A study of billions of search results finds over a quarter of Google searchers click on the first organic result.
The first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 28.5%, according to a newly published study.
Sistrix analyzed over 80 million keywords and billions of search results to understand how users engage with SERPs.
Average CTR falls sharply after position one, the study finds, with the second and third positions having a 15% and 11% click-through rate respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the tenth position in Google has an abysmal 2.5% click-through rate.
Beyond that, it’s well known users rarely venture into the second page of search results.
What’s less known are the massive differences in clicks between the first ten organic positions.
This study aims to further the understanding of CTR within the first page of Google search results.
Here are more key findings from the study, with information on what could cause the CTR for position 1 to swing between from 13.7% and 46.9%.
It’s particularly important for SEOs to understand how the CTR of Google search results can be impacted
After all, many SEOs’ jobs involve ranking content on the first page of Google.
More crucial than ranking is driving traffic to those pages. What good is a first page result if no one clicks on it?
That’s where this study from Sistrix comes in, as it shows the amount of traffic generated by each position on page one varies wildly.
For example, a result in position #2 will generate an average of 3x more clicks than a result in position #6.
A result in position #1 earns a CTR over ten times higher than a ranking at position #10.
Results on the second page of Google have a CTR of less than 1% for each position. So this study only focuses on the first page of search results.
These are some of the factors that can impact the CTR of each position on the first page.
The greatest factor impacting the CTR of Google search results is the SERP layout.
While a majority of queries will generate the traditional 10 blue links SERP layout, certain queries generate other types of layouts.
All the data referenced so far refers to positions within the 10 blue links layout.
Here’s information on other types of SERP layouts and their respective CTRs.
SERPs with Sitelinks
A sitelinks extension in search results is found to boost CTR.
A result in position #1 with a sitelinks extension will achieve a CTR of 46.9%.
This is likely due to the fact that sitelinks are shown by Google when a specific website is searched for.
So it makes sense that the top position of a SERP with sitelinks receives almost half of all clicks.
SERPs with featured snippets have a click-through rate that is 5.3% percentage points below average.
The study states there is no benefit to a web page displaying a featured snippet in search results.
In fact, positions #2 and #3 have an above average click-through rate when the first result returns a featured snippet.
SERPs with knowledge panels take a hit in CTR as well, with the first position receiving only 16% of clicks instead of 28%.
The study states these SERPs receive fewer clicks because searchers get the answers they need in the knowledge panel.
“The CTR in the first two organic positions drops significantly compared to the average. Many users appear to find the information they are looking for in the Knowledge Panel – especially on their smartphones, where each time a page is loaded it takes a lot of time.“
SERPs With Google Ads
Click-through rate falls below average for all positions when the top of the SERP is full of Google Ads.
However, the Google Ads layout impacts organic results less than the knowledge panel layout does.
Google Ads reduce the CTR by 10 percentage points, compared to the 12 point reduction for SERPs with Knowledge Panels.
Those are just a few of the different SERP layouts examined by this exhaustive study.
Overall, the study proves keyword search volume is not the only factor that should be considered when evaluating potential clicks.
“As can be clearly seen in the analyses, the SERP layout of the keyword must also be included in the evaluation – only the combination of search volume and SERP layout results in a realistic number of potential visitors.”