Coming Soon: Similar Audiences for Search Campaigns [Data]

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/04/25/similar-audiences-for-search-campaigns

Google’s been the big dog of the search game for well over a decade and has AdWords advertisers have primarily focused on managing their search campaigns by balancing their keywords with different keyword match types and negative keywords.

However, as more advertisers begin to look to other networks like Facebook (and its elaborate audience targeting options), Google has had to get more dynamic with its audience solutions. Over the past few years, Google has introduced Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), Customer Match, and recently demographic targeting for search to allow advertisers more flexibility on who sees your ads.

And soon, Google will release another potentially powerful targeting option, currently in closed beta – Similar Audiences for Search Campaigns.

Similar Audiences for Search Campaigns meme 

Google’s Similar Audiences should share a lot of the same search (and hopefully buying!) behaviors as your core RLSA audiences.

What Is Similar Audiences for Search?

Similar Audiences for Search should feel like Similar Audiences for GDN advertisers or Facebook advertisers’ lookalike audiences. Similar Audiences for Search effectively allows you to find users with similar search behavior as those in your RLSA audiences that haven’t been to your site. This audience is expected to be more qualified than your average new visitor, and it would be advantageous to either increase your bids for this audience or target them separately from your other search campaigns

How Do Similar Audiences for Search Perform?

Early beta tests on Similar Audience for Search reveal its strong potential to change your search campaign performance. Although your RLSA audiences may still outperform your other audiences and campaigns and boast the highest CTRs and conversion rates, Similar Audiences for Search still performs comparably well! We’ve noticed that similar audiences convert at almost the same conversion rate as their core RLSA audiences and more than 50% better than other new visitor audiences! Similar audiences also enjoy a 65% higher CTR than other new visitor audiences.

Where similar audiences really shine, though, is in their reach. Few advertisers still question how powerful RLSA targeting is, but many still lament over the fact that returning visitors make up a relatively small share of their search ad impressions.

We’ve seen that on average, Google’s similar audiences for search ads allow advertisers to scale the successful performance of their RLSA campaigns and reach an audience 7 times larger than their original RLSA audiences.

 Similar Audiences for Search Campaigns reach data

Best Practices for Using Similar Audiences for Search Campaigns

Use Bid Only Targeting First

New AdWords features are always exciting, and similar audiences will certainly improve your search campaigns, but it’s best to start small at first! Add similar audiences to your existing campaigns as a “Bid only” target with a modest bid adjustment to begin. Over a few weeks, not only will you see your campaigns perform better, but you’ll also collect valuable data to guide your next moves.

If you see similar audiences perform well and attract a large audience, then you may want to create a separate campaign targeting these users with a “Target and Bid” target. If you’re skeptical or want to be overly cautious, this data comes for free by using a “Bid only” target by applying a +0% bid adjustment.

Use Similar to Converting Audiences or other best performer lists

Just like not all remarketing lists are creating equal, neither are their similar audiences. Your large “similar to website visitors” list may offer very attractive reach, but your similar audiences to shopping cart abandoners or past converter lists will likely have better CTR and CVRs. Even if you don’t target previously converted visitors in your remarketing or RLSA campaigns, the similar audiences of these converted lists are your audiences most likely to convert!

Apply to Dynamic Search Ads to quickly reach highly qualified users

We’ve seen amazing performance by applying remarketing lists to dynamic search ad campaigns (RDSAs). These keyword-free campaigns quickly and inexpensively open your website to anyone searching for keywords relevant to your landing pages. Applying a remarketing list or similar audiences to these DSA campaigns can help keep your audience relevant and your performance highly optimized!

RDSA vs DSA CTR

RLSA has been changed the game once again and Google’s new similar audience targeting has the potential to dramatically improve your search campaigns and your account’s overall bottom line.

When Can I Get Started?!

As mentioned, this feature is currently in limited beta, and we aren’t sure when it will be available to all advertisers, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear! Watch this space.

