Study shows search terms with the very worst (and best) click-through rates

A new study uncovers a slew of search terms that aren't earning their fair share of clicks in the search engine results pages.

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Not all searches are created equal — when it comes to click-through rate (CTR), that is. A new study from Seige Media uncovers the top 42 keyword terms, along with their average CTRs. This exercise examined the top 50 keyword “stems” to find what terms helped spur clicks and, more importantly, what terms didn’t.

A variety of these terms with the worst click-through rates are geared toward knowledge graph answers like “translation,”  “population,” “definition” (which happen to be the number 1, 2 and 3 least-clicked terms across the board). That is to to be expected for many of these terms, as Google is trying to specifically answer questions directly.



Other searches with low CTR included terms that appear to fulfill the need for information in direction or review form. Terms like “restaurants” (46.20 percent CTR) and other local terms such as “flowers” (64.37 percent) saw click-through rates on the lower side. One term on this list that was surprising was “How To,” as queries with this term only saw a 52.89 percent CTR.

Other terms appear to leave searchers unsatisfied with just one click. Terms like “recipes,” “coupons,” and even “jokes” saw repeat clicks in the search engine results pages before finding an answer.

This data was derived from the average searches and average clicks data found in Ahref’s Keyword Explorer tool. The data was averaged out over the top 50 terms and clustered into these various keyword stems.

To see the full list of terms and average click-through rates, head on over to Siege Media.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Greg Finn
Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that provides digital marketing and web development. He is a co-host of Marketing O'Clock and has been in the digital marketing industry for nearly 20 years. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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