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The percentage of clicks that end up on organic results
The percentage of clicks that end up on organic results

How we calculate and quantify the impact of the SERP Features on CTR, and how we present this metric.

Updated over a week ago

The metric

On all tracked keywords, when we provide their ranks, we also provide their SERP feature datadaily, on both devices. Based on each keyword's unique mix of Top 10 SERP features, we calculate the percentage of the searches that end up clicking on organic results. So you can adjust the expectations you have from the total keyword search volume.

For example, a keyword with 40.5K searches, where 70% of them end up clicking on organic results, would only have a rough 28.3K searches left available for organic clicks, if we use search volume as a reference to understand how much is left for SEO to influence.

SERP features and CTR

Along with organic results, Google Search shows SERP features such as featured snippets, image packs, video carousels, questions, etc., based on the search intent. These, when they are present on the first page of the results, occupy a significant portion of it, leaving less room for organic results. When users get their answers through the SERP features, they might no longer click on the organic links. So, the organic links end up getting fewer clicks in the presence of SERP features.

We analyzed this impact and quantified it through our CTR research to determine what percentage of the overall clicks on the Top 10 ranks the SERP features consume.

Our CTR Research

Our data

We selected 4 million non-branded UK & US keywords with high search volumes for a specific month. We enriched them with SERP features and their positions from our rank tracker, and also impressions, clicks, and average positions from Google Search Console, for that selected month. We aggregated close variants for these keywords (just like Google) and segmented the data by device so we could calculate the impact for both desktop and mobile.

Our process

  1. For the keywords with no SERP features, we calculated the percentage of organic results that lead to clicks (CTR for organic results alone).

  2. For keywords with SERP features, we first determined the percentage of clicks by dividing the number of clicks by their search volume for each device and converted it into a percentage. This gave us the percentage of clicks for different combinations of SERP features.

  3. These combinations were a system of equations, and we solved them to calculate the impact of each individual type of SERP Feature.

This gave the percentage of clicks impacted by each SERP feature for each of the top 10 ranks.

Our results

The results provide a precise percentage of clicks that each unique mix of SERP Features consumes, for each top 10 rank. We calculate this as an average for both devices for each keyword based on its search volume, its unique mix of SERP features on desktop and mobile, and the SERP feature positions.

You can find this metric, called % Clicks (the sum of individual CTRs of the top 10 ranks for a unique mix of SERPs), in the Rank Tracker, helping you calibrate your expectations on how much search volume is actually left to be influenced by SEO.

Although the SERP feature data is updated daily, the ΣCTR is updated on a monthly basis, when the search volume data is updated.

% Clicks in the Rank Tracker

This is a keyword-level metric, shown as the sum of CTRs in the keyword table in the Rank Tracker:

The data is also processed at a group level as an average weighted by search volume and is shown in the SERP data section in the top stats:

The % Clicks is also a key metric we take into account in our Forecast algorithm, being a powerful factor in estimating additional non-brand organic traffic. Read more about it here.

In conclusion, our CTR research provides valuable insights into the impact of SERP features on organic search results. By analyzing non-branded keywords, we have determined the precise percentage of clicks consumed by each SERP feature for different top 10 ranks on desktop and mobile.

Some SERP features significantly affect the click-through rate (CTR) of organic results, and the % Clicks metric provided in our Rank Tracker allows you to calibrate your expectations and understand the actual search volume that can be influenced by SEO efforts.

Visibility and % Clicks

How can we relate % Clicks with other metrics to analyze the potential of the keywords?

Visibility is a group-level metric that takes into account the ranks of the keywords weighted by search volume (it doesn't differentiate between organic ranks and SERP feature positions). However, the % Clicks metric takes into account the SERP features and measures how much CTR is left for organic results on a keyword level.

If the % Clicks of a keyword is 100%, it means there are no SERP features consuming clicks, so you can fully rely on the Visibility, as its entire value for that keyword is derived from the organic rank. With % Clicks less than 100%, even if the keyword ranks first, as SERP features take away some of the clicks, it is not as visible to clicks as keywords with higher % Clicks.

For instance, the CTR for position 1 is 20%, but the % Clicks is 50%, only 50% of that 20% CTR is accessible to organic clicks, contributing less to the overall Visibility.

Therefore, analyzing your website's Visibility on a group of keywords in combination with the % Clicks at the keyword level, will give you the full picture, helping you make better decisions on which keywords to focus on.


Can I see different values for % Clicks between desktop and mobile?

No, the metric is currently blended between desktop and mobile.

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