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Does Ranking #2 With an Author Pic Get the Same CTR as Ranking #1?

In my own experience, I've found that a kick-ass author photo can increase your traffic as much as 35%. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-author-photos

Keep in mind, this is relative to the position you started in. So if previously your #2 ranking URL received a 10% CTR (click-through rate) then after optimizing you might see a 13% CTR, if you're lucky. While this is great, it's nothing like the bump in CTR you'll see if you move to the number #1 spot - where many SERPs see a CTR between 15-40%.

In the screenshot below, I took a snapshot of the SEO report in Google Analytics, using an account where an author profile shows up consistently in search results. Even with an author photo, there's a huge drop-off as you move lower down the positions.

So even with a great profile pic, you'll see far greater gains by moving up in rankings. (That said, it's possible an improved CTR over time can also help you move up in rankings. So get a good pic!)
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Azuil Barros's profile photoAlex Garrido's profile photoDimitar Dimitrov's profile photoCyrus Shepard's profile photo
6 comments
 
That actually surprises me. I would expect a result with photo would be very similar to #1 without a photo just for the curiosity factor alone.
 
+Cyrus Shepard, this is very interesting study but why the heck you locked this post?! I really want to share it with my SEO friends/followers here...
 
Thank you +Cyrus Shepard for this amazing research. Yet, I have to comment that author photo CTRs are greatly dependent on the niche/market. I am the webmaster of several websites and among one of them is a physical trainer, well, he is ranked number 4 in my city for his keyword but I know as a fact he gets 3 times more clicks because of his picture (he is shirtless). I am the webmaster of the number one spot as well (a personal local directory) and I am finding that nearly all traffic goes to my shirtless friend.
 
+Cyrus Shepard - Interesting stuff, I am a big fan of various mark ups as a way of increasing CTR

I do find though that it really varies from niche to niche as to the results you get.  The most impressive increase was in an insurance niche where the client was already #1 for a term which had around 5000 exact matches a month at the time

without hreview markup we got 1610 visits at #1 in March 2011 for the one term which is roughly what you would expect, from the link below you can see when in November we added hreview, the traffic for the key term climbed and by March 2012 we had 2,583 visits at #1 - an increase of 60.43%

http://www.returnondigital.com/hreview-main-term.jpg

across all organic traffic and deeper pages where the reviews were featured, we saw an increase of 87.97% year on year

http://www.returnondigital.com/hreview-all-organic.jpg

we've added hreview to sites in other niches and seen nothing like this type of increase!
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