Search Results Page Click-Through Rate (CTR) – Traffic Distribution

If you asked yourself what are the differences between the ranking positions in the first results page of search engines, here you can find the answers and an analysis. To understand how traffic is divided (the click-through rate), i will use 3 different studies: Enquiro (2007), Optify (2010) and Slingshot SEO (2011). Here are their findings:

Click-Through Rate Studies

What can we learn from these data?

The first thing that is very obvious is the huge gap between the first position to the second (And to all others). The first study of Enquiro shows more than double CTR gap, the study of Optify shows that it is almost triple and the study of Slingshot shows “just” 80% gap. Apparently, It can be much more worthwhile to be number one than what you might have thought…

We can also see that the total number (in percentages) of first page clicks in the study of Enquiro is 74.4%, of Optify is 89% and of Slingshot is only 52.4%. Does it mean that almost half of the users from the Slingshot are getting to the second page? Certainly not! Remember that Google Instant (search while typing) became live only after the Enquiro study and during the Optify study. We can see a change of search behavior from the users- Instead of going to the next page, they probably found it easier and faster to type a different query. Therefore, being on the first page is much more important than before!

The last thing we can see is that the gap between the first positions is very big and it getting smaller as we advance to the last positions. The gap from the first place to the second place is much bigger than the gap between the 7th place to the 8th place. We can see it more clearly in this graph:

Click-Through Rate Graph
Click-Through Rate Graph

That means that as more as you improve your rankings, the more significant your advancement will be!