Data Sources:

The aggregated data in this post is based on a sample of 23 WordStream client accounts with early beta access to Similar Audiences for Search who were advertising on the Google Search Network in March 2017.

About the author:

Mark is a Senior Data Scientist at WordStream with a background in SEM, SEO, and Statistical Modeling. He was named the 14th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016 by PPC Hero. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +.

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Evaluating link quality, Google Combats Fake News & Seismic Shift In Top Companies – Weekly Forum Update

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WeBuildPages/~3/UIDipbWLl7M/

This week members asked tough questions about how to evaluate the quality of your links.

Google released features to help combat fake news and what this may mean for SEOs

Members also discussed to what degree Alphabet, Googles parent company, is a monopoly and how 5 out of the 10 biggest companies are now Internet or computer companies.

How do you find links to boost Google rankings?

Over on Webmasterworld, GoodROI asked about qualifying link opportunities with directory submissions and pagerank being long dead – this is something that many of us in the SEO world have wrestle with. Members joined in with a variety of interesting tactics.

Jestermagic recommended a content marketing approach but caveated it with that it works best for already established sites:

“For the most part I don’t do much to chase down links. What I do is provide useful content that sometimes gets linked to by major media outlets (and others). This approach works for a well establish site that is over a decade old.

It doesn’t work for newer sites that I have which don’t have the backlinks.”

EditoralGuy chimed in about leveraging online PR for link acquisition

“I suspect that public relations is more effective than trolling for links, assuming that you have the type of content that people want to cite as additional resources for whatever they’re writing about.”

On this front, Iamlost included thoughts on his homegrown onlinePR approach

“I also did outreach to niche journalists, initially local (in a great many localities but individually local) whenever there was a news story I could piggyback on. Journalists collect resources, I collect journalists.”

Iamlost also mentioned leveraging third parties to host content, link, and send referral traffic

“I only place 10-15% of slideshows and videos on third parties, i.e. SlideShare, YouTube.”

Can a single backlink affect an entire site?

This question from Halaspike, is definitely one many of us ask ourselves when trying to correlate our linkbuilding efforts to our traffic!

Keyplyr mentions the domain authority factor that can be affected by the links you’re getting

“Backlink juice is a page-by-page type of thing, but if the link if from an authoritative source, there *could* be a Trust factor benefit applied to the site.

On the down side, if the link is from a bad-neighborhood, there *could* be a negative impact to the site.”

Buckworks comments that its theoretically possible but don’t hold your breath

“It can’t be assumed that a link from “a very high quality website” will automatically confer a lot of SEO benefits. There will be some, of course, but the effects might vary a lot depending on what page the link is on. Even on an authoritative site, not every page is a strong page, SEO-wise, so not every link will be a strong one.”

Google talks about its latest search quality improvements

Both Google and Facebook are racing to figure out how to combat offensive and false in the midst of recent criticisms. Engine comments that many of the items mentioned are things that are already known in the SEO community, such as domain authority but Google will begin adding flags to featured rich snippets and user feedback mechanisms for autocomplete and featured rich snippets.

It will be interesting to watch how these changes affect opinion pieces and new publishers, as well as how Google will combat adversarial attempts to manipulate new feedback mechanisms.

Google PR Replacement

As measuring the value of acquired links has become increasingly challenging in recent years, member wygk looks for an alternative. Members state that there is no great alternative but suggest several subscription-based alternatives to provide some rough guidance, including Majestic Flowmetrics and Moz Domain Authority.

