How the Top 10 Positions Affect Click Through Rates

CTR or Click Through Rate is an important SEO measurement.


Getting a steady stream of relevant traffic on any business site can make all the difference when it comes to building brand awareness and making sales of products and services. The common theory is that those websites at position 1 gain a dramatically higher rate of traffic and the sites that are further down the page get progressively less.  In our experience, that theory stands.

According to this report, 75% of web users will not go beyond the first page of results in a Google search. This means that if you rank on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google, you’re quite unlikely to get much traffic. Putting in a lot of money and time to reach a position of that category won’t make it worth your while or expense.

With more than 3.5 billion searches a day, performing well for search words can be what makes a success of your business.

What is CTR – click-through rate?

SEO companies love using acronyms, and CTR is one of them. You may have seen it around the internet, and you may be wondering what CTR stands for? So here’s your answer.

It stands for Click Through Rate and it’s a measurement used to determine how many people are clicking through to a web page either from search results or an ad.

CTR can be measured by Google Analytics. As with all online marketing, it can play a part in testing whether you have you implemented an effective online marketing strategy or campaign.

The CTR is calculated by dividing the number of times the link appears by the number of times the link has been clicked on. For example, if Google states that a keyword is searched for 100 times per month, and you’ve received 10 click-throughs on it, then you have a CTR of 10.

When it comes to paid search, you will need to divide the number of times the ad is shown, ie the number of impressions by the number of times it was clicked on to come to your result.

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What can influence your CTR?

When it comes to most popular keywords, appearing on the first page of Google search isn’t easy. Whether this goal is achieved at all is dependent upon several factors including:

  • How competitive the term is with regards to how many other matches there are to your chosen keyword – there could be thousands vying for that first-page position
  • Whether your website is as high profile as those other websites and the profile of your backlinks, as the stronger your site is, the more likely you are to appear higher up in the search results
  • Whether you have more relevant and recent content than your competition
  • How well your web page title aligns with the information being searched for and whether Google favours it
  • How well written your meta description is (the short description found under each link on the search results)

If your website is new, then you’ve got even less chance. You won’t have the domain authority, you will have a tiny backlink collection and therefore hardly any traction at all.  Many of the websites that you’ll be competing against will have been working on their online presence for years. Some have thousands of backlinks which is far more than many websites will ever get.

To be visible in the first 10 positions of Google search takes work

It’s mostly sites that have been optimised with off-page and on-page SEO that are going to be sat on the first page of search engine results when it comes to popular industry keywords. However, if you’re new, then several strategies can be used.

For example, new websites can do well to focus on dominating what is known as long-tail keywords – which are keywords that use four or more words. Once you have traffic arriving on your site for several of these, then your traffic Is going to start to add up and you’re going to start seeing results.

Fortunately, most searches on Google are made up of long-tail keywords which also means that it will cost less time and money to get results. You may be still feeling a little sceptical of this approach – however, there’s no need to be. For example, Amazon claims that they gain 57% of their sales from the use of long-tail keywords. This is because these types of searches are targeted to find specific information. The shorter keyword searches are quite often more general in their intent.


Appearing in the top 10 positions can be very lucrative, depending on what your keyword term is.

If you’re just getting going with a new website, it’s nigh on impossible to gain a position on the first page of Google.

Well established websites who have been pumping out years of content perform the best for the most popular keywords. In many cases, they will have spent a large amount of money on campaigns also.

The entire time your business was just a twinkle in your eye, the competition has been creating content and accumulating links through shares.

Fortunately, it’s possible for you to use workarounds such as long-tail keywords. Although the search volume is less, add a few first page search result positions together and you’ll build some decent traffic.

By being creative with your content ideas, you can still find ways to get found on the first page of Google. It’s all about being relevant to what the web user is searching for too.

If you’d like us to provide you with SEO services or further guidance, we can help. Contact us today or sign up to receive newsletters with further information about SEO and how to use it on your website.