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Get Your Copy of the Latest, Largest, and Most Reliable CTR Study Ever Conducted

This page is an excerpt from our downloadable CTR Study, which is the largest study of its kind ever conducted. We’ve used over 750+ billion impressions across 17+ billion unique keywords to analyze CTRs by position, device (mobile and desktop), country, seasonality and even industry. 

CTR Research Images v6.2_Ebook cover (150dpi) FULL

To access the data and to learn exactly what the click-through rates are in your own marketplace, please fill out the form on this page, and we’ll send you the complete report within seconds!

Report Key Takeaways

  • Click-through rates have declined significantly - especially for top positions - since our last study.  
  • Searches without a click on an

    organic result on page 1 or page 2 account for an estimated 65% of searches.*   


CTR by Device

  • Mobile users are less likely to click top-ranked listings than desktop users.
  • Mobile results gain 85.8% more impressions than results on desktop.  
  • Click-through rate for position 1 decreases from 8.17% on desktop to 6.74% on mobile devices.  

CTR by Country

  • For position 1, the lowest click-through rates are seen in the US, at 9.13%.  
  • The US has the lowest click-through rates both for the Top 10 search results and the Top 20.  
  • Users may be scrolling more than ever before - CTR in positions 17-20 is actually higher than positions 11-16 across the globe.  

CTR by Seasonality

  • May and December are the months with the lowest click-through rates, and July through to September are the highest.  

CTR By Industry

  • CTRs by position vary significantly from industry to industry.
  • ‘Real Estate’ has the highest average CTR (all devices) across the top 10 positions (2.45%), and ‘Apparel & Fashion’ has the lowest (1.43%).

Overview

Click-through rate (CTR) studies have been compiled by various researchers and companies since the advent of search marketing. They provide a very important foundation for marketers in:

  • Forecasting results,
  • Projecting SEO returns on investment, and 
  • Building models for estimating the market size and potential.

What makes seoClarity’s study remarkably different from all other studies is the sheer volume of actual data analyzed - 750+ billion impressions, 30+ billion clicks across 17+ billion unique keywords. This makes it the largest CTR study ever!

The end result is a robust CTR model broken down by device, keyword type, country, seasonality and industry. This provides more actionable data for search marketers who are looking for the most reliable figures unique to them and their industry.

The study was compiled by the seoClarity team, in partnership with Darren Kingman, the Founder of SEO and Digital PR Agency Root Digital, analyzing seoClarity’s proprietary clickstream data set of Google activity over a 12-month period. 

Why another CTR study?

When we looked at the landscape of available studies we realized that:

  • Most existing studies were already outdated due to the constantly  evolving SERP landscape, including ever-changing SERP features and PPC ads (which have the effect of significantly changing organic results' visibility and thereby associated CTRs). 
  • There has never been a bigger data set available to conduct such a study. All previous data sets suffered from a selection bias - relying on a limited number of Google Search Console accounts, providing a skewed view of CTR based on industries and companies represented.
  • We have a far more significant data set than anyone has ever been able to leverage. The hypothesis was that a larger data set would provide more statistical confidence and ability to drill down and segment in different ways (keyword types, industry, device types, etc) that were hitherto impossible.
  • No other CTR study offered data broken down by seasonality, geography or by industry.

As with any CTR study, there are a few caveats which we’ve listed at the end of this report. We advise all readers to pay special heed to these before using the data.

CTR By Device (Desktop and Mobile CTR)

Desktop Model Data

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR desktop model

 

Position
CTR

1

8.17%

2

3.82%

3

2.43%

4

1.63%

5

1.11%

6

0.84%

7

0.67%

8

0.54%

9

0.52%

10

0.44%

 

Unlike previous studies, our data showcases the steady click-through rate regression as users move down the SERPs, from position 1 at 8.17% down to position 10 at a much lower 0.44%.

Previous studies, including our previous CTR study with a smaller data sample, had shown that click-through rates had actually increased in position 10. However, across a now 5x dataset, this appears to not be the case. 

Mobile Model Data

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR mobile model

 

Position
CTR

1

6.74%

2

3.41%

3

2.50%

4

1.71%

5

1.18%

6

0.89%

7

0.75%

8

0.64%

9

0.55%

10

0.48%


Position 1 CTR for desktop is just over 8%; where does that put mobile?

The mobile model demonstrates that users are less likely to click listings at the very top of the SERPs compared to when browsing on desktops. In fact, the click-through rate for position 1 decreases from 8.17% on desktop to 6.74% on mobile devices.

However, the models quickly flip roles. For every position from 3 through to position 10, the click-through rates from mobile devices are all higher than on desktop.

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR desktop & mobile

Although the pattern of regression is the same on both devices, it shows that (across a large dataset) ranking in the lower positions on page 1 is actually better for your organic traffic on mobile than it is on desktop! Presumably, the familiarity of scrolling on mobile devices plays a part in organic CTRs.

CTR by Country (All Devices)

Not only will the device a user is browsing impact their click-through rates, but there are also remarkable differences based on the source country, too.