The post Evaluating link quality, Google Combats Fake News & Seismic Shift In Top Companies – Weekly Forum Update appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

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Tech CEO Takes on Coffee, $325k Raised, $17k in GMV in Jan 2017 Helping 750 Buyers Find Their Coffee with Crema.co CEO Tyler Tate

http://nathanlatka.com/thetop644/

In Episode #644, Nathan interviews Tyler Tate. He’s the CEO of Crema.co, the coffee marketplace. Previously, he co-founded TwigKit, which is an enterprise search software and was the first design lead at Nutshell, which is a SaaS CRM platform. In each case, he used product strategy and design thinking to play its part in envisioning, designing and building products from the ground up. He’s also co-authored the book called Designing the Search Experience which Morgan Kaufmann published in 2013. He’s spoken at numerous conferences. While at TwigKit, he consulted for organizations such as The Financial Times, Thomson-Reuters, Qualcomm, Vodafone, ITV, Rolls-Royce, BASF and Gemalto, helping them design search-driven applications. He’s originally from Alabama, went to University of Kentucky, and spent 7 years in UK. He’s also lived in Seattle and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Tyler prefers reading blogs at the moment
  • What CEO do you follow? – Michael Dubin
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Tyler wished he realized earlier how important a network is

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Tyler to the show
  • 02:41 – In TwigKit, Tyler was selling an expensive software product to large companies
  • 03:00 – Tyler learned that he’d rather do something that is more marketing-driven than sales-driven—something that is more consumer-driven than enterprise
  • 03:14 – Tyler’s realization in switching to a coffee company from a SaaS business
  • 03:28 – At Nutshell, Tyler was the first design hire
    • 03:33 – Nutshell has 3 founders and a CTO
    • 03:53 – Tyler, together with the whole team, was able to build something from the ground up
    • 04:01 – Tyler had some equity in the business
  • 04:38 – Tyler had put in $15K to Crema
  • 05:05 – Tyler sold his equities back to TwigKit and Nutshell
  • 06:03 – Tyler started working with Crema early 2015
    • 06:08 – Tyler did a Kickstarter campaign and made $25K
    • 06:19 – Tyler closed and had an Angel round
    • 06:25 – A total of $325K was raised and $150K came from 500 startups
    • 06:48 – 500 startups had a deal of $150K for 6% which is a standard deal
  • 07:21 – Crema is a marketplace for coffee drinkers to subscribe to roast-to-order beans
    • 07:35 – Crema has a platform fee on every order
    • 07:43 – When you buy $18 worth of coffee, Crema takes a $9 platform fee and the other $9 goes to the roaster
    • 07:58 – The price that you pay is almost similar to retail price and the roaster price is above their typical wholesale price
    • 08:15 – The total price includes shipping and other fees
    • 09:00 – $9 is a flat fee no matter the order size
    • 09:46 – Crema’s concept is a single-origin emphasis
    • 10:12 – Crema does the co-production for the roasters
    • 10:24 – Crema has a storytelling team that write journalistic write-ups for their website
  • 10:43 – Team size
  • 11:06 – Crema currently has 15 roasters
    • 11:11 – With a total of 60 types of coffee beans
  • 11:27 – Crema had 750 customers in January 2017
    • 11:30 – Generated $17K on the platform
  • 11:44 – Crema’s growth is 28% month over month
    • 11:48 – “We’re targeting something like 10x growth”
    • 12:07 – Crema’s growth metric is based on GMV and revenue
  • 13:55 – Average cart value is $17 for a typical purchase
  • 14:08 – Each box of coffee is shipped individually
  • 14:43 – A customer spends an average of $23 a month on the website
  • 15:05 – Crema started in Kickstarter in October
    • 15:13 – Crema has been generating organic traffic since then
  • 15:48 – Crema has spent $5K for Facebook paid ads
    • 16:06 – CAC is around $20-25 to convert website visitors to subscribers
  • 17:02 – Crema ran surveys about people’s coffee drinking preferences
  • 17:29 – Crema had sample packs for new customers allowing them to try 4 different types of coffee
  • 20:15 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Shifting from B2B to B2C is a breeze when you really know who you want to target.
  2. Great storytelling can engage consumers and connect them to the product.
  3. Do not hesitate to meet people, move around, and build a network for yourself.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

The post Tech CEO Takes on Coffee, $325k Raised, $17k in GMV in Jan 2017 Helping 750 Buyers Find Their Coffee with Crema.co CEO Tyler Tate appeared first on Nathan Latka.

