Click through rate curve A large study has been conducted into the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how to secure the best results.

Slingshot, the US SEO company who carried out the study, found that the results confirm what we already know. Advertisement will enjoy the greatest impact from SEO if it is located ahead of all other advertisers on the first page generated by a general keyword internet search. In contrast, a second-placed position for an advertisement was found to enjoy far fewer visits from passing search traffic.
The comparative figures from the Slingshot study are: 18.2% of respondents visiting the advertiser’s website (the ‘click through’ rate) as a result of the advertisement appearing before all others on the earliest (usually the first) search engine results page (SERP); a click through rate of 10.05% for the second-placed advertisement; and a click through rate of 7.22% for that in third place.

Although the declining click through rate between SERP position 1 and 3 follows a trajectory now somewhat familiar to those in the SEO field, the findings of the Slingshot research are perhaps significant in that the study, being based on over 170,000 internet visits, is one of the most comprehensive ever carried out.

Interestingly, some industry commentators have also pointed out that the percentages quoted in the study for click rate success might be based on an overly conservative interpretation of the data; and that the rates may be much higher in reality.