The CTR of Google Ads vs organic results: where are your ideal customers clicking

Did you know there are approximately 40,000 Google Searches every second? When it comes to online marketing, two major options you might consider are paid search (via Google Ads) and organic search (SEO). Both are important in their own ways, but which one is better, and where are your customers clicking?

According to recent research, organic search results have a significantly higher click-through-rate (CTR) than paid search results. In fact, the average CTR for the first and second organic results on Google are 28.5 and 15.7% respectively. The average click-through-rate for paid search sits at around 2%.

Keep reading to discover exactly why you should be investing in both as part of your ideal marketing strategy.

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What is CTR?

Let's take a quick step back. CTR, or the click-through-rate, is the number of times your ad is clicked on divided by the number of impressions (times it's been seen). In other words, CTR tells you the percentage of people who actually click through, and indicates how likely people are to click on your ad in the first place.

It's a metric that advertisers use to benchmark the success of their campaigns and determine how much they should be spending on ads. The higher the CTR, generally the more successful the campaign - assuming your conversion rate is similarly healthy.

Click-Through-Rate and Google Ads

When running Google Ads, CTR is one of the key metrics the platform benchmarks. If you don't have conversion data (or how many people bought something from you/filled out a form/took another valuable action), your CTR should give you a good indication of whether users are connecting with your ads.

How do Google Ads work?

Google Ads work by allowing you to bid on certain keywords. When someone searches for one of those keywords, your ad will show up alongside the organic search results. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it a cost-effective way to reach potential customers.

There are several positions where your ad might show up on Google, including the top and bottom of the search results, and for physical businesses in Google Maps.

What impacts the CTR of Google Ads?

As we mentioned earlier, the CTR for Google Ads is significantly lower than organic results. So what's causing this difference?

Naturally, the physical position of the ad will play a role.

Google Ads typically have a lower CTR than organic because:

  • People are more likely to trust organic results
  • Ads can be seen as a distraction or an annoyance
  • Google has been optimising its search results for users, which means fewer ads are displayed immediately at the top of the page

The overall quality of your ads and the keywords you select and set up of your campaign (as well as bunch of other factors) will also play a role in this. A Google Ads professional will know how to maximise your click-through-rate on paid searches.

Click-Through-Rate and Organic Search Results

Organic search results refer to the unpaid search results that appear on a website as the result of someone using a search engine, such as Google. These results are determined by a series of factors, including the relevance of the content on the page, the authority of the website, and how often it appears in search results.

How to make your website appear organically

This is where SEO comes in. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results. This can be done through a variety of methods, including optimising the content on the website, developing backlinks from other websites, and improving the user experience of the site.

What Impacts CTR of Organic Results

The goal of SEO is to make your website appear as high as possible in the search results for your desired keywords.

The higher the position, the higher the click-through-rate. In fact, sites that rank in positions one to five have a CTR that's 67.60% higher than the average click-through-rate of all other sites in Google.

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Why invest in SEO and Google Ads?

Now that we've established the importance of organic search and CTR, you may be wondering which you should focus on for your business.

Ideally, the answer should be both because they work hand-in-hand when considering the overall uplift both bring when used together.

Google Ads are great for when you want to reach people who are actively searching for your product or service. And since you're only paying when someone clicks on your ad, it's a cost-effective way to connect with potential customers.

SEO is important because it plays a major role in your website ranking organically, thus showing up in front of customers consistently and for "free".

Keep in mind, ranking on page 1 of Google doesn't happen overnight. The process of SEO can be slow and incremental, but the long-term rewards are worth it. Google Ads provides an effective way to reach your audience, particularly in the interim of working on your search engine optimisation. The CTR for organic results for the 10th position sits at about 2.5%, so it's comparable to paid ads. Though they may not be as high as position one or two they're decidedly higher than if your website is ranking on page 2+ of Google.

How to get started with Google Ads and SEO

Both running Google Ads and performing a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign can be complex and time consuming, so it's important to partner with an agency that understands the ins and outs of both.

At Quantum, we have a team of experts who are dedicated to helping your business succeed online. We offer a variety of services that include SEO and Google Ads, and most importantly we know how to use them in conjunction with one another.

Get in touch for a complimentary consult today.

02 9037 0851