Clickthrough Research Data Reveals the Importance of 1st, 2nd or 3rd Position in Google

How Website Ranking Affects Click-through Rates

Business owners everywhere understand the importance of keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as they relate to how well their website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP). Also important is understanding the relationship between click-through rates (CTR) and a website’s SERP ranking. When comparing CTR between sites with SERP rankings in the first, second, and third positions with CTR of sites that rank lower in search results, the difference is significant. In other words, the higher the ranking, the higher the click-through rate.

The data is indicative of when, where, and how a business might change or enhance their SEO which, in turn, enhances their ranking on search engine results pages and which can lead to improved click-through rates.

CTR for Branded/Navigational Keyword Search Results

How a user searches for a product or service is one factor that comes into play in the click-through results. If a user already knows the product they want, they type in the company name or product brand, for example, “Kellogg’s®” or “Froot Loops®.” This type of search is called a branded or navigational search. Their intent all along is to get to one specific website. The desired website appears at, or close to, the top of the search engine results page. Because the user has been presented with the exact information they searched for, the likelihood of the user clicking through to the website is high. In this scenario, it is easy to understand why a website or webpage would have a high CTR.

CTR for Keyword versus Long-tail Keyword Search Results

CTR statistics also differ depending on the length of the keyword used to perform the search – that is, when a user searches by using a one-to-two-word generic term versus a long-tail search term that contains four or more words. (Long-tail search terms typically narrow the search results field.) If our same user as above performs a search using the term “fruity cereal,” the results are naturally more general, and quite possibly not what the user is looking for.

The user next searches for “fruity cereal with marshmallows,” which narrows down the search results considerably. There are fewer fruity cereals with marshmallows than there are fruity cereals in general. Because the results are narrower – more exacting – when a long-tail search term is used, there is less competition among websites for the top positions in the search results and probably fewer ads that compete for the user’s business. The user is apt to find what they are looking for more quickly, and thus more likely to click on the search results presented. The bottom line for website owners who track SEO performance is understanding that click-through rates are better when a search is performed using long-tail keywords instead of a simple generic search.

CTR for Search Results Based on Keywords that Express Intent

Users often perform a search with a specific intent in mind and when there will be some form of interaction. For example, they might want to buy a product, compare hotel prices, or find directions to a particular location. In these cases, the user’s intent is commercial, informational, or based on location, respectively. A fourth intent – specific intent – combines all three intents in the keywords used. Competition for the top three search results positions is fierce, so intent-type keywords, especially those for commercial and location types, usually present more paid ads and other SERPs results features such as a map to show location. CTRs for website may be lower here, depending on the intent type for which the search is performed.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Matter!

While the data varies among digital marketing and web experts, they all agree that the top three positions on a search engine results page, in particular Google’s, garner the highest click-through rates, with the first position racking up the most click-throughs. For example, one study indicates click-through rates for results based on a natural (organic) search range from 36% for first position, to 13% for second position, to 10% for third.

The data also indicate that more than half of users are highly likely to click on the first three results presented when the searched based on a branded term. Of further note, only a very small percentage of users who performed a natural search clicked on paid ads that appeared (versus the natural results).

The takeaway for business owners who want to improve their click-through rate is to get their website ranked at or near the top of the first page of search results. How you do this will depend on a number of factors, with
SEO
and keywords just one. An online marketing professional can show you all the ways to improve your presence in search results and start earning your own portion of the click-through business.

If you want to learn more about how to boost your website’s ranking on Google as well as improve your click-through rates, contact Philadelphia web design and development company Perfexion, Inc. The professionals at PERFEXION are digital marketing experts. They provide website audit and consultation services that give clients clear information and direction on the steps they can take to enhance their online presence.

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Online Marketing 101 – SEO and SEM Basics

Online Marketing SEO and SEM

Online marketing is a broad term that refers to the marketing of goods and services using available digital technologies. This article will encompasse both SEO and SEM basics. The most common digital technology used is the internet. A company or business that has a website is already doing online marketing to advertise their business; promote their product and service offerings; and/or announce sales, promotions, news, and events. But the extent to which they are successful with their online marketing efforts is a different question altogether.

You already know how important online marketing is to the survival of your business. If you don’t market your company – or market it well – potential customers may never know you exist and they will shop elsewhere. By understanding the basics of online – digital – marketing, you have the knowledge and power to put digital marketing strategies and techniques to work for you.

As technology and digital platforms have evolved in recent years, so has online marketing, which, today, comes quite close to being an exact science. Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, digital marketing, and web marketing, and the phrases are often used interchangeably. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two strategies that fall under the online marketing umbrella. They work in concert with each other to produce the desired results of increasing and enhancing a company’s online presence and relevance to targeted users – that is, to clients and potential clients – to improve conversions, increase web traffic, provide more qualified leads, and ultimately, grow the business and profits.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – involves taking steps on a website with the goal of increasing the site’s ranking and visibility within search engines, so that it can be easily found when people search for the goods or services the business offers.

  • SEO –

o   Follows and reacts to how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing operate

o   Takes into account how users query and perform searches on the internet – including what they search for and the words or terms they use when performing a search

o   Looks for relevance and value in a website’s content

o   Involves having quality (well written) content and relevant backlinks, as well as a properly managed and maintained website in terms of HTML coding, sitemap, etc.

o   Requires removal of items and issues such as broken links that restrict a search engine’s ability to properly index a website

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – is placing paid online ads that appear alongside other search engine results when a user performs a search and meets the targeted location, demographic, and other criteria associated with the ad.

  • SEM

o   Can be an extremely valuable component in your company’s digital marketing efforts

o   Is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click/keyword advertising, targeted advertising

o   Lets you to reach a target audience by placing an online marketing message directly in front of them

o   Involves bidding on the advertising and then paying when a viewer clicks on the ad

o   Incorporates SEO of keywords and phrases to increase traffic to your website as a result of a natural (organic) search query

o   Increases the visibility of your website by placing paid ads alongside user search results when they enter queries into search engines for the products or services you offer

o   Can be used in conjunction with social media marketing

SEO and SEM strategies both require close attention and maintenance to know what is, or is not, working. Savvy web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track which keywords perform the best and can make real-time adjustments if they see something is not working or is performing poorly.

Why Do SEM?

The benefits of doing paid advertising include attracting more customers and new website traffic. A properly run ad campaign will rank well in search engine results, and ensure ads appear in front of the very people who are looking for a company’s specific services. This ensures the people who visit their site are the most qualified and are more likely to follow through with a phone call or inquiry.

Occasionally, the way search engines index web pages and websites and present results to search queries can change. Such changes can affect the performance of SEO and SEM which, in turn, may require a change in the strategy a company uses when doing its online marketing. Good web developers follow and stay abreast of the trends and updates in internet marketing that affect their clients, and inform and educate them on the topic. If your own web or IT team is too busy managing other aspects of your business or website to keep up with the lightning-fast changes that occur with internet and search engine marketing, contact a reputable web development company for information on the latest requirements. Some will even perform an audit of your website and recommend changes or updates you’ll need to make to ensure your existing digital marketing efforts remain effective.

Perfexion, Inc. specializes in online marketing and understands what is needed for a website and all related digital marketing efforts to perform at optimum levels and achieve maximum results and profitability. We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. We specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability at all times.

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