Did you know that 91% of searchers do not go past page 1 of Google? Being on the first page of Google is a concept that is drilled into the heads of marketers and entrepreneurs. But does the average Google click-through rate by position back up that idea? Is the effort that goes into claiming the coveted first position worth it?
Google Click-Through Rate by Position
What is Google Click-Through Rate?
The click-through rate (CTR) is calculated as the number of people who clicked through divided by the total number of people who saw it. For those who love mathematics:
CTR = Clicks/Impressions
CTR is a fundamental concept in search engine marketing. Let’s be real. It is not enough to be in the first position of a search engine result page (SERP) if no one clicks the link through to your site.
The CTR is important because it tells you how relevant your content is to your target audience. A high CTR means users are finding your content too be highly relevant, and a low CTR means that users are finding your content to be less relevant. If you are using Google Ads, your CTR is directly affecting your Quality Score.
What is a Good Click-Through Rate?
Nothing can be simple, especially in the world of marketing. The short answer to the question, “What is a good click-through rate?” is this: it depends. Click-through rates will naturally vary from keyword to keyword, campaign to campaign.
The average click-through rate will depend on the industry as well. For example, the average click-through rate for consumer services is 2.40% whereas it is 1.35% for the legal industry. The overall average click-through rate on AdWords paid search results is about 2%. Using this as a benchmark, this means that anything over a 2% CTR could be considered above average.
When a Higher CTR Becomes Bad For Business
Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. In the world of search engine marketing, a higher click-through rate can actually be bad for business when:
- You are having to pay for every click.
- You are receiving a high CTR for terms that are irrelevant to your business.
- You are generating clicks on keywords that are priced too high and have a low return on investment.
Long story short, if a keyword is not relevant to your business or is not generating any leads, then you should not be aiming for a high click-through rate for those keywords.
The Average Google Click-Through Rate by Position
The moment of truth: does the average Google click-through rate by position justify the amount of work that goes into SEO? The answer is: YES.
A 2019 study conducted by Backlinko analyzed 5 million Google search results to understand the organic click-through rate. They found that the first result in Google’s organic search results had an average CTR of 31.7%. Results that appeared in the first position were 10 times more likely to be clicked than the link in the 10th position of that page.
Ignite Visibility conducted similar research in 2020 that backs this data up. Here are their results – you can find a visualization of this in the bar graph below:
- Position 1 – 43.32%
- Position 2 – 37.36%
- Position 3 –29.90%
- Position 4 – 19.38%
- Position 5 –10.95%
- Position 6 – 10%
- Position 7 – 5.28%
- Position 8 – 4.13%
- Position 9 – 4.13%
- Position 10 – 3.11%
Average Googe Click-Through Rate by Position Bar Graph
Improving and Increasing Your Click-Through Rate
Many beginners fall into the trap of focusing too much on the “search engine” aspect of SEO or SEM. The important thing to remember is who is using the search engine? Your audience, no matter what niche or industry you are in, is composed of human beings who engage with their surroundings. Search engines are just tools to bridge the gap between you and a potential customer or client thousands of miles away. If your content is not captivating, it will impact your CTR.
Improving your CTR can be done in a number of ways. One is to consider your copy. Is your message clear? Are you using a call to action? Another method is to test your way to success. A copy that is engaging with one audience might be boring for another. Ultimately, targeting your audience should be the top priority. To do that, you need to know your audience inside and out so that you can provide quick, thorough answers to improve your CTR.