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How to Calculate Your Site’s Organic Click-Through Rate to Impress Your Boss & Get SEO Buy-In

8th May 2019Chris BryantChris Bryant

By Chris Bryant, Search Data Specialist, Botify

You can calculate your organic click-through rate (or “SEO CTR”) by dividing organic clicks by organic impressions. For example, if your website showed up 1,000 times in the organic search results for the keyword phrase “women’s leather jackets” and searchers clicked on it 50 of those times, your organic CTR would be 5%.

But how can knowing your organic CTR help you?

Common ways SEOs use organic CTR

One common use for organic CTR is to find areas of improvement. For example, SEOs can find pages that are ranking high for certain queries, but are not getting clicked on very often. These high rank / low clicks pages are great targets for improving your title tag and meta description to be more enticing.

Another way SEOs often use organic CTR is to find pages that are ranking low but getting a lot of clicks. Improving these page’s position can result in even more valuable traffic.

But there’s another less implemented but extremely valuable use for organic CTR -- CTR curves.

CTR by Rank position

A CTR curve is a line graph depicting the average CTR for each position in Google search results. In the example above, you can see that the average organic CTR for position one is 12%.

Having a CTR curve allows SEOs to better predict how much traffic they can get from a particular keyword ranking. While keyword research can yield estimated monthly search volume, it’s difficult to know how much of that we can expect to turn into website visits.

This is a great way for SEOs to get buy-in from their client or boss to move forward with their SEO initiatives. The problem is, many SEOs rely on industry studies that promise to answer “what’s a good CTR for each position in Google search results?”

Why “What’s a good organic CTR?” is the wrong question

Many people want to know what a good organic CTR is. The problem with this question lies with the word “good.” Why? Because there is no such thing as a “good” CTR.

You’ll see lots of articles with titles such as:

  • Organic CTR by Position
  • Google Click-Through Rates by Industry
  • Organic Click-Through Rate Study 2018

Each promises to reveal to the reader a “good” CTR for each organic position. For example, “On average, URLs in position #2 have an organic CTR of 15%.”

The problem with using a standard CTR from one of these studies is that they forget that CTR varies drastically from SERP to SERP. For example, CTR for position 2 on a local-intent query will be wildly different than the CTR for the same position on a buying-intent query.

The solution? SEOs should be using their website’s own organic CTR for each of its unique segments.

How to calculate your own website’s CTR

Traditionally, making a custom CTR curve for your website has been a highly manual process:

  • Export your performance data from Google Search Console (queries, impressions, clicks, and position)
  • Group your queries by position and average each position’s CTR
  • Create a graph with positions on the X axis and CTRs on the Y axis

Some SEO tools do automate this process so it’s less manual, but don’t account for the variations in organic CTR due to query intent, device, and content segment.

If an SEO did want to find their organic CTR by segment (ex: blog vs. landing page CTR), traditionally, they’ve had to do this manually.

But you’re a busy SEO - you don’t have time for that!

That’s why we’ve completely automated this process in Botify. Simply go to your Botify ranking report and view “CTR by Average Position” and you’ll see an up-to-date graph populated with data from your own website.

CTR by average position

Because Botify pulls in your website’s performance data from the Google Search Console API, all your information is already in the tool. This CTR by Average Position chart comes standard in the tool (no manual configuration required).

But what about average CTR for different segments?

Say, for example, you wanted to know your website’s average CTR by position, but only for article URLs. No problem!

Botify Keywords has a ton of different filtering options so you can view your data from any angle you could possibly think of.

### Average CTR by Position on mobile

CTR by average position- mobile-final

### Average CTR by Position for non-branded keywords

CTR by average position- I not branded-final

### Average CTR by Position for article pages only

CTR by average position- page type article-final

Because organic CTR can vary drastically depending on the query type and SERP layout, you should have the ability to view your website’s CTR curve for the segments that you care about. In Botify, you can, and it only takes seconds.

How to use organic CTR data to get SEO buy-in

So you know how to view custom CTR curves - now what?

One of the best use cases for custom CTR curves is getting buy-in for your SEO initiatives. Because this data allows you to predict traffic with more accuracy, it’s easier to prove to your client or boss why it’s worth your time to pursue X, Y, or Z keyword.

Picture it.

The website you work on is currently ranking in position #8 for the keyword “women’s leather jackets.” The search volume for this query is high: 135k per month! But at position #8, you’re only getting about 1% of that traffic - 1,300 monthly organic visits.

If you know that your website’s CTR for position #3 is, on average, 8%, then you could say, “If we spend time this month to improve our position for ‘women’s leather jackets,’ we could send an additional 9,500 interested shoppers to the website.”

If women’s leather jackets are something your boss or client cares about selling more of, then that’s an easy sell!

Impress your stakeholders with data-backed SEO recommendations

If you work on an enterprise-level website, you know how important it is to use data to back your decisions. Whether you’re an in-house SEO and you’re answering to your boss or you’re an agency SEO answering to your client, stakeholders will want the assurance that your recommendations are going to be an effective use of your time and their budget.

Botify automates your website’s organic CTR curves across multiple segments so you can get buy-in and jump get to work on activities that will move the needle in the right direction.

Want to see it for yourself? Request your demo today!