In our regular changes report analysis based on the data provided by the free CTR tool, we take a look at what’s happened in Q2 2021.
A growth in clickthrough rate combined with an increase in impressions for a given industry could translate into a spike in traffic for those websites affected by these changes. The same goes for simultaneous drops in both CTR values and search demand, which leads to a decrease in traffic.
These scenarios can provide a logical explanation for changes in the number of visitors when the rankings remain perfectly steady.
If you find yourself in any of these cases, this analysis is just for you, so let’s dive into the clickthrough rate changes analysis of the second quarter of the year.
We calculated the CTR averages for each position for Q2 2021 (April-June interval) and compared them against the ones retrieved for Q1 2021 (January-March). All significant changes were included in this analysis and expressed as percentage points (pp).
The data set is international and comprises all the available markets such as the US, UK, etc.
Since clicks and impressions go hand in hand when projecting estimated traffic, we also correlated these CTR changes with search demand data at an industry level.
At a global level, websites ranked first registered a 1.03 pp decrease in CTR on desktop, while the decline equaled 1.32 pp on mobile devices.
Branded vs. unbranded
The websites ranked first for the searches mentioning a specific brand or business name were affected on both desktop and mobile queries. On desktop, the drop in CTR equaled 1.70 pp, while on mobile, the negative trend recorded a 1.25 pp drop.
On the other hand, but for unbranded queries this time, the CTR changes affected the mobile queries only. Here, websites ranked first witnessed a drop in CTR by 1.30 pp.
Regardless of the number of words a keyword has, our CTR tool recorded drops on almost all fronts for websites ranked first as follows:
- On desktop, for 1-word queries, the change wasn’t quite visible, while for 2-word queries, the loss equaled 0.99 pp, for 3-word searches, the drop was 1.18 pp, and for searches containing four or more keywords, the decline recorded 1.28 pp.
- On mobile, the changes occurred for all keyword length types. More precisely, for 1-word searches, the loss equaled 1.23 pp, for 2-word queries, the registered loss accounted for 1.52 pp, for 3-word queries, the registered drop was 1.32 pp, and for searches containing four or more keywords, the decline was 1.19 pp.
Here’s a quick graphical round-up of how the CTR value changes look like for websites ranked first based on the number of words each query has:
In the absence of external factors such as COVID-19 travel restrictions in almost all areas across the globe, the CTR values for location queries were still consistently affected by changes. Therefore, websites ranked in the first two positions for queries containing words such as “near, from, nearby, directions, maps, etc.” recorded a 4.23 pp loss in CTR on desktop and a 2.52 pp decline for queries made from mobile devices.
Drops in clickthrough rate values were recorded for commercial queries (those containing words such as price, pay, buy, etc.) as well, with websites ranked first, losing 1.39 pp on desktop and 1.46 pp on mobile.
Now let’s move on to the industries section, where, just like in our previous quarterly CTR studies, we’ll correlate the changes in CTR to the ones in search demand. Presuming the rankings remain steady, this section is aimed at better estimating the potential traffic fluctuations.
This part will be divided into two separate sections, based on the search demand’s evolution.
A. Industries where the search demand increased
After the previous quarter’s growth in CTR on both desktop and mobile searches, the Family & Parenting industry took a small step back. More precisely, websites ranked in the first position on mobile queries lost, on average, 1.22 pp in clickthrough rate, while the search demand for this industry slightly increased, by +0.94%.
As for the Sports industry, surprisingly, websites ranked first weren’t quite influenced by the changes. However, those ranked in the second position registered a 1.54 pp increase in CTR in desktop SERPs, while on mobile, the growth equaled 1.05 pp. Combined with a +22.78% increase in search demand, it’s highly probable that these websites recorded an increased amount of organic traffic.
With no real changes since Q4 2020, the News industry experienced some movement at the top, with the first two rank websites gaining a combined 2.02 pp in CTR on desktop and 1.09 pp on mobile queries. At the same time, the total number of impressions increased slightly, by 4.51%.