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WeFarm Helps 140k Off-Grid Farmers Learn Faster, $1.7M Raised, 90% Still Active After 3 Months with CEO Kenny Ewan

http://nathanlatka.com/thetop645/

In Episode #645, Nathan interviews Kenny Ewan. He is in charge of the overall strategic direction for WeFarm where he oversees the day-to-day activities of the business. After graduating, he spent 7 years in Peru running an international NGO, specializing in work with indigenous communities. Kenny played the lead role in developing WeFarm, before launching it as a startup in 2015.

Subscribe to show on iTunes:

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Subscribe to show on Google Play:

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iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, How to Subscribe

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Chaos Monkeys
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I’m happy to let him make mistakes”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Kenny to the show
  • 01:49 – WeFarm is a growth focus model
  • 02:29 – WeFarm offers their services to farmers
    • 02:37 – WeFarm leads farmers to the sellers and WeFarm will take a small transaction commission
  • 03:00 – WeFarm offers information in the space
    • 03:08 – A farmer in Kenya who has no internet access can ask WeFarm a question, through SMS, for free
    • 03:30 – 10-15 people in WeFarm’s network will try to answer the question
    • 03:45 – The people who answer want to share their knowledge about farming
  • 04:12 – WeFarm has generated revenue, but they’re still on pre-profit
  • 04:20 – WeFarm just closed a seed round for $1.7M
  • 04:27 – WeFarm started as an Impact project for Google and they won
    • 04:36 – They used the prize as capital
    • 04:42 – The prize was £500K
  • 05:04 – Team size is 20 and is still growing; they’re around the globe
  • 05:41 – WeFarm uses radio to connect with more farmers
    • 05:51 – WeFarm partnered with radio stations and invited farmers on
    • 06:00 – 4-5K people were joining WeFarm in just an hour
    • 06:12 – WeFarm also partners with businesses where farmers buy
  • 06:45 – WeFarm currently has 140K farmers on their platform
  • 06:55 – WeFarm measures activity by the number of users who actively contribute every month
  • 07:55 – WeFarm is also available online
  • 08:15 – WeFarm has a super active marketplace
  • 08:32 – WeFarm doesn’t incentivize people who answer inquiries, just like Quora
  • 08:50 – WeFarm’s roadmap this year
  • 09:00 – WeFarm has 20 people
  • 09:30 – WeFarm already has a couple of commercial contacts with a major retailer in UK
    • 09:48 – “We have validated our revenue sources”
  • 10:00 – 2017 target revenue is around $50K
  • 11:30 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. A business does NOT always have to be revenue focused; helping people can be a goal in and of itself.
  2. We have a responsibility to help guide those who need it and access those who still do not have the internet.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but be sure to learn from them.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

The post WeFarm Helps 140k Off-Grid Farmers Learn Faster, $1.7M Raised, 90% Still Active After 3 Months with CEO Kenny Ewan appeared first on Nathan Latka.

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Value of a #1 Google Ranking Down 37% in Two Years?

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/04/26/google-ranking-click-through-rate

SEO is hard, y’all.

It can take a while to start working, and then, once you get used to seeing double-digit growth in organic traffic year over year – suddenly you hit the dreaded plateau. It’s harder and harder to make serious gains.

seo growth

WordStream’s traffic growth since 2009

See how the slope of growth is less steep toward the end?

I remember the days where there were lots of spammy tricks you could use to get mediocre content to rank. (Not that I myself would ever create mediocre content. Nope. No way.) That’s not so easy anymore – in part because Google’s algorithms have gotten a lot smarter, and in part because the competition is simply greater. There are more sites and businesses, but the first page of results hasn’t gotten bigger. Not that it would matter if it did – few people scroll to the bottom or click to page 2.

second page of google results

Recently, doing my SEO reporting, I’ve noticed a few cases where a page on our site has seen a dip in organic traffic. However, when I check to see if we’ve lost our ranking, we’re still on the first page, or even ranking at #1. So what gives?

I suspected that changes to the Google SERP, such as the introduction of fancy new SERP features, were lowering our organic click-through rate (CTR), so I did a little digging to find out what exactly was going on.

