Digital Marketing – Podcast Mini-Series – Episode 1 – Why CTR is more important than rankings.

In 2017, the team at Novi.Digital and I recorded a number of videos for YouTube. We’ve since taken this offline, as we felt that they didn’t accurately represent the brand. However, in light of this (relatively) new blog, I thought that it might be a good idea to collate these together into a podcast mini-series. Here are the titles:

  1. Why search rankings don’t matter when it comes to digital marketing
  2. Why data is important when it comes to digital marketing
  3. The importance of localisation for digital marketing
  4. How important is user experience (UX) to your digital marketing? 

Episodes 2, 3 and 4 will be released over the coming weeks.

Here’s the link for Episode 1:

Here’s the podcast

Here are the transcribed notes for Episode 1:

I’m Aaron Crewe from and I’m here to talk to you today about why rankings don’t matter.

In this example, we have the Ad, the Organic results section and further Ads. They’ve done this because of mobile, so that you can display it easily on the page, and that when you’re on a mobile it only in on the ads without scrolling (more revenue for Google). But what we’re here to talk to you about is why ranking and positions don’t necessarily equal more sales.

There’s a common misconception that being at ‘Number 1’ whether it’s on the Ads or the Organic Section will generate you more revenue, more enquiries, more profit and so on. In fact that’s not necessarily the case.

To pay to be at the top of the Ads costs a lot of money, and so that eats away at your margin, and thus makes it so it’s not necessarily profitable.

So what we want to focus on today is what we call Click-Through-Rate. So in order to get the Click-Through-Rate – You take the number of impressions and divide that by the number of clicks that you receive.

Being at ‘Number 1’ doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get clicks thus doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a high click-through-rate.

So why does Click-Through-Rate matter?

Click-Though-Rate matter because you want to maximise the opportunities to get more clicks for the people searching for your products or services.

So how do you do that?

You’ve got two opportunities – You’ve got a Title Tag and a Meta Description and of course the URL – so there’s actually three items that show. The Title Tag is the clickable part of the search result.

Within the search results, there are many many different websites – Wikipedia, eBay, Amazon – all filtering through in different ways, so that’s why I say that Click Through Rate matters more than Position.

In terms of Position lets say that:

  • Number 1 has a Click Through Rate of 10%.
  • Number 2 has a Click Through Rate of 7%
  • Number 3 has a Click Through Rate of 8% (so it’s actually higher than Position 2)

So why is this important?

As we try and optimise a website further up the results, which for us, isn’t our primary goal – It’s to actually to increase the CTR as the primary (then Conversion Rates as the secondary), we can see that actually incrementally it becomes more difficult (to achieve higher positions), it’s not the same as trying to increase from page 100 to page 50. It actually gets really challenging because of the fact that there are so many different factors.

So why does this matter?

Let’s say that you and your website is shown 10,000 times per month within the search results. Of those 10,000 times lets say that you get a Click-Through-Rate of 1%, (because you’re not always showing in the top positions). In many cases, you could be showing further down the results, even on page 2 or page 3 (which do get clicks, despite what many people think). It’s all a numbers game and maximising that Click Through Rate.

So for this example, your website is shown 10,000 times and you get a 1% Click Through Rate. That’s not very many considering that you had 10,000 opportunities. So for this example, let’s say that the Conversion Rate for your website is 1% .

You’d need 40,000 opportunities and it would take you 4 months before actually reaching a sale. So let’s say that we change the 1% to 5%, very quickly the number of visitors to your website improves.

We can see we still have the same amount of people searching and the same amount of impressions – we can’t change that.

We change which keywords, search queries and search terms that you try and target, but we can’t change the number of people searching on a monthly basis. So with this in mind the volume stays the same, the Click-Through-Rate Changes you get more visitors. Let’s say we also work on your Conversion Rate and we increase that to 5%. You can see we’ve gone from 1 enquiry to 25.

I hope that this has provided you with a useful insight into why CTR is a more beneficial metric to measure success compared with Rankings and Position.

This is backed up by this data :