People obsess over search engines, especially Google’s ranking factors for search queries.
So, obsess that someone managed to leak a document containing all of Google’s over 200 ranking factors.
But what if I told you there was a faster and easier way to rank better in search engine result pages for relevant searches order than the common ones – on-page optimization, technical SEO, etc.?
Would you believe me?
Google has repeatedly denied that organic Click-through rate (CTR) affects page rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).
But is this true?
Since a lot of the content and “expert opinions” on how organic click-through rate affects page rank in SERP are not comprehensive, I decided to research and make known my findings on the subject matter.
In this article, I shall be showing the relationship between organic CTR and average page position of different pages of three of my websites.
But first, you need to understand what organic click-through rate is.
What is Organic click-through rate?
Organic click-through-rate (also known as “Organic CTR”), is the percentage of organic searchers that click on a web page in a search engine result page for a keyword.
Simply put, organic CTR = (number of clicks/number of views) * 100.
For example, let’s say that 64 people out of 200 people that saw your web page in SERP clicked on it, then the organic CTR for that page is 32%.
Here is how Larry Kim from WordStream puts it
…your CTR is the best predictor of engagement and relevance (because it shows exactly what people are and aren’t interested in).
RankBrain is the latest addition to Google’s algorithmic army, and its main area of strength is its ability to learn and teach itself new things.
RankBrain is so important to Google that they call it the most important ranking signal.
Basically, what RankBrain does is rank every web page on a scale of 1-10. 1 being the weakest and 10, being the strongest.
One of the things factors that help RankBrain do this effectively is the quality score which is greatly determined by organic CTR.
What my Google Search Console data says
Enough of the preliminaries.
In order to find the truth about how CTR affects page rank in search engines, I decided to pull available data from the search console accounts of three of my websites.
Here is what I found out.
Green: Average CTR
Orange: Average Position
The above data shows that the organic CTR and page position are directly proportional – i.e. they increase and decrease at the same rate.
What this means for your SEO strategy
Any business hoping to achieve any form of success online must have a digital marketing strategy that must have an SEO checklist.
While link building and quality content remain important to page rank in search engine results pages, it is also imperative to note that a good CTR strategy is needed for any SEO success.
Hence, below are important factors that drive CTR
- Page Title – your CTR strategy must include catchy titles for your web pages. You can also follow some important tips on RankMath to get started.
- Google meta description – Although meta description itself is not a ranking factor, however, a good and well-written meta descript can boost your organic CTR
- Schema or microdata – another important factor that drives organic CTR is microdata. You can learn more about how microdata affects your website from this article on search engine land
Website backlinks, quality content have ranked top of the most important of Google’s ranking factors.
After these two is RankBrain which takes user-generated data such as organic CTR, page bounce rate, time spent on a page, geolocation, etc, into consideration.
Although Google has vehemently denied this, more and more data seem to support my take on this that organic click-through-rate impact search engine rankings.