A note on study methodology

For this study, we looked at 24 keywords (from our own site) where we’ve maintained the same or very close to the same ranking for about two years (between May 2015 and April 2017) according to Search Console data. In most cases the keyword maintained a #1 ranking, but for some keywords the average ranking for the period is reported as 1.1 or 1.2 due to some ranking flux. Results were not filtered by device or country.

I would characterize the majority of these keywords as informational. Only one of them is clearly commercial (“ppc software”) and one is potentially branded or navigational (“free keyword tool” is ambiguous, since it’s both the name of our tool and a generic phrase). More on what these keyword categories mean here.

And thanks to my smarty-pants colleagues Meg Lister and Josh Brackett, who are approximately 9 million times better at Excel and statistics than me, for helping me analyze this data, and to our new designer Kate Lindsay for pretty-ing up the graphs.

The upshot: Median CTR is down by 37%

Looking at all 24 queries on our list, we had an average position change of -0.1% (not significant) and an average CTR change of -28% (a median change of -37%).

drop in ctr for number one google ranking

CTR only went up for three keywords in the set (by 3%, 4%, and 37%). For all the others, CTR went down. The biggest single change was a drop in CTR of -79%.

It’s important to note that I didn’t cherry-pick keywords to fit a narrative. These were the first 24 keywords I found where our ranking hadn’t changed significantly in two years.

How has organic impression volume changed?

Impressions for this keyword set were up overall (by a hefty 63%) – however, due to the fall in CTR, we weren’t able to capitalize on most of those impressions to drive growth. Clicks only increased by 21% in the same time period.

google organic impression share

Bummer.

How do Featured Snippets affect CTR?

google organic ctr with featured snippet

Of the 24 keywords, there were 17 queries where we own the featured snippet. For these keywords there was an average position change of 0% and a median CTR change of -39%. That means even with the coveted Featured Snippet, organic CTR for a #1 ranking is lower in 2017 than it was in 2015.

And it’s not because we’re competing with more ads – 16 of these keywords have no ads on the SERP at all.

ctr for keywords with no featured snippet

For keywords without a featured snippet (6 of the 24), median CTR change was only -32%. This suggests that the featured snippet is actually associated with a decrease in CTR(?!)

This would make sense for simple question-type keywords that can be answered right on the SERP, like “how tall was Abraham Lincoln,” “when is the Super Bowl” etc. See also the recent kerfuffle over Celebrity Net Worth – a website that has taken a major hit due to Google’s Featured Snippets making it largely unnecessary to click through to discover what a celebrity is worth.

featured snippet controversy

This is why I think it’s so important to answer COMPLEX questions if you want to drive value from Featured Snippets.

But most of the keywords I looked at weren’t simple questions, or phrased as questions at all. So there’s actually no reason to assume that people were looking for a quick answer. For example, two of the keywords were “great marketing ideas” and “keyword strategy.” To me it’s pretty clear that the intent with these is relatively deep; they’re looking for multiple ideas or a complex strategy, not just a definition.

So why has organic CTR for a #1 ranking fallen?

Here’s the tricky part: Why is this happening? It’s not immediately obvious.

Are we losing clicks to ads?

It would be easy to assume that organic CTR has fallen because Google has increasingly moved to monetize the SERP – for example, just last year Google increased the number of top ads from three to four (while simultaneously removing the right-rail ads).

google serp changes ctr

Old enough to remember when there were ads there

However, that change has minimal impact on this keyword set, since only four of the 24 keywords we looked at were triggering ads at all, and of those four, only one triggered four top ads. Two of the keywords triggered just one top ad, and one triggered no top ad but a panel of sponsored results on the right (on desktop).

Incidentally, the keyword that now triggers four ads showed exactly the median drop in CTR (-32%). It wasn’t an outlier in terms of losing clicks to ads.

Long story short, ads are definitely not the whole story here.

What about other SERP features?