Here, we’ve analyzed our data by splitting it into 5 countries (where we have the most data) and the respective click-through rates based on the top 10 (chart) and top 20 positions (table). Spoiler: page 2 data is very interesting here!

SEOClarity_CTR study_V2_CTR by country

 

Position

US CTR

UK CTR

Canada CTR

India CTR

Japan CTR

1

9.13%

10.48%

11.30%

14.88%

13.94%

2

5.07%

6.05%

5.93%

8.22%

7.52%

3

3.60%

4.49%

4.29%

4.79%

4.68%

4

2.61%

3.15%

3.31%

3.10%

3.91%

5

1.95%

2.54%

2.64%

2.09%

2.98%

6

1.46%

1.96%

1.95%

1.52%

2.42%

7

1.10%

1.55%

1.50%

1.10%

2.06%

8

0.93%

1.32%

1.27%

0.95%

1.78%

9

0.75%

1.10%

1.03%

0.77%

1.46%

10

0.66%

0.98%

0.95%

0.70%

1.32%

11

0.63%

0.91%

0.89%

0.57%

1.03%

12

0.58%

0.74%

0.86%

0.50%

1.00%

13

0.43%

0.59%

0.61%

0.36%

1.07%

14

0.44%

0.64%

0.64%

0.41%

1.34%

15

0.45%

0.73%

0.77%

0.45%

1.65%

16

0.53%

0.90%

0.92%

0.63%

2.19%

17

0.60%

1.07%

1.10%

0.83%

2.54%

18

0.75%

1.29%

1.25%

1.14%

2.83%

19

0.88%

1.36%

1.34%

1.27%

2.91%

20

0.93%

1.47%

1.39%

1.34%

2.85%

 

Straight away, we can see the difference in click-through rates at the top of the SERPs and how your expected traffic may change based on the country or countries you’re marketing to.

For position 1, the lowest click-through rates are seen in the US, at 9.13%, and at the other end of the spectrum is India, where position 1 attracts a click-through rate of 14.88%. Therefore, domains ranking in position 1 in India can expect a traffic increase of 63% compared to their position 1 rankings on Google.com.

Another interesting observation is the CTR in positions 17 through 20. In all 5 countries analyzed, those positions demonstrated a higher average CTR than positions 11 to 16. We posit that this is reflective of browsing and scrolling behaviors.

Immediately, you can see how important it is for SEOs to have the correct location CTR data to work with and how it’ll impact projection modelling.

Now let’s look a little deeper in the countries in particular.

United States (US)

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR in US

Searchers in the US click on fewer search results than any country analyzed.

Out of the 5 countries analyzed, the US has the lowest click-through rates both for the Top 10 search results and the Top 20. 

Across all keywords analyzed, a totaled average of 27.26% searchers click on a result in the Top 10, and a total of 33.48% have found a result by the end of page 2*. This means 64.52% of searches result in a user scrolling further or finding an alternative, potentially non-organic, solution to their query.

While some may indeed be leaving Google search without clicking, it could also be the case that many conduct a follow-up search before clicking any results.

The positions with the lowest click-through rates are between positions 13 to 15, which are all below 0.5%.

What is most surprising is the increase in CTR around position 20. Users are just as likely to click position 20 (0.93%) as they are for the listing in position 8 (also 0.93%).

United Kingdom (UK)

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR in UK

Only 43% of UK searchers find a page to visit by the end of page 2 of Google search results.

In the UK, searchers are more likely to click through on every position at a higher rate than in the US - stretching through from position 1 to position 20.

This means that searchers in the UK are more likely to find a result in the Top 10 results worth exploring with 33.63% clicking through to an organic listing. By the end of page 2 of the Google search results, a further 9.69% have found a result to explore, totaling 43.31% of users.

Like searchers in the US, positions 13, 14 and 15 of the search results are the worst positions to be in (0.59%, 0.64% and 0.73% respectively). However, both positions 19 (1.36%) and 20 (1.47%) are more favorable when compared to positions 8 (1.32%), 9 (1.1%) and 10 (0.98%) on the first page of the search results.

Canada

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR in Canada

For people searching in Canada, position 1 is king. Nearly double traffic of position 2.

At 11.30% position 1 captures not only the majority of search traffic but 90.6% more than position 2 - the biggest gap out of all countries analyzed.

Although the Top 10 search results capture 34.17% of users, more than the UK’s 33.63%, it’s only position 1, 4 and 5 where Canadian search results have a higher click-through rate.

Page 2 of the search results is also quite fruitful for users, in Canada, the second page of the search results lead to 57% more people finding a page to browse when compared to the US.

India

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR in India

The top 3 search results dominate in India.

Of all countries, India has the highest CTR for position 1 in the SERPs - generating 14.88% of the clicks. Positions 2 and 3 also generate more traffic than all other countries analyzed, accounting for 8.22% and 4.79% respectively.

The regression in click-through rates is faster in India than all other countries too, with click-through rates decreasing to the same levels as the US (which has the lowest Top 10 CTRs of all countries) by position 7 - both standing at 1.1%.

