Wayfair SEO Case Study – CTR shows clicks going to paid

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

Google keeps getting bigger and seems to be taking a bigger piece of the pie with eCommerce giants in the retail marketplace.

Home retailer Wayfair keeps track of non-branded click curves, presented this interesting data on moz, and the data provides great insight into the volume changes at varied ranking positions triggered from recent Google changes over the last 12-24 months.

Per Wayfair, over the last two years, the total share of organic clicks on page one e-commerce SERPs has dropped 25% on desktop and 55% on mobile.

The SKINNY:  Paid ads are driving nearly the same percentage of clicks as organic results — a new landscape for the digital marketer to navigate.

It starts with a blended CTR change for page 1 within organic.  See the massive shift within Wayfair within both desktop and mobile from 2015 to 2017.

Ultimately desktop click through dropped 25% and mobile click through dropped 55%.  This was a huge impact to overall visibility for the Wayfair assortment due to the migration of clicks to the paid listings.

On desktop by search spot location, look at the massive degradation of CTR at spot 1 organic.

Similar story within the mobile channel.  Look at the CTR reduction in every ranking location, but interestingly is the increase of CTR at spot 10 (approximately 2.5%) shows it greater than every spot on page 1 (past spot 6).

So why is this happening?

Primary reason in this instance with Wayfair is the continued growth of Google Shopping and its impact to the overall share of keyword searches that present shopping ads.

Wayfair reports a 60% growth trend in keyword distribution via Google Shopping.  Defined as “share of voice“, this data supports the thesis that Google is serving shopping results more than ever before, therefore somewhat limiting SEO traffic potential in long tail search queries.

Look at the massive jump in Wayfair PLA delivery:

So what’s the takeaway?  If you are an eCommerce brand, maximizing the opportunity of Google Shopping should be an immediate focus.  Your brand should be scaling northward and it should be very significant.

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