Search Engine Optimization

Click Probability Theory

or Clicks by Position

Click Probability is the statistical measure of clicks by position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Why are you interested? Well many people do wonder how many clicks they may get for a keyword that they want to rank for (1st, 2nd, etc. – doesn’t matter). The reality is, don’t spend too much time going down this worm-hole because there is no concrete answer – only relative possibilities. What I will do is answer a better question – or provide a better way to handle this enigma.

Before you go off and read as much as possible on the subject, consider that maybe trying to measure (potential) clicks is not the best way to go about this problem. Perhaps something more concrete works better, but you just have not considered it?

Spoiler! Reporting on SearchStation is based on your market footprint on a SERP compared to your competition. We think this is simply the best way to go about your SEO.

Nebulous Clicks

But first, if you just gotta read more…there are studies, white papers, and blogs out there that attempt to handle this issue and will just waste your time. If you are going to read; read this solid plain-vanilla statistical analysis over at Systrix

Now back to business; A SERP (page) statistically will get more than 1 click per visitor. So all those studies that don’t take this into account fail. Do you ALWAYS click on ONLY ONE listing on the SERP? I don’t. I sometimes click on every single listing because I want as many different options to choose from as possible. Sometime, yes, I click on only one, but rarely. Nonetheless, this is a problem. Lets call it the “Multiple Clicks Dilemma”.

Marketing Footprint

Some call this “reach” or “market reach”; how much area you can cover with your advertising. Radio uses this concept extensively, and search engine marketing can benefit from the same concept.

All major search engines today offer the potential to get more that just the #1 organic spot on the page and a #1 spot PPC ad. There is also the much coveted Business Card (or whatever Google will call it next month). That card can get far more clicks than the #1 organic position. AND if you can get an expanded listing, or a Places listing, giving you even more real estate on the page, your probability to get more clicks goes way up. Summing it up, you can get perhaps 50% of the real estate on the SERP.

So if I get 50% of the real estate on a SERP, now I only need to find the search volume of my keyword and et voilĂ ! (there you have it).

Not so fast cowboy!

Click Volume

Google reports click volume for keyword in Adwords (if your keyword even registers). Wordstream is another provider of click volume data. However, they never agree on the click volumes. Who can you believe? AND the volumes are not locally accurate even though Google has a “local” vs global number. Google has a trending tool illustrating the change they record in search volumes, proving that some keyword volumes change rapidly. Oh! Wait. What about the Multiple Clicks Dilemma. See the trap here? All your analysis is going to lead to wasting countless hours chasing a chimera, or you can settle for a solid comparison.

Comparable Competitiveness

The real reporting you are looking is a comparison against your competition, right? Wikipedia is not your competitor. If you know which keywords really perform for your business (high CPA – Cost Per Acquisition keywords – the type that lead to sales), then you only need to know if you out-perform your real competition with those keywords and by how much.

Reporting on SearchStation is based on your aggregate market footprint compared to your competition. Plain and simply the best way to go about your SEO – get SearchStation.