Where People Click on Page 1 of the Google SERP Will Surprise You

July 03, 2018

2 Minute Read

You might think reaching page one of the search results is mission accomplished. Far from it. The numbers show that where people click most means a lot more work lies ahead. The reality is, you’re only now getting started.

Organic Searches Get Better Than 90% of All Clicks

The data varies, but on average organic search gets 94% of page one clicks. Factors like branded versus non-branded, industry, and keyword competition may adjust the percentages a little, but not enough to make a difference. It’s clear if you want to compete, you need to invest your effort and focus on boosting organic results.

And not by a little either!

In April 2018, the top organic rank got nearly 30% of organic clicks (although mobile was closer to 20% according to the same study). The #2 spot came in at 14% with #3 at 10%. That’s 54% of all clicks going to the top 3 spots on the Google page one SERPs.

By the time you get to page 2, CTR drops to around 1% per listing. That’s better than it has been, but to compete, page one is where you need to be. The top organic spot is ideal, but maybe not essential if you can capitalize on other SERP elements like Structured Snippets, Google’s Quick Answer Box or local listings.

Wait, you might be thinking, if organic listings get on average 94% of clicks, what about PPC?!

PPC Ads Average a 3% CTR

PPC ad results vary a lot by industry, though the average is slightly better than 3%. The dating industry is tops at better than 6% with travel following at nearly 5%. After that, there’s a fall-off with 3% being good!

Results like this don’t mean you shouldn’t use PPC. It simply means you need to be strategic. With PPC, you can buy your way onto page one which can help build awareness and support your organic efforts.

What About Local?

Google has emphasized local search and local listings, especially with mobile-first search. Once the mobile-first roll-out is complete this year, you can bet people will begin to release their studies on local results. But we don’t need research to understand that mobile device location-based searches will grow and have an even bigger impact on brick-and-mortar locations.

It’s best to identify the relevance of local search to your brand and adapt, prepare and plan now.

Where to Put Your Digital Marketing Focus

More than anything, these numbers reveal a big insight into people’s online searches. People prefer the low-stress click of organic to the ads at the top of the SERPs.

The key takeaway? Organic search deserves more attention than it’s gotten but as part of an integrated digital marketing plan. Some keywords may be better for organic while others are better for paid search. Ultimately, you want to put it all together to build the most engaging user experience possible.

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The BFO Team

Here at BFO, we're always striving to bring you the latest and greatest in digital marketing insights and education. We're not ones to brag, but we've been lucky enough to be featured in all sorts of fancy publications and media outlets, strutting our stuff and showing off our industry expertise.