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SERPs: The Benefits of Being No. 1

April 18, 2011

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. 

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  • by Nick Stamoulis Mon Apr 18, 2011 via web

    It also depends on what type of search the user in conducting. If someone is just looking for information, than ranking first might prove to be a lot more fruitful. However, users looking to buy are often more willing to scroll through a few pages of results before they click through. Ranking first for those keywords might not matter as much.

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