Overall, 38.13% of users find a result to click on within the Top 10 positions. The second page of the SERPs then accounts for a further 7.49% of traffic in total. 

Japan

SEOClarity_CTR study_V1_CTR in Japan

Nearly half of all searches in Japan result in a page 1 click - more than any country analyzed.  

Just behind India in click-through rates, position 1 in Japan attracts 13.94% of traffic - the 2nd highest of all countries analyzed.

However, unlike India, click-through rates in Japan decrease at a slower rate, with higher CTRs in 17 of the top 20 positions than the US, UK, Canada and India.

This means that the Top 10 organic listings in Japan overall generate the most traffic of all countries, with 42.06% of users clicking on a result. By the end of page 2 of the search result, 61.47% of users have found a search result to explore. This means the top 20 listings in the Japanese search results generate 83.6% more traffic than they do in the US. 

Seasonality Impact on CTR

Search marketers will be only too aware how industry seasonality can impact projections and a company’s bottom line. Most companies do the majority of their business around Christmas time, especially those in eCommerce. However, we wanted to confirm how this seasonality impacts click-through rates and your ability to forecast correctly.

Across all industries, July to September is when you want to rank to achieve the highest CTRs.

In our report, you’ll find the full list of monthly data alongside average CTR to model your own projects with and how seasonality compares on both mobile and desktop devices. 

seasonality_CTR_sans_data


Unlock the Full Report

Gain immediate access to insights on how seasonality impacts CTR.

Industry CTR

For many search marketers, being able to apply CTR data at a geographic level, a device level and through the seasons will be a game-changer.

However, the industry you operate in can also have a significant impact on users' search behaviors, which can have a dramatic effect on your expected traffic through each organic position.

In this section of the report, we dive into 13 of the most competitive industries, including:

  • Apparel & Fashion
  • Beauty & Personal Care
  • Business & Industrial
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Home & Garden
  • Jobs & Education
  • Real Estate
  • Retail & eCommerce
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Vehicles & Automotive

industry_CTR_sample_sans_data


You can use this industry CTR data to: 

  • Benchmark industry CTRs and compare to your site’s current CTRs by position;
  • Forecast increased visibility for low-hanging fruit keywords;
  • Predict more accurate ROI based on future investments in SEO;
  • ... and so much more!
Gain Access to CTR Data for 13 Industries

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Methodology

The methodology was quite simple. Since seoClarity already collects Google Clickstream Data daily, we had access to all of the data in our Clarity Grid infrastructure going back over 2 years - over 200 TERABYTES of data. What made it even more exciting was the fact that it was available for both Desktop and Mobile.

For the data analyzed in the ‘Desktop vs Mobile CTR’ and ‘CTR by Industry’ portions of this study, we limited our date range to a 30 day period, recorded through May 2021. The reasons were:

  1. To make sure it reflected the most current PPC landscape and that any recent changes that may have occurred in that space were reflected in organic CTRs.
  2. To avoid any seasonal impact on the CTR model. Click-through rates can shift dramatically during the busy 4th quarter and also during shopping periods such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day (U.S.). 

For both the ‘CTR by Seasonality’ and ‘CTR by Country’ sections of this study, the dataset was analyzed over a 12-month period - spanning July 2020 to June 2021.

Additionally, the Top 10 and Top 20 CTR’s were calculated by summing the average CTR in each position across the 17 billion keywords in our dataset.

Caveats 

It’s important to keep in mind that every company is different, as is every individual. The conclusions we’ve drawn are likely not true for every business size, and brand recall can also have a dramatic impact on particular industries. Do the research on your own GWT data to understand your own CTR.

*No clicks on an organic result doesn't equal zero-click searches. Our research revealed that roughly 35% of clicks went to an organic result. There are paid ads clicks and refinement clicks as examples of non-organic clicks.

Next Steps 

We intend to update the CTR study periodically using the same, exact data set and parameters (as far as possible) so we can share with the industry on how the numbers evolve. 

You can access our additional research studies by visiting our Resources page

Lastly, we invite you to use this data as you see fit, as there are so many insights to explore. Connect with me on Twitter, and join the CTR discussion with other SEOs across a variety of industries. 


Mitul Gandhi - Author Snippet (1)About the Author: Mitul Gandhi

As a longtime data-driven serial entrepreneur, information architect and SEO veteran, Mitul has developed a blend of vast technical expertise and intense marketing insight. His variety of experience, gained in positions in in-house SEO, search marketing, and software development, affords him the ability to efficiently assess how to use software tools to meet challenges and drive ROI. As the Co-Founder and Chief Architect of seoClarity, Mitul currently oversees day-to-day operations, and provides strategic direction to all departments. His well of knowledge includes 10+ years of consulting experience with Fortune 500 and top Internet retailers concerning online search marketing. He has several patents pending for analyzing cause and effect in SEO. Mitul holds an MBA in direct marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology. Additionally, he has spoken at conferences in the United States and the U.K., including SES, SMX and Pubcon. He has also been quoted in MSN Money, USA Today, Time Online, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land and Web Pro News. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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