Style & Fashion is the last one to make it into this quarter’s group of industries where clickthrough rate variations were recorded, and the search demand increased. The number of impressions increased at a small scale (+1.34%), while the CTR for websites ranked first on mobile queries decreased by 1.24 pp.
Here’s a graphical representation of the changes in all four industries mentioned above:
B. Industries that experienced a drop in search demand
With drops in both CTR and search demand, there is a high probability that the websites ranked first in the Technology & Computing industry noticed a decline in organic traffic. While the industry’s global search demand dropped no less than -22.71%, websites ranked first experienced a 1.14 pp decrease in CTR on desktop and a 1.05 pp loss on mobile queries.
The websites ranked first on mobile results in the Real Estate industry continued their drop in CTR, witnessing a 2.97 loss. More than that, this quarter, the market saw a decline in CTR for websites ranked first on desktop, as well, who lost, on average, 2.54 pp. At the same time, the total number of impressions decreased considerably, with -21.17%.
Although its search demand registered a -6.77% loss, the Arts & Entertainment industry made it again into the quarterly CTR report thanks to its growth in clickthrough rate values. Here, the CTR for websites ranked first on desktop devices increased by 1.10 pp, while no significant changes were recorded on mobile.
After starting the year in force, with growth on all fronts, the Pets market went the other way around during this second quarter. With an overall industry drop of -12.05% in search demand, the websites ranked first and second on desktop registered a 1.87 pp and, respectively, a 1.24 pp drop in CTR.
It’s time to turn our attention to the highest growth in Q2: the Science market. While the websites ranked in the first position weren’t quite affected by the changes, those ranked second experienced a 4.64 pp boost in CTR on desktop devices and an entire percentage point on mobile. In contrast, this industry’s search demand decreased by -18.97%.
The first two positions in the Careers industry experienced a combined 3.20 pp decrease in CTR on desktop searches. Coupled with a drop of -16.98% in search demand, it’s highly probable that the websites ranked in those two positions noticed a decrease in organic traffic.
With a decrease in search demand of -2.70%, the Automotive industry recorded a drop in CTR for the websites ranked first and second: a combined 4.26 pp on desktop searches and 4.58 pp on mobile.
The highest decrease in impressions (-43.07%) recorded by our search demand tool was for the Law, Government, & Politics market. Nevertheless, the CTR values went in the opposite direction, and interestingly, the websites ranked first weren’t influenced by the changes. However, those ranked second in SERPs registered a 2.34 pp boost in CTR on desktop, while the increase on mobile equaled 1.80 pp.
Now let’s have a look at the Personal Finance industry, where drops have been recorded for the websites ranked first on both desktop and mobile searches. More exactly, on desktop, the loss was 1.45 pp, while on mobile, it equaled 1.53 pp. The search demand also dropped for this industry by -15.93%.
With no major changes since Q4 2020, the websites ranked first in the Shopping industry recorded drops in CTR on both desktop (2.18 pp) and mobile queries (2.11 pp). The search demand for this industry also recorded losses when compared against the previous quarter (-8.99% to be more precise).
One last market where the search demand dropped (by -27.48%) is Hobbies & Interests. At the same time, the CTR values went in the same direction, at least for the websites ranked first, which registered a 1.18 pp drop on desktop and a 1.33 pp decrease on mobile queries.
Here’s a visual recap of all the changes mentioned above:
That’s it for…the second quarter
It’s time to conclude another eventful quarter’s analysis, with significant CTR changes for most industries.
So how about you? Have you noticed any changes in traffic which might be correlated with the clickthrough rates and search demand evolution in Q2?
If so, make sure to keep an eye on the average CTR values regularly since this metric evolves rapidly, affecting your website’s traffic.
Advanced Web Ranking can help you benchmark your website’s CTR values against the industry ones, and if you haven’t already, you can give it a go for free.
See you with the analysis of the third quarter of the year compiled against this one. Stay safe and healthy!