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Nearly half of ecommerce searches on Google drive no traffic

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New research has shown that almost half (48 percent) of all Google searches never result in a click-through to retail or other sites.

A new report released by Searchmetrics, which analysed clickstream data in the US for about one million typical e-commerce search queries, found that nearly a third (32 percent) of searches lead to organic clicks and 20 per cent trigger paid clicks through either search ads or product listing advertisements.

However, the lion’s share of searches do not generate any clicks, and therefore any traffic, to retail and other websites.

These findings are in line with those of retailers, who now report reduced site traffic volumes generated from organic searches than before. Searchmetrics’s analysis was part of a larger study covering the travel, healthcare and media sectors. 

SERP integrations

The study partly attributes the no-click activity to the users refining their questions and searching again. The primary reason for the inordinately high percentage of no-clicks, though, is  the increasing number of SERP integrations - Featured Snippets, Direct Answers, Knowledge Panels, People also Ask and Videos Carousels - included in the search results pages.

SERP integrations like Featured Snippets and Direct Answers provide the user with short, quick answers to their query, aggregated from relevant links and presented at the top of the results page. Since the question has already been answered, the user tends not to scroll down in search of more information or other solutions.

“It’s a threat as more retailers are reporting diminishing levels of organic traffic,” said Tyson Stockton, VP, Client Services, Searchmetrics, noting, however, that SERP integrations could also empower online merchants to boost brand awareness - “especially on top funnel terms or early stage queries in the buying cycle”. 

Websites, large and small, can directly respond to  searchers’ queries in a structured manner that is “easy for Google to integrate into SERP,” Stockton added.