The benefits of ranking on the first search-engine results page (SERP) are more valuable than ever: 60% of clicks are generated by the top three SERP results, while the average CTR (click-through rate) for the top spot is 36.4%, according to a study by Optify.
Not all CTRs are created equal, however. Although head, or high-volume, search terms, yield higher CTR for position No. 1 on the first SERP, low-volume, long-tail terms, generate better overall CTR on page one.
Below, other findings from Optify's study, The Changing Face of SERPs: Organic Click Through Rate, based on analysis of organic keyword visits (Google US) gathered from Optify's software for a variety of B2B and B2C websites in December 2010.
The CTR curve (chart below) supports the traditional understanding of SERPs: Ranking on the first page is far more valuable than ranking anywhere else.
Moreover, the results show how moving keywords up within page No. 1 can yield accelerating benefits. For example, by doubling investments to move from the second position to the first, one could triple visits for that keyword.
Results Page 1 vs. Page 2
But given the volatile nature of SERPs, a brand's exact position is less predictable than the page it ranks on.