This is the million dollar question!
Is there an easy answer to this? No, there isn’t. Why, you ask?
Well, we need to take other considerations into account. Things such as conversion rate, cost per click and bounce rate need to be mixed in before labeling a keyword “good” or “bad”.
In elementary school, we are taught to Keep It Simple Stupid, so I will start off that way:
A good CTR is anything above a 1.0%.
A low CTR is anything below 1.0%.
But now let’s consider some different scenarios:
1) The Great CTR Keyword That Never Converts
Every once in a millennia, there comes along a CTR so astronomically high, that you are left speechless. You beam proudly as this keyword brings in more than 20 clicks per 100 impressions (20% CTR for those of you opening up your calculator application).
But then you notice: no conversions! Not one single conversion! How is it possible that this “good CTR” keyword is not converting? Well, this could be attributed to many things: bad landing page, misleading ad, high bounce rate, etc.
But, what should be done? K.I.S.S. would say, pause it; and I agree. We don’t want to waste money on good CTR keywords that do not convert.
So, as you see above, the good CTR keyword it’s not so good. Let’s take a look at a different scenario.
2) The Too Expensive To Be Profitable, But Good CTR Keyword
When we have a keyword that is location specific and highly relevant to an industry, we can bet that this keyword will have a very good CTR. Excluding, of course, a badly written ad, inadequate negative keyword list or poor positioning.
Oftentimes, this keyword will be very, very expensive. Plumbers, lawyers and locksmiths raise your hand if you can agree.
In the overall scheme of things, this good CTR keyword is also not so great. True, it will come up for very relevant searches and with a properly written ad it will have a great CTR, but it may be too expensive to be considered a good keyword.
3) The Low CTR Keyword That Converts
Now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and consider a keyword that gets many impressions, few clicks, yet converts at a 5% rate.
Let’s say that a keyword receives 15,000 impressions, has a .80% CTR and converts at 5%.
This is 120 clicks and results in 6 conversions. I’ll do the math below for those of us who hated word problems in school:
15,000 impressions * .80% CTR = 120 clicks
120 clicks * 5% conversion rate = 6.0 conversions
So, we see that this low CTR keyword is actually a pretty good performer. Do we keep it or do we label it as a bad keyword and get rid of it?
I say keep it… so long as it’s profitable. However, you may want to separate it into its own campaign, so it does not negatively affect the overall campaign performance.
You can now see that the good CTR vs. bad CTR is not so clear-cut and simple. There are other criteria to consider to better help you determine whether a keyword is worth keeping or not.
Having well-established goals and the proper conversion tracking will help you determine whether to keep or get rid of these keywords.
And remember, it is always possible to improve CTR and conversion rates through basic optimization practices and improve performance.