How we've fixed high search impressions, low clicks on GSC

Here's how to fix high impressions and low clicks through site-wide and page-wide recommendations that are quick and easy to implement.

High Google impressions, low clicks

Table of Contents

You’ve done it. You’ve managed to rank in Google’s top 10 results for your targeted keywords. Your hard work has finally paid off. But there’s a problem — only a very small amount of searchers are clicking on your website page.

High Google impressions and low clicks might be a nice problem to have, but you need to increase those clicks, or Google will remove you from the top ten.

Why should you listen to us?

Simply put, we've helped websites bridge the gap between their high impressions and low clicks.

We're Embarque, an SEO agency for online startups that specializes in scaling revenue growth through content for online startups, including SaaS, marketplaces and job boards. Check out the average clickthrough rate for one of our clients, CleanVoice, an AI podcasting tool. Their average CTR of 7.8% is significantly above any industry standard. Check out our AI SaaS SEO to find out how we've helped them grow their MRR by 300% through SEO.

Where can I find search impressions and clicks on Google Search Console?

You can find the Google Search Console (GSC) impressions and Clicks in the Performance report of your GSC account. Here are the steps to access it:

  1. Log in to your Google Search Console account.
  2. After logging in, you'll see an overview of your website's performance.
  3. Click on the 'Performance' tab on the left-hand side menu.
  4. In the 'Performance' report, you'll see a graph displaying four metrics: 'Total clicks', 'Total impressions', 'Average CTR', and 'Average position'.

What are impressions on Google Search Console?

'Total impressions' is the metric representing the number of times any URL from your site appeared in the search results.

An impression is counted each time your site's URL appears to a user in search results. However, this does not mean the user has read your page or post; only that your link has been shown to them.

Remember that an 'impression' in GSC does not mean a user has clicked on or read your page, only that your link appeared in the search results they viewed.

What are clicks on Google Search Console?

'Total clicks' in Google Search Console (GSC) refers to the number of times users have clicked on your website's URL from the search results. Each time a user performs this action, it is counted as one click. This metric is essential as it gives an insight into how often people visit your website after seeing it in the search results.

However, it is important to note that GSC only counts clicks that lead a user directly to your site. Redirects, site navigation, or other internal site clicks are not included in this count. Thus, the 'Total Clicks' offers a precise showcase of your site's direct appeal to users on search engine result pages (SERPs).

What is the average clickthrough rate on Google Search Console?

This is a metric that represents the percentage of users who clicked on your website after seeing it in the search results.

Formula: (Total Clicks / Total Impressions) * 100 = Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This metric is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of your SEO strategies, as a higher CTR typically indicates that your site’s title tags and meta descriptions are compelling and relevant to the searcher's query.

What’s a good clickthrough (CTR) rate

CTR is the rate at which the searchers click on your result after looking at it. On average, the first result on Google has a CTR of 31.7%, and in general, the 1st result gets clicked 10x more than the 10th result, and positions 7-10 roughly have the same organic CTR.

Below is a breakdown of the average CTR based on search position.

Source: Backlinko

As you can see, being in the first 10 results is not enough — unless the query gets thousands of monthly SEO visits. You need to be in the top 5 results in order to get a CTR of above 10%.

Even the first result is not capturing 100% of the clicks, and this is something that you need to take into account when doing your SEO strategy. Getting +10k search visits becomes especially impressive when you’re able to do this in a very saturated space, like marketing.

Caveat: In reality, your numbers may differ

It's crucial to note that these CTR metrics present averages across a wide range of industries and searches, and the figures for your specific website may vary. Factors such as industry, the type of query (informational, transactional, navigational), the relevance of your meta descriptions, and the overall trustworthiness of your site can all impact your actual CTR.

Comparing your CTRs with these benchmarks can provide insights, but remember, your ultimate goal should be to implement strategies that improve your own site's performance over time.

High impressions, low clicks? Here's how to bridge the gap

If you're experiencing high impressions but low clicks, these strategies can help bridge the gap:

Site-wide improvements

The most obvious solution to getting more clicks is to simply rank higher. Here are ways that you can do to achieve this.

  1. Add more depth to your content. For instance, you can add 500 more words that delve deeper into the target topic. By offering valuable insights and in-depth analysis, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
  2. Building backlinks around the topics you want to rank higher for. Backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites signal to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. By actively seeking backlinks related to your target topics, you can improve your website's overall visibility and authority.
  3. Publishing more content around the core topics. By consistently producing high-quality and informative content on these topics, you not only provide value to your audience but also demonstrate your expertise and authority in the field. This can lead to increased visibility and higher rankings in search results.
  4. Don't forget the power of internal linking. By strategically linking pages you want to rank higher for, you can help search engines understand the importance and relevance of those pages. Internal linking also enhances user experience by guiding visitors to related and relevant content on your website. By implementing a well-thought-out internal linking structure, you can improve your chances of ranking higher for your target keywords.
  5. Add context to your writing. Explicitly add your own point of view. It involves writing in a way that provides search engines with enough relevant information for them to understand the intent and purpose of your content. For instance, if you're writing about "apple" but fail to provide context, search engines might struggle to determine whether you're referring to the fruit or the technology company.

