The difference between CRO and CTO

The difference between CRO and CTR


When mapping out your website, landing pages and digital paid campaigns we tend to use a lot of metrics. Two of them being the Click-Through Rate (CTR) and the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Let’s unpack these terms and the difference between CRO and CTR. If you have a sound understanding of these key measurements, you’ll know how to analyse them to optimize your websites and landing pages and keep a firm grasp on your paid media ad performance.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Wikipedia defines the CTR as “the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.” In simpler terms, it is the number of people who click on a digital ad divided by the total number of impression that advert received. It is usually displayed as a percentage.

Digital marketers use CTR to measure how successful your online advertising campaigns for a website are. You can compare your CTR across the various channels you advertised, analyse what worked and why and change the campaign or ad accordingly. Depending on what platform you are using, you can often see what different campaigns could have achieved if they had the same amount of impressions. CTR is also used in your email campaign metrics.

According to, “The average CTR for search and display ads, however, is 1.9%. For search ads, the average CTR is 3.17% and for display ads, the average CTR is 0.46%.”

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the ability of your webpage to convert your traffic. For example, your consumers land on your page and make a purchase, download a whitepaper or leave their contact details. It’s is the fine art of using analytics and consumer feedback to optimize your website to achieve your business goals. A high conversion rate means a better return on that investment (ROI).

CRO should be looked at from a sales funnel perspective. In your optimization efforts, consider these two aspects of User Experience (UX):

  1. Assess your excess pages, going to the wrong landing pages, loading speeds and other points that may cause your consumer to leave your website.
  2. Having too many pages to click through, or a confusing customer journey or flow on your website.

CTR is where CRO begins

If you have a great copywriter and designer, you can achieve a high CTR. However, if the content on the webpage is irrelevant or misleading the user will bounce off your website and you won’t achieve your conversion objectives. With CRO you can lose potential customers due to poor website performance or a poor customer online experience, which ultimately narrows down to the overall user experience or UX. By understanding the difference between CRO and CTR and how they play an integral part in your digital approach, you can optimize the entire user journey in order to drive the results you need to meet your KPIs.

Contact our experts to ensure you are tracking the right metrics to achieve the objectives of your website and digital efforts.