If someone is searching for a service or product online, they will more than likely turn to Google. According to a study carried out by SEM Rush, Google holds over 88% of the market share for search engines. To compare, Bing only has 2.77% of the market share. No matter which search engine you use, the top 3 results are the most likely to be clicked on and the click-through rate (CTR) for these positions is significantly higher than for lower-ranking positions on page one results.
In this blog post, we will discuss the average CTR for the top 3 positions on Google, as well as some factors that can affect the CTR. We will also provide some tips on how to improve your CTR. It is important to note that these stats vary with most company analysis, but the common factor is that the top 3 positions deliver the most traffic.
Average CTR for the Top 3 Positions
Below are stats provided by various companies:
According to the study by Backlinko, the average CTR for the top 3 positions on Google is as follows:
4 Million Google Search Results for Organic CTR Analysed: (source: backlinko.com/google-ctr-stats)
Position 1: 39.8%
Position 2: 18.7%
Position 3: 10.2%
Total Share of Clicks: 68.70%
As you can see, there is a significant difference in CTR between the top 3 positions. The top position receives almost twice as many clicks as the second position, and more than 3 times as many clicks as the third position.
A study done by Search Engine Journal produced the following set of results:
Over 25% of People Click the First Google Search Result
Position 1: 28.5%
Position 2: 15.7%
Position 3: 11%
Total Share of Clicks: 55.2%
The image below shows the results for the top 10 positions from their case study:
A study done by First Page SEO showed the following results:
Google Click-Through Rates (CTRs) Analysed by Ranking Position in 2023:
As you can see from the independent studies carried out, the top positions receive over a quarter of the clicks, but the percentages can vary depending on industry and how competitive the keywords you’re targeting may be. You will always find conflicting data because of this fact.
At iCONQUER, we recommend simply trying to get your website within the top 3 positions as the overall share for both these positions is over 50%. Once you are in the top 3 positions, you should try and push your website as close to number one as possible, but remember just being in the top 3 is the first important step!
Factors Affecting CTR
There are a number of factors that can affect your websites click-through rate, including:
The keywords: The keywords you’re targeting may have an impact on CTR. The type of key phrase may determine the CTR: Whether it’s a service, product or question.
The title and META description: The title and META description of your page are also important factors. These are the two pieces of text that appear in the search results, they can have a massive influence on whether a user clicks on your link. It’s good to use these areas to attract the user to your result. It’s important to note that the META description is your advertising billboard for Google and permit you have to have 156 characters (maximum, including spaces) to ‘sell’ your product or service.
The quality of your content: The quality of your content is one of the most important. Although people won’t see your content until they’ve clicked into your website, if well written with the end user in mind, Google will rank your website higher. If your content is relevant, informative and well-written, a user is much more likely to stay on your website and use the products or services you offer, thus improving the bounce rate which is monitored by Google.
Tips for Improving CTR
There are a number of things that you can do to try and improve your CTR:
Targeting Keywords: Target a mixture of ‘generic ‘and ‘long tail’ key phrases. The more specific a search term is, the more chance you have of it ranking higher in Google. Many website owners ignore what they feel are ‘low volume’ traffic terms due to what third-party software reports and often miss out on opportunities to attract more clients. From our experience it’s the long tails that have a great impact on PPC promotions and are often reported to have very little traffic and end up being the terms providing a good ROI. The generic terms should also be included in your strategy and will also get there, albeit this will take a little longer to rank within the top 3 positions.
Create relevant and informative content: Your content should be relevant to the keywords that you are targeting, and it should be informative and well-written, with the reader in mind. This will make it more likely that users will click on your link. Although this may not actively increase your CTR as people will already have been on your website once they see your content, it will keep people there and may even increase your ranking on Google.
Use strong titles and Meta descriptions: Your title and META description should be clear, concise and informative. Make sure to include the keywords that you are targeting alongside anything else you might think the user needs to be aware of. Include rates, promotions, discounted pricing and so forth to attract attention.
Use eye-catching images: Images can help to improve your CTR, especially if people are looking for a product and want to see it on Google images or Google Shopping. Make sure that your images are high definition and relevant to your content.
CTR is an important factor in SEO. By understanding the factors that affect CTR and by implementing the tips outlined above, you can improve your chances of getting your website to appear in the search results and get more clicks through to your site.