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Only Half of Searches Lead to Clicks

searches vs. clicks

For many online marketing divisions, the click-through rate (CTR) may be the most important measure of success. Getting that search result in front of people is just the first step. Once you get your link onto the first page of the search results -- after all, most users never even get to the second page, much less results that are even further down -- you still need to get people to actually click that link and visit your site. Then the game shifts to trying to increase dwell times and keep them on the site, giving you a chance to make a sale. Your conversion rate is calculated by looking at what percentage of visitors make a purchase. But the whole process begins with getting someone to click that result. How often does it happen?

Under 50%

It may be less common than you think. Some reports claim that a mere 49.5% of all searches, when looking at both standard results and rich results, lead to a click on one of these links. Naturally, this means that the slight majority of all internet users will never take this action. If you assumed most searches -- say 80% or 90% -- led to a click and you figured your goal was just to make sure the click was on your site, this is eye-opening. Getting that click may be harder than you initially realized.

What Do People Do Instead?

The biggest logical counter to a statistic like this is simply asking what people do instead of clicking on a result. For some users, the answer is simple: They search all over again. For instance, maybe running a search and looking at the results showed them that they needed to redefine their search terms to get the type of results they were really after. They decided it was user error, essentially, and started again with new terms.

Most people at least check out one of the options they're presented with, however. While just under half click on a standard result or a rich result, others also click on paid ads. These are often set at the very top of the page and may be duplicated lower down. Essentially, the company is just paying extra to get that ad -- which is clearly marked as an ad and not an organic result -- at the top. While some users might avoid ads, assuming that they are biased or don't perfectly relate to their search terms, many will click on the first link they see. They don't care if it's an ad or not.

Additionally, some users run voice searches. These may return the top results without the need for a click. These are growing more common with in-home devices like Amazon's Echo Dot. You can ask the device questions and essentially run searches, but there is no screen and no way to actually click on anything. Of course, some users also run voice searches on their phones, which then brings up a page where they can click on one of the links.

At the end of the day, you can divide this 50.5% of remaining users into these three categories: voice searches, paid ads and no-click searches. Some of those no-click searches may result in users giving up and closing the window, but many mean they run another search immediately.

What Is Your CTR?

Your click-through rate is important, to be sure, but it's also a bit more complex than considering search numbers and clicks. You have to understand everything that goes into this analysis and how you can use that to get users to your site, giving you a chance to seek conversions and make sales. As noted above, it's a long process and the first step is that initial click. At Content Customs, we can help you with every step in that process, so we hope you'll get in touch with us today.

Jonathan Schlosser

Posted on 30th September, 2020 by Jonathan Schlosser

About Jonathan Schlosser

Jon Schlosser is a professional writer and SEO specialist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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