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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Understanding Website Authority

Understanding Domain Authority – The Basics

If you are the owner of a website, you would do well to understand the meaning of the term domain authority and how domain authority applies to your website. Even nontechnical types should understand this important concept, given the impact it can have on the bottom line of a business.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain authority, also known as website authority, is a ranking, or score, given to a website that indicates how well the site ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs). This score quantifies just how relevant and authoritative a website is. Domain authority is ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 the highest score possible and 1 the lowest. Experts commonly agree that a domain authority score of 80 or better is a very good score indeed one only the top, most trusted websites receive.

Domain authority takes into consideration the strength and quality of your website’s SEO as well as how likely your site will rank in search results as a function of your SEO. The stronger your SEO, the higher your domain authority, the higher your ranking on SERPs. The SEO experts at Moz* developed the concept of domain authority and its corresponding scores.

Caveats Regarding Domain Authority

  1. Do not view domain authority as the means to determining how well your website is performing based on your own SEO; instead, use domain authority as an indicator of how well your website stacks up against the competition.
  2. Your domain authority score is not a static number; as you update and change the content on your website, blog, social media, etc., your domain authority score will also change. Remember, SEO factors into the score, and new content implies a variation in SEO.

How Is My Website’s Domain Authority Determined?

Domain authority is determined based on multiple factors and components. The most basic include the following:

  • The number and quality of the links on your website – fewer high-quality links always ranks better than a large number of links of poor quality
  • Other website links – includes both those that link to yours and how many you link to – links should be to/from trusted sources and never to spam or illegal sites
  • The quality/relevance/value of the content on your website as it pertains to your industry – high domain authority sites like long-form content, video, and infographics and also content that can be shared and linked
  • The quality of your technical SEO, which looks at factors such as overuse of keywords, site speed, if images are optimized, use of heading tags, etc., to ensure the compatibility of a website with how well search engines can crawl the site and index and rank the information on it
  • The overall structure and how user-friendly a website is
  • People liking/sharing/commenting on site content on social media – website owners should share content on their own social media sites and provide links for others to do the same; include social media icons with all web content to make it easy for readers to like and share it

Various online tools are available that let you determine the domain authority score for your own website. Additionally, you can check the average score for your industry overall – information that is helpful if you want to know if your site is on par with the competition or if it is lagging far behind.

Do not underestimate the value of your domain authority. Some consider it to be the most accurate measurement available for determining how a website ranks in search engine results which is the ultimate determinant of how much organic web traffic you receive.

If you want to learn more about domain authority or what you need to do to improve your domain authority ranking, Perfexion, Inc. can help. The professionals at PERFEXION understand domain authority and SEO and provide a full range of website audit and consultation services for their clients. As a Philadelphia-based web design and development company, PERFEXION stays abreast of all the latest changes in the industry and wants to keep their clients up to speed as well.

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* https://moz.com/