It’s been a while since we published a release article, but behind the scenes, our developers have been working hard on maintaining and updating the application. And if you’ve read our CEO’s latest article, you know that new and exciting things are under way, with everyone in the company pitching in with ideas for improvement.
Meanwhile, we’ve also been working on updating other functions that required a new, more attentive, and correct approach. One of them concerned how we calculate Click Share.
You may have already noticed slight changes in the values this metric shows in your projects, and today’s article is all about explaining what happened.
New data: even higher click rates for first position
The new approach to calculating Click Share Score focuses on helping you get a better understanding of the search traffic that high ranking keywords drive to your website, compared to how they behave for your competition.
Our CTR research shows that searchers’ preferences have evolved significantly, compared to the previous study we used. Now, it is likely that the 1st SERP result earns over 33% clicks, compared to 17%, as it used to. The same goes for the 2nd listed position, which receives an average of 15% clicks, instead of 9%.
The new estimates go up with the CTR assignment from Top 10 to Top 20 positions on international desktop search results, split by the number of terms that your keyword phrases contain.
How does the change impact your SEO analysis?
The new percentages are used for calculating the Click Share Score and Estimated Visits across all keywords, or for a specific keyword group that you are monitoring.
While Click Share Score is based only on keyword ranking positions, Estimated Visits also take into account the value of the high ranking keywords given by the Average monthly search volume.
With an extended base of keyword positions from top 10 to top 20, there’s a good chance you will notice an increase starting February 1st. The amplitude of these differences will depend mainly on the terms you have on the first position.
These stats are reported in the following views of the Rankings menu:
1. Overview – Click Share
This view shows you a side by side comparison of Click Share Score and Estimated Visits for your website and competitors.
2. Visibility – Websites
This view shows you the progress in time for several visibility metrics that AWR Cloud calculates, including Click Share Score and Estimated Visits.
On our testing project for Allrecipes.com, 168 terms are monitored, showing the following distribution by position in Google desktop search:
The increase that you see on the Click Share and Estimated visits for Allrecipes.com, after the update, is a reflection of the large number of terms on the first position. In combination with a high search volume of their best ranking keywords, it is estimated that the website enjoys high traffic values from Google search for this particular keyword set.
However, the competitor example Simplyrecipes.com, where the Estimated visits are lower than Click Share, represents a case where the site has high rankings for terms with a low search volume, which are actually driving low traffic values for the keyword set from our example.
Exploring other uses of the CTR research data
Understanding how people interact with Google search results is very important, especially since the SERPs layout has become crowded by various types of special features that sometimes answer users’ questions directly and make clicking on organic links unnecessary. The practicality of these features is tough to ignore, and from the SEO’s perspective, they make it a fundamental requirement to reevaluate strategies.
The CTR curves in our study, spanning more than 2 years of data, can help you with some ideas on how searcher behavior has evolved during this time. You can slice the data in a variety of ways, including by niches that concern you, and figure out how the changes can affect click through rates, and, indirectly, rankings.
But more importantly, you can draw insights on how to approach your SEO strategy so that your click through rates remain unaffected.
To get you started, here are a few examples on how this data is interpreted:
- Clickthrough research data reveals the importance of 1st, 2nd or 3rd position in Google
- 4 steps to make your organic listings more effective
- Does Chasing a #1 Search Engine Ranking Justify Your Time and Money?
Now back to you
We hope this adjustment soon translates into better decisions and results for your SEO strategy and goals. As mentioned before, other improvements will follow, and until then, it’s up to you to use this new data smartly.
What are your thoughts about the significant clickthrough changes we’ve seen lately? How have you adapted your tactics, and how do you use AWR’s Click Share Score to take decisions? We’d love to know more about how you view this metric, and its specific role in your strategy.