time to scroll to the very bottom to click on an advert.