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15th April 2010 |  Written by Dave Ashworth

Sometimes, page two rankings are better than page one…

Within Google Webmaster tools you’ll now find a whole host of new data relating to click through rates relating to the position of your site within the SERPs, and the stats we are seeing are proving to be very interesting indeed.

We know not to take this data literally, we’ve only ever used Google Adwords, Analytics and Webmaster stats as a guide to our web traffic activity as opposed to an accurate representation, but none the less it has got me thinking about click through rates and rankings.

One of my clients operates in an incredibly competitive niche – the main term gets (according to Adwords) 673,000 broad matches a month and 74,000 exact matches, whilst a search on the term sees 8,810,000 pages returned.

For a while now, I had the site appearing at no.11 – or no.1 on page 2 as I like to call it – with much SEO effort geared towards getting it on page 1 and rising.  During the last month or so, I’ve had good and bad days – sometimes I check and it’s been as high as no.6 whilst the next day it’s back to 11.

From a traffic and goal conversion point of view, it’s fairly easy to spot when it’s ranking on page 1 as opposed to page 2 – the image below shows the number of visitors to the site when the site was on page 2 (Wed 31st March) and on page 1 yesterday (Wed 14th April).  Obviously this is not just for the one key term, but site traffic overall and the general pattern is a rise in traffic sees a rise in goals:

Interestingly enough though, over the same time period, the click through rate when appearing on page 2 is actually higher than it is on page 1:

So, the moral of this story?  If you find your site stuck at 11, you can always comfort yourself in the knowledge there may well be a better click through rate than if it was sat at 10…

Your Comments

  1. Dave, thanks for a very interesting post.
    How do you create the report for ‘Position in search results’ vs impressions and CTR? Hope you don’t mind me asking!
    Thanks
    Ned

  2. Hi Ned,

    I don’t mind.

    To get this data, if you haven’t done so already set your site up within Google Webmaster Tools and from the main dashboard for the site you want to view, select “more” under the Top Search Queries section.

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