The first 3 organic search results get 68.1% of all clicks
While ranking in the top three is a valid strategy,
- What happens when you go down the page?
- What happens with paid CTR?
- What happens when Google integrates a featured box or images/ videos in the SERP layout?
These highlights of the article should give you quick one-line answers to the above questions
- On mobile, zero-click searches stood at 77.22%.
- Around 95.1% of Google searches stay on the first page.
- #1 organic ranking on SERP gives you 39.6% CTR
- Organic CTR for #7 to #10 is pretty much the same
- Going up from #3 to #2 can increase CTR by roughly 30.8%.
Now, the details!
How many people click on the first page of Google results?
Around 95.1% of Google searches stay on the first page.
This coincides with Backlinko’s finding, which shows that only 0.78% of visitors clicked on a result on the second page.
Around 65% of all Google searches are “no-click” searches.
Similar Web’s analysis of 5.1 trillion searches found that almost two-thirds of searches ended in no clicks to other sites. The study also shows that clicks are more common on desktop devices, where 50.75% of visitors click on another web property. On mobile, zero-click searches stood at 77.22%.
SEO CTR By SERP Positions
Ranking first generates a CTR of 39.6%.
Unsurprisingly most people instinctively click on the first result provided by Google, which explains the big difference between the number of visitors that land on the first and the second organic search result.
In this research by FirstPageSage,
1. 39.6% of users click on the first organic result,
This is 21.2% more than the number of visitors to land on the second organic result. Average CTRs keep going down, with the #1 SERP position getting more clicks than the third to tenth position combined.
2. The tenth position, by contrast, only gets 2.1% clicks
So, in essence, the first search result sees 10 times higher CTR than the search result in the 10th position.
3. Analysis of mobile searches shows the same results. The #1 search results get the most clicks, or 28.5%, with the number of clicks going down to less than 3% for the 9th and 10th positions.
4. On mobile, #2 and #3 get a CTR of 15.7% and 11%, which is lower than the number one spot but almost double the CTR of search results in the #4 position.
5. Does moving up a spot make a difference?
Organic CTR for sites ranking #7 to #10 is pretty much the same, which means that moving up a couple of spots up from the bottom on the first page doesn’t make that much difference.
6. Moving up from one spot in the top three search results will make a big difference, though—going up from #3 to #2 can increase CTR by roughly 30.8%.
Here are Backlinko’s estimates of how many clicks moving up a position on a SERP gets you.
Stats on Organic vs Paid Search Results
The #1 organic result gets an average of 19 more clicks than the first paid search result.
That is not to say that Google Ads are not worth it.
Here are some key stats on Google Ads CTR:
- Searchers are 4x more likely to click on ads served by Google than any other search engine on the market.
- Google Ads was estimated to hold 29% of all advertising spend last year.
- The average CTR for a Google Search AD is 2%, but it can be .30 to 0.50% on display ads, which is not surprising, seeing as how most people will click on a result that is related to their search rather than a random ad they see in the middle of a blog.
Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between the position of paid ads—according to FirtPageSage, the top paid search result sees a 31% higher click rate than the second paid search result.
The Google Ads and Google Shopping feature, Sistrix says, have the worst impact on CTR for the organic results below.
This is particularly true on mobile, where the Google Shopping feature takes up a lot of valuable real estate on the first SERP. In this case, it is estimated that only 13.7% of visitors click on the first organic result, with CTRs for other positions falling way below average.
SERP Layout vs Organic Search Results CTR
Any Google integration added to the SERP generally lowers the CTR for the organic results below.
Here is a closer look at the most SERP layouts and their impact on organic search results.
Featured Snippets – How They Affect SERP CTR
Featured snippets usually provide more information than traditional organic results and tend to include other elements such as tables, bullet lists, or images. They appear when Google believes it can answer the search query directly in an answer box. According to Ahrefs, 12.29% of search queries come with featured snippets in their search results.
So since snippets actually answer the searcher’s question directly, the site included in the snipper does not get any real benefits. According to Sistrix, the #1 position, with the featured snippet, gets 5.3% points less than the average CTR for that position.
