As many SEO’s will already be aware of Google added additional functionality to their webmaster tools console by extending the information on top search queries. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/05/top-search-queries-is-now-search.html.
This has been widely disputed about the accuracy of the data, but nevertheless it can be used to get some good information. My thoughts were about Organic Click through rate for Google. It now gives you some data based on search position so I thought I would really like to know what an average Organic Click through rate for Google was based on position, particularly for the first page as this can allow you to predict what traffic you might get to the site using CTR data and keyword volume data from keyword Search tools such as: https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal.
A little Background
Firstly I wanted to get some information about Click through rate, who clicks on Organic adverts compared to paid listings and I found out some useful information. Below shows an image of how many SEO’s perceived the relationship between organic and ppc ads on Google.
I then carried out some further digging and found a post on Search Views about the affect CTR had on Paid advertising when Google moved the ads further towards the left from being way over on the right of the screen. This gave a 14% increase in clicks on paid ads.
We can now assume that CTR distribution from Organic to Paid adverts is now around 65% Organic to 35% Paid.
(Assume makes an ass and out of you and me:) )
I carried out further research on organic Click through rate and I came across Aaron Wall’s blog on SEOBook, this showed information about an eye tracking study from 2004 and the details in 2006 when AOL leaked its search records and some SEO’s detailed the organic Click through rate.
Webmaster tools and Click Through rate
So I took all the information above on board and thought if Google webmaster tools now gives click through rate by position and at Just Search we have a large client base I thought I’d go through the long winded task of downloading this information across around 100 clients to see what it detailed.
In total I compiled a list of 2710 keywords ranked in positions 1-10 in Google and added the details to an excel sheet, showing:
- Avg. position
I then used a pivot table to be able to extract what the average click through rate on Google was based on search Position. This gives some quite useful data, it’s not 100% accurate and will only give an incite into organic CTR as the figures are from broad from a number of clients and the click through rate is based on Google’s export of average position.
The first thing you may notice is that the figures add up to more than 100%, this simply as this is an aggregate of averages for 2710 keywords, but it does show some corresponding data to the eye tracking study and AOL leaked data in terms of what positions people are more likely to click on.
The above data was good to see but I also decided to look at if the click through rate changed based on Query length. I used the excel formula of:
I simply added a column to my table which looked at the keyword (Query) and counted how many words formed the query and then provided the result. Again I could add this to my pivot table and then display the CTR for No.1 position based on Query length.
After going through the data from all sources I came up with a conservative guess of an average click through rate for position 2-10 would be 4.85%.
If you then think that I stated before:
We can assume that CTR distribution from Organic to Paid adverts is now about 65% Organic 35% Paid.
We can do the following:
- Find out the Search volume of a keyword via Adwords tool
- Multiply this by 0.65 (65%) for Organic CTR
- Multiply this by 0.485 (4.85%) for being ranked position 2-10
This will give you a prediction of how many visitors you can receive from ranking the first page under a given keyword.
Look out for my next post about the seminar I did at Internet World this year, this takes the above data then looks at website conversion rate, average order values and how to put a business case for how much money a keyword could make for you and creating a Profit and loss and other financials for this.
I also talk about custom reporting using Google Analytic s and e-commerce tracking, you can actually see how much revenue a keyword makes you, and to put the final piece of the puzzle together comparing the above ways to predict with actual data, look out for my next post 🙂