Every year we see a number of studies released that look to examine the click through rate (CTR) of Google’s organic search results. The latest such study comes from Chitika, an online advertising network. You can download the full report here.
There have been a number of previous studies looking at Google’s organic CTR, including Chitika’s former report from 2010. There are some differences between these reports, though this is to be expected as different sample sizes and sources were used.
The report that stands out most among the others is Slingshot’s, which shows a much lower organic CTR on Google. According to Slingshot’s previous report, position 1 only gets 18.20% click through, which is quite different to Chitika’s previous report (34.35%) and Optify’s CTR study (36.40%).
Even though Slingshot’s report is considerably different to the other studies, looking at all the CTR for each position, it is still clear that ranking within the first few results on Google is important for driving organic traffic to your website. According to Slingshot’s report, position 4 and below results in less than 5% click through.
Chitika’s latest CTR report
The latest click through report from Chitika shows fairly similar results to its 2010 study. These new results confirm that the position your website is ranking in Google is important for online businesses that rely on organic search traffic.
Effectively, this data provides further evidence of why you should invest your time and/or money into SEO. Improving your organic search position from position 5 to position 1, could lead to a significant increase in traffic, and therefore leads/sales.
The importance of ranking on page 1
Before you even get to the top 3 and begin competing for position 1, your first priority should be to rank on page 1 of Google. The first page gets 91.5% of the click through, with pages 2 and 3 getting 4.8% and 1.1% respectively. CTR for page 4+… less than 0.5%. What does this mean? Basically, if you’re not one page 1, hardly anyone will see your website.
How can you work out your CTR?
Google Webmaster Tools provides an easy way for you to see your organic CTR. This doesn’t require any calculations and provides useful information for optimising your title elements, meta descriptions and whether your should implement/remove rich snippets mark up.
Simply log in to Google Webmaster Tools, navigate to your profile for your website and click on ‘Traffic > Search Queries’. The data here shows search phrases, impressions where your website has ranked for those search phrases, clicks on your website’s search results, average ranking position of your website and…CTR. The higher your click through rate, the better.
If you really want to work out your CTR manually, then take the number of clicks (per keyword), then divide this by the number of impressions and multiply by 100.
(no. of clicks / no. of impressions) x 100 = CTR
You can also use you click through data from analytics for this.
What do you think of the studies carried out? Do you think their results are accurate? Let us know in the comments below and please feel free to take part in our poll.