Page-level improvements

  1. Optimize your meta descriptions: Meta descriptions that are relevant and enticing can significantly improve your CTR.
  2. Make sure your titles demonstrate expertise and effort. For instance, if you want a review to rank higher, explicitly mention you've tried the product. For example: 'I tried X. Here's my review.'
  3. Use power words in your title: Words like "Free", "Best", "Instant", can make your title more attractive.
  4. Improve your page loading speed: If your page takes too long to load, users might click away.
  5. Ensure mobile-friendliness: With more people using mobile devices, ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.
  6. Use structured data: Rich snippets and other forms of structured data can make your results more enticing.
  7. Improve your website's design: A well-designed, professional-looking site can help improve user trust.
  8. Target the right keywords: Make sure your content is relevant to the keywords you're targeting.
  9. Provide High-Quality Content: Quality content satisfies user intent and can improve dwell time, indirectly affecting your CTR.
  10. Include schema markup. Schema markup describes what your content data is to Google. This helps them make your search results become more interactive. Schema markup makes your search results look more beautiful. It adds stars if you’re a reviewer, includes your recipe, if you’re a cooking blog, and even adds your table of contents to the search results! But only ⅓ of websites use schema markup. Implementing this can seriously give you an SEO boost by differentiating your search results from the rest, which will hopefully lead to more clicks.

What are factors that affect high impressions and low clicks?

There are various factors that can lead to a situation where a webpage gets high impressions but low clicks:

  1. Irrelevant Keywords: If the keywords used aren't relevant to the content, users may not click on the link despite the page appearing in search results.
  2. Your website ranks on the second page.  Most users don't bother to check the second page of search results, so if your website ranks on the second page, it may get high impressions but low clicks.
  3. Unappealing Meta Description: The meta description is what appears below the title in a search result. If it's not enticing enough, users may not click on the link even if your webpage has.
  4. You're not ranking for the right keyword. Google makes mistakes and may rank you for an irrelevant query. In that case, searchers won't click your page, because based on the meta tags, it just doesn't provide the answer they need.
  5. The search results have too many ads as top results.  If a user sees too many ads for a particular query, they may not bother to scroll down and click on the organic results. For instance, this query doesn't even have any organic search results above the fold!

6. The query may have a strong bias towards images, and sometimes they can dominate above-the-top results for a query. If your webpage doesn't have an image or if it's not optimized for images, you may get high impressions but low clicks.

7. The query doesn't lead to clicks. For example, when someone is looking for what something means, they may not click on any links because Google provides the answer right in the search results. This is especially true for simple definitions or calculations.

6. Lack of Call to Action: If your website doesn't have a clear call to action, users may not be inclined to click on it even if it appears in search results.

7. Lack of Featured Snippets: Featured snippets are short summaries of webpage content that appear above

8. Low-Quality Title Tags: The title tag is the first thing a user sees on a search result. If it's not compelling, users might not click on it.

9. Poor Website Reputation: If a website has a poor reputation, users may choose not to click on its results.

10. High Competition: If there are more authoritative or popular results ranking for the same keywords, users may click on those instead.

Is there any value if I'm getting high impressions and low clicks for relevant queries?

Yes, based on our experience, ranking high for relevant queries is an indication that Google is favoring you for the topics you want to rank for. Therefore, there's still value in ranking for these topics in terms of building authority.  

Having said that, if the clicks could be lucrative for you, it's worth focusing on increasing your clicks, instead of targeting other queries.

Impressions vs clicks

Growing both metrics is important for growth. Once you've garnered impressions, the next priority should be turning those into clicks. In this section, we'll provide some mental frameworks to help you understand the difference between these two concepts, and clarify each one's importance.

  1. Visibility vs engagement: Impressions represent the visibility of your content on search engine results pages (SERPs), reflecting how often it appears in searches. Clicks, on the other hand, indicate user engagement, showing how often users actually choose to interact with your content.
  2. Passive vs active: An impression is a passive metric; it simply counts the number of times your content is displayed. A click, however, is an active metric, demonstrating a deliberate action taken by the user.
  3. Quantity vs quality: Impressions provide a quantitative measure of your content's reach. Clicks can be viewed as a qualitative measure, as they suggest the content was compelling enough to prompt a user to explore further.
  4. Brand awareness vs conversion: High impressions can lead to increased brand awareness, even if users don't click on the content. Clicks, however, are often more closely tied to conversion rates, indicating a greater potential for user action or sales.
  5. Indirect vs direct interaction: Impressions indirectly interact with users by simply appearing on their screens. Clicks depict a direct interaction, where a user makes an active choice to engage with the content.
  6. Broad metric vs specific interest: Impressions give a broad metric of reach and potential visibility, whereas clicks indicate a specific interest in the content displayed.
  7. Not user-controlled vs user-controlled: Impressions can occur without user action or desire, whereas clicks are a deliberate, user-controlled action.
  8. Unfiltered exposure vs filtered engagement: Impressions represent unfiltered exposure, counting all displays of content regardless of user intent. Clicks represent more filtered engagement, linking specifically to user intent and interest.
  9. Initial exposure vs continued exploration: Impressions indicate initial exposure to content, while clicks suggest continued exploration of the content.
  10. Indication of page relevant: High impressions may not necessarily indicate high-quality content, whereas a higher number of clicks generally suggests more effective, appealing content.

High impressions, low clicks? Let us help!

A user experience and engagement rate. Doing this should help nalyzing your search clicks and impressions is a vital aspect of SEO. It allows you to understand how your website is performing and identify are tracking useras for improvement. If you notice that your website has high impressions but low clicks, it could be due to various reasons relating to the actual website page, your whole website, and the nature of the search engine results page.

Need help increasing your search clicks through SEO content? Our team of experts can analyze your website and provide recommendations on how to optimize it for higher click-through rates. Check out our case studies to see what we're capable of.

Not only does increasing your search clicks improve your website's traffic and visibility, but it also helps to attract potential customers and drive conversions

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