Click-through is commonly utilized in Search Engines and in Digital Marketing to represent a person clicking on an Internet hyperlink. Webpages are connected by hyperlinks and when a person clicks on a link they are sent to the corresponding page. Click-through Rate (the rate at which a link is clicked) can be an important metric in determining the success of a particular campaign. This is used highly in Paid Advertising campaigns where the click-through rate is taken from the amount of people who click the link versus those who merely saw the link (referred to as an “impression”). The Click-through Rate or “CTR” is a Conversion metric as it shows how successful the advertisement is in “converting” a person to a website visitor. Paid advertising on the Internet is often charged based on the amount of times a link is clicked, called “Pay-Per-Click” advertising or “PPC”. Click-throughs are vital to PPC because you only pay when someone clicks. Click-throughs can be important within a website as many websites seek to have a person/visitor perform certain actions and to see certain information which will help convert that visitor to a preset conversion model (e.g. signing up for a subscription, purchasing a product, contacting the website to generate a sales lead, etc). If the person is not clicking-through to the desired page or content then the site is not functioning or performing well.
Click-throughs can be an element in other types of advertising such as newsletter or email advertising. When someone receives an email or newsletter from a website – it is important for that person to click-through to the page promoted in the email, whether that page is for a piece of content or article, a sales promotion or to take action such as by signing a petition or sending the content to a friend.
Advertisers use Conversion Optimization techniques to increase the rate at which a person clicks-through such as A/B testing or multivariate testing, where multiple versions of a webpage or specific parts of a page (e.g. the images, text, layout and formatting used on the page) to determine which version(s) illicit a greater Click-through Rate.
Another technique which is commonly used to increase the Click-through Rate is the “Call to Action” or “CTA”. A CTA is specifically designed to urge the visitor to click a link or take an action.
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