What came first Google Organic Search Traffic Distribution or CTR?

Google ranking traffic distribution

When discussing the term “organic traffic,” it is used to describe the visitors that come to your website arrived there through unpaid search results. Paid traffic to your site is not organic as funded ads generated this. When a visitor finds your Website by doing a Google or Bing search, and not referred to any other website, this is consider as organic traffic definition.  

Traffic by Google Ranking

The graph depicted here is a Google organic traffic distribution showing SERP on page 1.

As you can see from the chart if your website is on page one position one you will receive about 42% of the traffic. If you are in the second position on page one, you will receive about 12% of the search traffic. The remainder positions share the rest of the 46% in a predictably less than desirable manner.

It is intuitively obvious to even to the most casual observer that being on the first position on page one of a Google holds a huge advantage over any of the contenders listed after that. These findings show that SEO for e-commerce is quantifiably justified now and in the foreseeable future.

It comes as no surprise that it gets even worse in traffic for you if you are on the second page. It has been researched that approximately 90% of all Google organic search traffic, just from average searches is on page one. Only about 5% of traffic will get to the website if it is on page 2.

We know this because we inspected millions of pages where the searcher was referred to the page by a simple Google search.

The traffic exposes your SEO successes to your site. No matter what your position on a SERP is if it does not drive traffic to your website it is not working. The data has proven that it is the top ranking positions on page one that acquire almost all Google search traffic.

What drives traffic: the CTR or the ranking?

Average click through rate and ranking on a Google SERP are variables that seem to be dependent on each other. We know that there is a connection between the two, but not sure which one feeds the other. More research is necessary to get to the answer to the question.

How to calculate what CTR for any position in search results is? To make it, take the CTR of interesting position and minus average click rate, it will show if rankings beat average CTR of this position.

If your goal to get to position 1-3, as it should be, then your website will need to hit the expected CTR. If you fall below the expected CTR, your chances are not likely to be in position 1-3, but for sure you position will be at the second page.

Looking at relative to the expected CTR, for a given position:

  •         Outrun the average CTR by 20% you will have a good chance to appear at first position
  •         Outrun the average CTR by 12% you will have an excellent opportunity to take the second position
  •         Drops below the average CTR by 6%, good possibility you will be in position 10

Keep it Simple

Let go with some basic ideas:

  •         If your pages outrun the estimated CTR rate for a position, the chances of being in a prominent organic position are very high
  •         If your pages drop below the estimated CTR rate for a position, the chances of being in the lower search positions are very high
  •         By moving up your CTR by 3% will move you up to the next position in SERP. Every 3% increase moves you up one position
  •         If you are not able to beat the estimated CTR then you will not in all probability be in positions 1 thru 5.
  •         Google is not actually punishing here, they are only giving bonuses to move up for pages that have good CTR
  •         When Google give high bonus CTR rates to other websites, then your position will fall. Think of this as just not getting the award, rather than being punished.

This may sound staggering, but let’s look at some numbers. Let’s say 12% of 90% click on second position and 8% click on the third position. Let’s say this keeps incrementally lowering to only 3% clicking on ninth position.

What does that translate to? It is like having 1000 clicks on the first position and only 147 on ninth position. This is huge. By just getting from ninth position to first position can increase your traffic and your income for a given keyword by 1,478%. (42.13/2,85 * 100 = 1478%).

Important Things

On above analysis we have deduced the following:

  1.   Do not assume that a keyphrases does not give you traffic if you are in ninth position. If a keyphrases gets you 1,000 visits per month now, then by simply putting in place, some high quality links for it and improving ranking from ninth to first position for this keyphrases, you will increase your traffic to 17,780 visits per month. (1000*14.78 = 14,780). Finding for and choosing keywords that get you between second positions and #30. Then get high-quality backlinks for these key phrases to get you to first position on all of them. Obtaining backlinks for these keywords, even not so attractive keywords, bring to your site visitors.
  2.    While you are doing this, track your rankings as they change through the first 100 search results. If you do not track, you will think that your link building campaign is not working since you do not see increased traffic. Using proper tracking tools will show that your rankings improve from a position of #984 to #44, which is actually impressive. The big mistake is that people do not use tracking tools they try to track it manually and might only check the first ten positions. They get disappointed and decide it does not work and stop their link building campaign. This is a huge mistake.

To avoid this mistake understand the following:

  •         Focus on your positions in SERP not on a traffic only. If the rankings move up that is good. You may not see increased traffic until you climb to the first three positions.
  •         Track your rankings with proper tracking tools on the leading 100 to 200 searches, not manually on the primary 20-50 searches.
  •         It will take from 4 to 6 months to see significant changes.

So what should I do now?

For starters, ignore the articles out there that state that there is nothing you can do or even should do to improve your CTR.  Getting more people to join you is where the CTR comes into importance.

Google uses AdWords and a host of other algorithms that look at how user engage with your site. These signals define page quality and how relevant is the page to the search query. You should mug up how to assign ratings to pages that are relevant to a query but have otherwise insufficient historical link data.

Focus on Four Areas

Сlick through rate how to improve it

To advance your click through rate here is what you should be focusing on:

  1.    Pages with bad search quality scores need to be improved. Use the Google search console and download the data. Analyze the data, to determine which pages have low CTR. Fix those losers as they have the most upside possibility.
  2.    Add emotions to keywords and create attention-getting headlines. These could be emotions like anger, disgust, affirmation, or fear as and example. These have proven to increase the CTR. This helps you compete with the competition.
  3.    Use all user metrics to your benefit. These metrics include time spent on your site, bounce rate. Search engines utilizing numbers of factors to understand average rates of conversion and engagement. Right now Google employs in their algorithms more than 200 factors. Consequently, put the content on your site on the 10x power information.
  4.    Social media activity and advertising can increase Google organic search traffic and CTR. Paid social ads are reasonable in their cost (up to $50 per day) and can produce a high awareness of your website. Target your target audience with social media ads. Once people become familiar with your site, they are most likely to click through.


It is not vital if CTR is the most central ranking signal. What is essential is that your site gets as many organic CTR as possible. The more visitors that visit your site, the more Google sees that, and your site becomes even more relevant.

The target above average expected user engagements to get better search rankings on Google. This will result in more visitors to your website.  Do not accept average CTR. Raise it by optimizing now.


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