My website ranks #1 in our Top Organic Keywords, however we have a CTR of less than 2%. Why?
My website already ranks #1 in the top 10 organic search keywords.
We are a small eCommerce site that sells western and original exotic skin boots to the Hispanic market. Our website is primarily in Spanish, but we also have a translated version to English.
But we only get less than 2% in Click Through Rate (CTR), based on data from Google Search Console. We have tried multiple version of the Headline as well as the Metatag description, but the numbers are basically the same.
According to some reports, the #1 position should be getting like 30% to 40% CTRs. Which is dismal when compared with the 1.8% that we are getting.
Please, could someone provide feedback on why we getting such a low percentage of CTR on our #1 ranked keywords?
I would appreciate your thoughts and advice.
Are your competitors running any ads for those keywords that you are ranking #1?
Yes, they are. They promote heavily on Google Shopping Ads (PLA) as well as Google Search Ads.
They are taking up the premium "real estate" space by running ads.
Especially if the ads are on direct buying intent keywords. Customers already are looking to purchase the product so they are probably clicking on the first ads.
Which could be one of the reasons for a low CTR despite ranking #1. IMO.
Then, what can I do? Do I have to pay to Google to appear in the top search despite being #1 in organic results
What do you mean despite? It's not either or
Do you think you can dominate without ads?
Even Apple runs ads.
You can be perfectly successful without ads but don't make the mistake that they aren't worthwhile.
We also pay Ads, but we can't afford to pay the number one position. The pricing on Google has skyrocketed and my question is what is the right balance between organic and paid. We thought that being in the #1 position in SEO plus some ads would be enough. But Google still favors the highest bidder.
Click Through Rate (CTR) is not a reliable metric IMO. Looks good on paper for sure but I care a hell of a lot more about bounce rate, avg session duration and pages visited when it comes to user behaviour. Do me a favor and put search console aside unless feeding sitemaps after updates and use Google Analytics (GA) from here on out. Disregard if you're already doing this or move the post to a Pay Per Click (PPC) sub.
The Organic traffic that we get from these keywords is very good and has the highest conversion rates. The problem is that we can't grow more organic traffic if we already rank in # 1
CTR and conversion rates truly are PPC terms IMO, I don't use these metrics at all when sending reports to clients or for assessments. I loathe Google ads, remember that. I would like to see your numbers for bounce, top pages and avg. Session duration.
I hope you can see the real value in GA, there is now GA4 out but I haven't seen any benefit to having it on my test sites. Soon Google will offer SEO benefit for GA4, you heard it first here. Perhaps I'll do a post before or after the Google update that favours GA4.
Well, the organic traffic is also the best in terms of bounce rate (less than 40%) and the average session duration (almost 6 minutes). We only see Google Analytics, but my question is how do I get more organic traffic
Find your top performing pages using GA by page visits. Focus on these pages now and run each URL through web.dev which measures the performance on the URLs. You will see a variety of issues, correct as many as possible and you will see improvement in organic rankings. After the most active pages are complete, focus on the ones with least visits. Once completed (which depending on site size may take a while) you will be untouchable. This is an example of
r/TechSEO which I specialize in. Some other SEO users here and can give you tips for general SEO.
We actually have both GA and GA4, but as you mention I have not seen any value on GA4. I look forward to reading your post of GA4. Thanks a lot.
In that case, perhaps investing in PPC might be next step.
Good call. As a much as I loathe PPC this is what all of OPs competition will be doing!
We invest in PPC, but the competition is fierce and the price for the #1 paid position is skyrocketing. Does this mean that we have to pay all of our profits to Google
We invest in PPC, but the competition is fierce and the price for the #1 paid position is skyrocketing.
To what? Shoes, especially boots are generally high AOV and above average margins.
Does this mean that we have to pay all of our profits to Google?
Plenty of other options, you haven't cultivated advertising as much as competitors and now you're falling behind.
Facebook, IG, YouTube, Banners, Retargeting, Native ads, open network programmatic pre roll, dynamic display, etc.
Could be due to a ton of different reasons. You'll have to give us the exact keyword to get a better answer. From the top of my head, it could be a mix of the following:
• keywords might be extremely competitive so you get 5-6 text ads before any organic listings.
• 0-click searches have been increasing every year. Google has started providing users answers through featured snippets and FAQs so they don't even click on your organically-ranking page anymore.
• If it's an e-comm keyword, then Google could be providing G Shopping listings above your page on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
• You could be interpreting the Google Search Console (GSC) data incorrectly. Are you checking the Click Through Rate (CTR) for the exact query that ranks #1? A page can rank for many different keywords/queries, so your overall page CTR can look a lot lower.
• Googler-s might be getting their answer directly from the meta description, hence not clicking. (E.g: in the case of a definition).
• Your headline could need improving
• etc etc etc
You are right, the keywords are extremely competitive and there are a lot of paid ads that appear before our #1 ranked keywords.
Does this means that I have to pay more to Google to appear #1 on paid search even though I rank #1 in organic search?
I wouldn't rule the option out. Appearing on both the paid and organic space is better than just the organic one. However, you need to make sure it makes sense cost-wise (depending on your ROAS), and you should also rule out any other reasons for getting such a low CTR.
Are you sure that you rank 1st for your keyword, for the exact geographic region that you are targeting?
Use a tool like SEMrush, or a browser with incognito and a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to be 100% certain that you are indeed ranked 1st.
Yes, we have run multiple test using the VPN and we rank #1 for the USA. But the competitors pay a lot for appearing #1. We also run PPC campaigns but the price is staggering
Advertisements do affect CTR but I don't think to that degree. 1,8% is incredibly low. The first thing that comes to mind for me is your mobile version. Have you checked it to see if it works properly? We tend to overlook it still but the majority of traffic comes from mobile today.
Does your meta-title work or read good on mobile? Does your analytics tools load properly on mobile? Does your website work on mobile? And so on
Yes, 92% of our traffic is mobile and we have optimized for mobile. Our Headline and Metatags look even better for Mobile than for desktop. And the load time for mobile is very good. We have a Mobile first approach. But still the low CTR has been shoking for us.
Have you checked if your website is affected by a virus? Certain WordPress viruses only appear sometimes, or to new users. Our webhost used to have very poor security and our websites were constantly affected by WordPress viruses
We had to clean our websites regularly. I can't remember how we permanently fixed it (might've been switching webhost or installing a security plugin, forgot which, was a long time ago) but we had to clean our code regularly
Check and see if your index.php file has hidden PHP code in it. It's usually located at the top of the file. See if you can scroll the file horizontally as the code is sometimes hidden by using a lot of spaces (so all you see is blank, but then you scroll horizontally and you see all the code)
Alternatively see if you can find a WP plugin that can do some scanning for you. I can see how your website might appear on the search results but when users click on it they're taken to the virus-website (instead of yours) and so your CTR might appear very low
Viruses are common in WP unfortunately if you don't have a security plugin installed
If you're in organic #1 and aren't getting clicked, you should try the following:
• compare your organic vs paid CTR and see what the halo effect is when you have both active. View this cost in terms of incremental sales / ROAS, not as share of your initial marketing budget.
• keep testing headlines and meta desc
• compete for any available universal results on those keywords
• switch it up; keep winning the high volume but spend most of your energy on lower-funnel, higher-converting terms. That's probably what your competitors who can't rank are doing.
For more informartion, the domain is caballobronco.com and one of the keyword is: "Botas de Avestruz" which translates as "Ostrich Leather Boots"
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