The SEOniverse

What is click-through rate?

Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who clicked a link compared with the users who were given the choice of clicking the link. It's most commonly expresses as a percentage.

For example, if 20 people visited a page with a link on it, but only 2 clicked on it, the click-through rate would be 2 out of 20 (or 10%).

Measuring click-through rate

Click-through rate is a common metric used in determining the success of most digital marketing campaigns, from email marketing to social media. Low click-through rates or a drop in the ratio can signal a problem with the way the link is presented to the user and A/B testing is often used to remedy this. Generally speaking, the higher the click-through rate, the higher the conversions.

Click-through rate in the SERPs

Titles and descriptions

As all results in the SERPs look the same, it's important to get your meta titles and descriptions right in order to entice as many users to click on them as possible. Make sure your titles target keywords that are relevant to both the page and the searchers intent. You don't just want people to click on the link, you want them to find the page useful. The meta description should further encourage them to click by backing up that this is the page they are looking for.

Ranking and click-through rate

The higher your result appears in the SERPs, the higher the click-through rate. The table below using data from Catalyst Search Marketing's CTR study gives a rough guide of the click-through rate to expect for each position:

Average position | Average CTR
1 17%
2 10%
3 7.5%
4 5.5%
5 3.5%
6 1.5%
7 1%
8 1%
9 0.4%
10 0.5%

This table should be taken with a pinch of salt as click-through rate varies with the type of search term (transactional, navigational, informational, etc). The more words used in the search term, the more likely it is that a user will click on a result further down the page.

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