However, sites ranking at #2 or #3 get more out of SERP layouts with snippets. The site in #2 position gets 5% more than the average CTR, while #3 gets an improved CTR from 11% to 13.3%.
FirstPageSage, on the other hand, whose research is based on desktop searches, shows that organic search results featured in a snippet get the highest CTR—an average of 43.7%. Similar to Sistrix, it also reveals that the second-ranked site gets a boost from 18.4% to 27.1% CTR.
When Knowledge Panels comes up in the search results, the number of visitors who click on the first and second organic results drops considerably.
This is even more noticeable on mobile, where the Knowledge Panel is the first result under the search box (unlike on desktops where it is located on the top right), giving users all the info they need without the need to open and load new pages.
Google My Business/ Local Pack And Organic CTR
The same pattern can be seen with Google My Business / Google Maps local search results (paid and organic). With the Local Pack integration, the CTR for organic results goes down.
What about the CTR for results in the Local Pack?
FirstPageSage analysis reveals that the CTR for Top-of-Page Ad Boxes is:
- Top-of-Page Ad Box – Left: 3.1%
- Top-of-Page Ad Box – Middle:2.7%
- Top-of-Page Ad Box – Right: 2.5%
Click rates for Local Packs are as follows:
- Local Pack Position #1: 17.8%
- Local Pack Position #2: 15.4%
- Local Pack Position #3: 15.1%
The Sitelink extension, which shows subpages and related pages, comes up when Google believes the user is looking for a specific website, which can clearly be seen impacting the CTR.
Sites ranked #1 get a CTR of 46.9%, meaning that almost every second visitor clicks on this result. As expected, the CTR for the #2 and #3 positions is lower than average, reinforcing the idea that visitors who get this SERP layout have a clear website intent.
Images, Recipes, News, and Videos
As with snippets and Knowledge Panels, when Google integrates elements like images, recipes, news, locations or other features in SERPs, the remaining organic search results get fewer clicks.
The only exception to this rule is video boxes. If these are integrated into search results, more visitors click on the #1 position than average. However, the average CTR for the other positions remains the same.
Purely Organic SERPs and Their CTR Rate
Despite Google integrations, most keywords still show organic results, especially the more you work the long tail. Targeting short-head, high-traffic keywords often result in different SERP layouts featuring snippets, images and boxes.
Sistrix estimates that 34.2% of visitors click on the first result in a purely organic SERP layout. This is 6% higher than the average CTR.
Organic CTR by position for the rest of the positions:
- #1 – 34.2%
- #2 – 17.1%
- #3 – 11.4%
- #4 – 8.1%
- #5 – 7.4%
Long Tail Keywords And SERP CTR
The data from Advanced Web Rankings show that long-tail keywords get more clicks in positions #2 to #5 than generic keywords, i.e. they outrank generic keywords by three to six percent.
On mobile, the same trend continues. Long-tail keywords see a higher CTR than generic two-word keywords, even in the first search result.
(Source: Advanced Web Ranking)
This is due to the fact that long-tail searches take place further down the sales funnel when visitors have a clear search intent. On top of that, there is less competition in niche searches; another reason marketers should target long-tail keywords.
Branded vs Non-Branded Keywords
CTRs for branded keywords are naturally higher, whereas non-branded terms have to compete with paid ads and get lower organic clicks as a result.
(Source: Advanced Web Ranking)
This chart from Advanced Web Ranking clearly shows the importance of being in the top two results, as CTRs for branded and non-branded keywords drop by 6 to 7% between #2 and #3.
What is the key takeaway?
Even though most searches give a purely organic SERP, Google integrations can significantly impact the CTR of the top three organic results.
The importance of search intention continues to grow. This factor determines the SERP layout and, by extension, the number of clicks an organic result can get for a given keyword. With this in mind, marketers should optimize their content or manage their keyword targeting strategies to rank in Google’s integrations, such as featured snippets, videos, or Knowledge Panel.