Google Search vs Google Ads

Organic Click-Through Rate/CTR (Google Search)

  • The #1 result in [organic] Google searches enjoy an average CTR of 27.6%
  • The #1 result is 10 times more likely to receive a click compared to a page in the #10 spot (there are 10 results per page, excluding ads)
  • CTR for positions 8-10 are virtually the same: implying that moving up a few spots at the bottom of the first page may not significantly increase your search-related traffic
  • However, on average, moving up 1 spot in the search results can boost your CTR by 2.8%. But, as above, the impact depends on the specific position you're moving from and to. For example, moving from #3 to #2 usually results in a significant boost, while moving from #10 to #9 doesn't make a statistically significant difference
  • URLs containing terms similar to a keyword have a 45% higher click-through rate compared to generic URLs without them (consider this when choosing your company URL!). E.g. Mr Smith sells shirts., or would trend better than
  • Titles with a positive sentiment can improve CTR by approximately 4%

Paid Ads (Google AdWords)

  • On average, paid Google ads achieve a 2-3% CTR for all searches resulting in a paid click
  • In contrast to organic search listings, which can enjoy a much higher 47-57% click-through rate

In summary, while paid ads can be effective, organic results still dominate in terms of CTR. Successful businesses know that aiming for top organic rankings first and foremost, and then topping up with Pay Per Click ads, is the winning and predominant growth strategy.

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