CTR for Mobile Search Shows Surprising Variation
Marketing SEO

[Data] CTR for Mobile Search Shows Surprising Variation

Click-through rates (CTRs) for searches on mobile devices show some unexpected deviation from clicks via desktop searches. Mobile users are more likely to make it to the second or third pages of search results than desktop users, despite the fact that mobile users see fewer results above the fold, according to Advanced Web Ranking’s Google Organic CTR Study. However, users on both mobile and desktop are still far more likely to click on the first page of search results.

Based on data collected from Google Webmaster Tools for July 2014, an average 71 percent of all searches result in an organic click on the first page of results. Click-through rates were 31 percent for the top result.

Breaking down the data into mobile and desktop searches, the click-through curves don’t vary significantly until the second and third page, where the CTR spikes upward for mobile but not for desktop. The divergence is surprising: Smartphone users tend to use mobile devices on the go, but they also seem more willing to scroll for results than desktop searchers.

Advanced Web Ranking suggests that the difference may be the result of how Google tests and rolls out search engine results pages for US users compared to international users. When broken down by US versus international, international mobile users shared click-through rates similar to desktop users. On the other hand, the pattern of US mobile users varied even more from the desktop norm.

Even with the uptick from mobile users, click-through rates on second-page results are dwarfed by first-page clicks. On average, the greatest number of clicks occur on the first natural search result, and another 40 percent of clicks are split of the rest of the first page, Smart Insights finds.

But the distribution of clicks changes depending on the search. When a user is looking for something specific and searching with a long string of words, they may be less likely to click on the first result. Brand reputation can also affect organic traffic from search, and brands with high brand equity may be rewarded with more clicks even if they don’t occupy the top search spot, Skyword previously reported.

Brands that utilize content marketing strategies to create quality, relevant SEO content can help boost their search rankings. While there is some slight variance in search click-through rates between mobile and desktop users, first-page listings still reign supreme.

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