The following graph differentiates between an observed organic search CTR minus the expected CTR, to determine if your page beats - or is beaten by - the average expected CTR for a given organic position. By just looking at how well a keyword beats or is beaten by the predicted CTR, you're essentially isolating the natural relationship between CTR and ranking to get a better picture of what's going on. Why You Need to Increase Organic CTRs | Search Engine Journal We've found that on average, if you beat the expected CTR, you're much more likely to rank for higher positions. If you fail to beat the expected CTR, you will have a higher chance of appearing in positions 6-10. Advertising Continue reading below So, based on our example of long-tail search terms for this niche, if a page: Beats the expected CTR for a given position by 20%, you are likely to appear in position.
Beats the expected CTR for a given position by 12%, then you are likely to appear in position 2. Falls below the expected CTR for hair masking service a given position by 6%, then you are likely to appear in position 10. Etc. Here is a greatly simplified rule of thumb: The more your pages beat the expected organic CTR for a given position, the more likely you are to appear in prominent organic positions. If your pages fall below the expected Google organic search CTR, you will find your pages in lower organic positions on the SERP. Want to move up a position in Google's ranking? Increase your CTR by 3%. Do you want to ride another place? Increase your CTR by an additional 3%. If you can't beat the expected click-through rate for a given position, you're unlikely to appear in positions 1-5. Basically, you can think of this as Google giving bonus points to pages that have high click-through rates. The fact that it looks punitive is just a natural side effect.
Advertising Continue reading below If Google awards high CTR bonus points to other websites, your relative performance will decrease. It's not that you were penalized; it's just that you didn't get the rewards. 4 essential ways to increase your Google CTRs Many expert SEOs will tell you not to waste time trying to maximize your CTRs because that is not a direct ranking signal. Let's build more links and create more infographics, they say. I couldn't disagree more. If you want to rank better, you need to attract more people to your website. (And getting people to your website is the whole point of ranking anyway!) and many other technologies look at user engagement signals to determine the quality and relevance of pages.