New research has shown the importance of Google’s search results rankings- especially in one of the top three organic positions, as these spots receive 58.4 percent of all clicks from users, according to Optify.
Websites ranked number one received an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4 percent; number two had a CTR of 12.5 percent; and number three had a CTR of 9.5 percent. Being number one in Google, according to Optify, is the equivalent of all the traffic going to the sites appearing in the second through fifth positions.
Here’s Optify’s look at Click Through Rates of the top 20 sites’ rankings:
Basically, Optify concludes that moving up to the top spot in Google from second or third could triple visits to your website.
Optify’s study of U.S. Google search engine results pages, conducted in December 2010, analyzed organic keyword visits for B2B and B2C websites. Optify analyzed data from 250 randomly chosen sites and an initial set of 10,000 keywords.
Here are some of Optify’s other findings:
The average CTR on Page 1 of Google was 8.9 percent, but the average CTR on Page 2 was 1.5 percent. Ranking first on Page 2 had a slight benefit over ranking in the last spot on Page 1 (2.6 percent vs. 2.2 percent CTR).
Optify concludes that, because predicting which position your site will appear in Google is basically impossible, your SEO efforts should first focus on getting on Page 1, and then on investing in working your way up to one of the top three spots. Also, ranking beyond Page 2, while good for tracking trends, has almost no business value, Optify noted.
Optify’s study defined head terms as keywords with more than 1,000 monthly Google searches and long tail terms as keywords with less than 100 monthly searches.
Head terms had a higher CTR (32 percent) in the number one position than long tail terms (25 percent). However, long tail terms had a higher overall CTR on Page 1 of Google than head terms (9 percent vs. 4.6 percent).
Optify concluded that you won’t see “huge benefits until you get to the top few positions” with head terms. However, long tail terms can see decent CTR almost anywhere on the first page, though there is less benefit of moving up to higher positions.
Bottom line: let your business goals shape your SEO strategy.
The research was analysed at: Top-Google-Result-Gets-36.4-of-Clicks-Study