Desktop vs. Mobile CTR: The Organic Way

June 16th, 2015 / Aidan Johnson

With Google’s new mobile-friendly updates underway, it is time to investigate the Click Through Rate (CTR) for mobile devices versus desktops.

With more and more people using mobile devices to perform searches, a brief overview of the CTR habits of this growing number of mobile users is useful information to know. After all, it can help you develop your mobile and desktop strategies.

Desktop vs Mobile


There are, as people are increasingly becoming more aware of, large differences between mobile and desktop SEO. The new Google mobile-friendly update has seen this difference heightened even more. More and more people are using mobile devices, so CTR and SEO for mobile devices are proving to be an increasingly important part of business strategies.

With differences between searches on desktops (article coming soon), how does CTR get impacted on in this digital age? It simply isn’t enough to rely on desktop SEO tactics any more, unless you have a desire to get overwhelmed by hordes of your competitors.

So here is a brief list of some notable differences between desktop and mobile CTR that you should be made aware of. Please be aware that this is for organic search terms only – and it is always important to remember that CTR does vary between industries almost as much as between devices.

Desktop CTR
Mobile CTR

1. CTR for first search result: as if you needed any additional data for this, ranking first place in both desktops and mobile devices scored exceptionally well for CTR. Desktops had an impressive CTR of 19%, but that was utterly blown away by the mobile CTR of 27%.

2. CTR in subsequent search results: Although there was a drop off from the first hit, the CTR for desktops was 11.4%, which was followed by a steady but relatively gentle decrease down from there (with the third result being 7.7%, then 5.2%, and so on).

Mobile CTR was much, much harsher – with a plummet from 27% at first place to 9.2% at second place. It went down again by another third for the third result (3.9%), before valiantly rising to 6.7% for the fourth result. After that, it tapers off into ever decreasing numbers.


The main reason is that people who use mobile devices for searches are normally looking for quick responses. If you’re on the street, looking for that comic book shop, or deciding what movie ticket to buy, you don’t really want to be scrolling through heaps of irrelevant information.

Another contributing factor could be to do with the size of the screen: desktops, being larger, allow us to read through the different links and assess which seems to answer our question. For a mobile SERP, there tends to be much less space, making us as consumers more quick to jump onto the first couple of links rather than explore at a leisurely pace.

In the mobile device “aberration” (where the third spot is below the fourth spot by a noticeable margin), it turns out that on Google mobile searches, there is often an image after either the second or third item. That natural break is enough to score additional clicks for the search result directly underneath.


First of all – work on your website and make sure your content is spectacular. As mentioned in a previous blog, your content must be truly awe inspiring – inspiring enough to draw your potential customers in by the dozen.

Secondly, it may be worthwhile going after long-tail keywords, since that can assist you in rising up the top of your particular search. Short-tail searches tend to be more common for mobile devices, when people are trying to be quick, whereas long tail search terms tend to be more desktop-orientated.

Finally, try out Predikkta – with our algorithms and expertise in improving CTR, we can definitely make your ad or search engine result be more attractive to potential customers, increasing your CTR.


With Google’s new mobile-friendly updates underway, we investigate the Click Through Rate (CTR) for searches conducted on mobile devices versus desktops.

- Posted by

*Predikkta has sourced several external independent global tools to analyze websites.These tools do not reflect on occasion the internal website analytics, but are recognised global tools and provide accurate comparative results for measurement against competitors.

**The views in this article are those of the author