There were a few cases where the keyword triggered a Featured Snippet but the Featured Snippet wasn’t ours (even though we had the #1 ranking). The Featured Snippet was introduced in 2015 and the prevalence of the feature increased a few times during 2016 (thanks to Dr. Pete for confirming). According to current MozCast data, it now appears on about 15% of queries.

mozcast serp features

10 of the keywords also triggered a “People also ask” feature (Related Questions), like the below.

related questions feature google

In a different industry, we might have seen a lot more features in the results – images, videos, knowledge panel, local packs, card-style carousels at the top, etc. That wasn’t the case in this particular keyword set.

Now, Moz recently published some fascinating data (in collaboration with Jumpshot) that reveals a full third of searches result in no clicks at all. People do a Google search and then click nothing. Says Rand Fishkin:

If we look at all search queries (not just distinct ones), those numbers shift to a straight 60%/40% split. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that over time, we get closer and closer to Google solving half of search queries without a click. 

In other words, Rand predicts that CTR will continue to fall even for #1 rankings as Google releases features that make clicking any result unnecessary.

Is this a mobile problem?

One possibility for the drop in CTR is that a greater percentage of our site traffic is mobile now than it was 2 years ago – mobile devices account for about 20% of traffic now, compared to 13% in May 2015.

Here’s the May 2015 breakdown:

traffic breakdown by device

And here’s March 2017:

percentage of mobile traffic

(As mentioned, I didn’t break the above click-through rate data out by device; I download reports from Search Console monthly, but not device reports, and at this point I can’t go back and get that data from 2015.)

On mobile, organic CTR looks a little different than it does on desktop. Again, according to Moz/Jumpshot data, organic CTR is lower on mobile devices than on desktop – Rand says:

We’ve always suspected CTR on mobile is lower than on desktop, and now it’s confirmed. For mobile devices, 40.9% of Google searches result in an organic click, 2% in a paid click, and 57.1% in no click at all. For desktop devices, 62.2% of Google searches result in an organic click, 2.8% in a paid click, and 35% in no click.

google search clicks on mobile devices

So well more than half of mobile searches don’t result in clicks.

Here’s another source – according to Advanced Web Ranking, “ranking #1 in Google has a 23.5% mobile click-through rate, down from 28.6% in 2015.”

That means it’s not just the increase in mobile search share, but that CTR’s are falling across all devices.

None of these explanations (more and larger ads, other organic features, or shifts in mobile usage/behavior) fully explain the dip in organic CTR that we’re seeing, but it could be a combination of these changes along with other, smaller factors. Heck, maybe people are just more distracted than they were two years ago, so we’re seeing a higher incidence of people doing a Google search and then dropping the task to watch a squirrel out the window…

One more caveat…

This was our own, wordstream.com account data so we’re only looking at one vertical: marketing. The results may be very different for different industries. I can actually imagine the average CTR falling much more for industries that do less content marketing than we do, meaning more of their keywords are going to be commercial vs. informational.

How to combat falling organic CTR’s?

Feeling dispirited? Me too, honestly, but your focus shouldn’t change too much:

  • Keep working to increase your organic CTR’s by aiming to meet the searcher’s true intent with exceptionally high-quality content, and by writing headlines and meta descriptions that make the value you’re offering crystal-clear upfront.
  • Scale your content marketing so you have more opportunities to rank. Consider publishing more off-topic content that reaches a wider audience and increases your brand affinity (then use remarketing to convert more of those visitors).
  • Invest in social promotion, email marketing, PPC and other channels that can offset any losses on the organic SERP.

TL;DR

In short, though our data set was limited:

  • This study suggests that a #1 ranking on Google is 37% less valuable, at least in terms of click-through rate, than it was just two years ago. That means you can’t take full advantage of gains in impressions.
  • Featured Snippets are associated with a bigger decrease in CTR than SERPs without a Featured Snippet – even just looking at keywords where we own the Feature Snippet. Statistical significance on this data point is 99%.

We were surprised, to say the least.

What do you think? Have you seen similar changes in your industry?

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