If you think the amount of traffic is directly proportional to the amount of revenue a website generates, you are partially right. However, if you think a webpage which ranks higher will always have a high click through rate for advertisements, you are wrong.
A new study from Chitika reveals some shocking results.
A team of engineers and data experts at Chitika decided to find out the relation between organic rankings at SERP’s and the click through rate of advertisements within the site. The general idea is that the site which ranks higher should have a slightly more click through rate for advertisements, when compared to the site which ranks lower on search results. This is because the traffic you get for the first organic position is sort of more “hungry” and “targeted” so they are most likely to convert well and click the advertisements, embedded within your blog.
However, Chitika’s research and observation reveals something out of the track.
From the above graph, it looks like the CTR of advertisements is inversely proportional to the site’s position on Google search results. Which means, the lower you are ranked, the more is your click through rate for advertisements.
As an example, the page that is ranked at number 10 gets almost double click through rate for advertisements – when compared to the first ranked page on Google search results.
Why Is the Click Through Rate Different for Higher and Lower Ranked Pages?
The click through rate of any element on a webpage depends on two major factors:
- How you have devised your website and what you want your users to do.
- What kind of users you get.
Example: If you are dealing with an extremely geeky audience, you will have a tough time converting them using advertising programs like Google Adsense or other CPC ads. These users already know that the link on the leaderboard is nothing but an advertisement and they would think thrice before clicking it.
This type of audience will convert well with offers, coupon codes, downloads and subscriptions. The plain logic is that they know what value they will be getting by using your conversion funnel.
Now why is that the click through rate of advertisements is lower for pages with high Google rankings, when compared to the lower ranked pages? According to me, the following may just be the reason.
When a user clicks the top ranked link on a Google search result page, he is more focused and there is a high chance that he will find the answer for his query right from that page. Hence, the need for exploring other options on that given page is lowered, which results in a low click through rate for advertisements.
In case of a lower ranked page, the user is not as focused and he is desperately looking for an answer. He might have explored other top ranked pages, could not find his answer and falled back to the search result page by hitting the dreaded “back” button. He is spending more time on finding his answer and is willing to explore other options on any page that solves his query.
Hence, the higher click through rate for advertisements.
Of course, the revenue generated through advertisements is more likely to be greater for the higher ranked page than the lower one because the higher ranked page draws major proportion of the traffic. But if you are considering only the click through rate for advertisements, ranking lower might just inflate it.
There is another study which reveals that an Adwords ad that is placed lower gets more click through rate, when compared to another Adword ad placed right above it. Here is the diagram:
This is highly surprising and should not be the ideal user behavior but remember that you can neither predict nor prejudge the behavior of Internet audience. Most of the times, users react differently and things won’t go as you have planned.
The only way you can get your desirable results is by rigorous testing and experimenting different sets with real users and tracking what works and what doesn’t. Every website has a different audience and what works wonders for me, might be disastrous for you.