Thursday, December 26, 2013

Click Through Rate (CTR) and Rankings For Attorney Search



A recent study by Catalyst Search Marketing has followed-up years of Click-Through-Rate (CTR) data to better reflect the recent changes in Google and how rankings compare to CTR. As you can see from the blue chart to the right from 2011, The average CTR for the #1 position in Google was disproportionately higher (36%) than the #2 position (12.5%), the #3 position (9.5%) and so forth. The basic message back in 2011 was it is great to be #1, ok to be #2, and then everything else.

Long Tail Search Improves Click-Through-Rates and Conversions for Attorneys

Attorney search has become VERY competitive over the past 5 years with a growing number of attorneys coming online meaning greater competition and higher costs per lead. The recent explosion in attorney PPC spending is a perfect illustration of this.

In response to the explosion in PPC costs for common attorney terms, more attorneys have turned to an active content strategy by building up a larger content net to be found through long-tail search. Since we know that client conversion rates are higher for long-tail searches and Google rewards this action through their recent Panda release, this only seemed logical. But now, the data may better support this…

The most recent study on CTR by Catalyst provides a new twist to this data since it now shows a trend of most distributed CTR to long-tail search results (unbranded) over branded search. What is interesting when comparing the red chart (2013) to the blue chart (2011), you will notice how being #1 in Google, although still important, is less important now than in 2011. Moreover, showing up in any of the top 3 spots for long-tail attorney search could strongly beneficial.

So What Does All This Mean?

Long-tail search, as an alternative to branded search may have much better Return On Investment (ROI) implications than it did two years ago. In short, if you still adhere to a strategy for narrow term results, you have a much higher cliff to fall from absent the #1 position than you do with a long-tail search strategy. What about the impacts on mobile search? What is absent from this data is the further analysis provided by mobile search which has a far narrower search results footprint. One could argue that the typical one-organic result typically displayed above the smart phone fold could help reverse this trend? Possibly. But right now, we have no further data to support or deny that.What we do have however is the increasing importance of the long-tail and attorney search results.

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