In today’s connected world, the practice of conducting online searches for information is familiar to nearly everyone. So, too, is selecting search results from long lists of possibilities. Most people do not give much thought as to why they choose to click on certain search results; there are many factors that may influence us to select the results we click on.
Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals analyze factors, such as search intent, to improve click-through rate (CTR), and increase search engine clicks for their clients. In this guide, we will explore the factors that influence Web users to click on search results, unlocking new possibilities in Web content and online visibility.
To get a better understanding of how certain features and factors influence Web users, the SEO information resource Backlinko conducted an extensive study of Google search results. The idea behind the study was to investigate something called “organic click-through rate”, or the act of Web users clicking on certain search results or links that they discovered through searches.
The Backlinko study analyzed over 5 million Google searches encompassing click-through rate (CTR) over nearly 900,000 individual webpages. Several interesting findings came from the data analysis, including:
The major takeaway from the Backlinko study is this: for a given keyword or long-tail key phrase, landing a spot in the top 5 results should be the goal of every website and SEO campaign. This isn’t always possible, but by doing so, traffic can increase dramatically.
Now that we know how SERP position can influence Web users, what about other factors that may encourage or influence them to click on certain links? Ignite Visibility polled a group of 500 users aged 25-60 to determine how user preferences – along with features found on SERPs – create incentives to click on a given link. In the survey, several important characteristics were discovered, including:
Organic search excludes ad links or other paid search results. However, understanding how ads – including paid links on search results pages — work and how they can influence Web users to click on them can be important from an SEO perspective.
An SEO research firm called Clutch undertook a study to do just that, and looked at user interaction with ads on multiple platforms, including Google, Amazon, YouTube, and Bing.
The Clutch study revealed that user habits have become more sophisticated over time, with more survey respondents indicating that they can discern between an organic search link or one that is an ad or other paid link. The study illustrated the top four reasons a user clicks on a paid ad in search:
The search environment is evolving constantly; Google and other search providers add features, functionality, and technology at a steady pace to improve the quality and relevance of search results. Professional SEO services are advised to study these changes in order to deliver great results for their clients. By understanding user habits, user preferences, and the factors that influence click-through rates, insurance SEO specialists can unlock new potential, driving business growth and organic traffic to target websites.