How many Google searches result in a click?

Ollie's Photo by Ollie Jackson


If your business relies on a well-performing website to encourage users to enquire or make a purchase, then getting users to the website in the first place is vital.

Ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (also known as SERPs) plays a massive role in driving traffic to a website - if your website ranks highly on a search engine such as Google and your content is relevant to what the visitor searched for, it’s highly likely that they will visit.

So, with Google occupying a 94% share of the search engine market, how your business ranks across Google’s services will directly impact how customers find it and whether they click through.

But whilst your website may be reliant on organic traffic clicking through from Google, it would appear that user behaviour is changing (driven in part by Google themselves).

As of June 2019, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on Google resulted in zero-clicks.

In other words, search results appeared but no one clicked through to any of the pages in the list!

This is according to the marketing analytics company Jumpshot who have recently published their findings.

Here’s a breakdown of what users clicked on via Google Search, based on 40m+ searches in June 2019:

  • 50.33% - zero-click searches
  • 45.25% - organic clicks
  • 4.42% - paid clicks (ads)

As of June 2019, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on Google resulted in zero-clicks.

Why aren’t users clicking?

One reason may be due to Google’s desire to answer search queries within the results page, removing the need to click through to another website to read the information.

If you use Google Search frequently, you’ll have noticed how Google now displays snippets of information directly on search results pages - and if this information answers your question, then you don’t need to look any further.

This is great for users who need information quickly - it’s efficient and is at least one less click, but isn’t so great for getting traffic to your website!

Another reason may be due to the prominence of Google’s own products and services.

Clicks to Google-owned websites accounts for around 6% of total clicks. And this is leading some (including the US Congress) to question whether Google is abusing its market dominance and potentially diminishing the success of businesses that operate in sectors that Google also have a hand in.

What about paid clicks?

Paid advertising is performing well for Google - particularly on mobile. More than half of searches take place on mobile and the number of paid ads being actively clicked on has tripled in the last three years.

Data suggests that when Google updates the way it displays paid ads, the number of clicks increases - that is until users adjust to the changes and recognise that a search result is in fact an ad.

It’s a fascinating trend proving how savvy users are and how quickly they adapt to changes.

What can I do to make sure a website performs well on search engines?

Here are some takeaways to ensure your website is harnessing the full potential of organic and paid search:

  • Ensure your website is accurately represented across Google’s own properties - such as Google Maps, Knowledge Panels and AMP on Google (a framework that allows you to optimise how your pages appear on their search engine).
  • Ensure that a user can quickly learn more about your business just from reading the copy in your search results - this includes optimising your metadata.
  • We would always recommend to focus on your website's content so you rank organically but if they’ve worked for you before, don’t give up on paid ads - as mentioned earlier, Google Ads is performing well for Google and it might be beneficial for your business too.

Make sure you are targeting keywords that have a higher Clickthrough Rate (CTR) - this is something we explore as part of our data-driven Content Strategy phase and it always provides great insight.

Summary

The goalposts for SEO change constantly so it’s impossible to keep ahead of the game but it’s definitely worth keeping in the know.

Knowing that the majority of all searches on Google now result in zero-clicks might not change your approach to SEO or impact how your website performs Google, but it certainly highlights the influence Google’s changes have over user behaviour!

We’ll keep you posted.


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