OK, so your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is doing pretty well and you’re on Google’s front page, but what position are you in and does it really matter anyway?
I recently stumbled upon a blog publishing figures that, it claimed, were the results of Google’s research into users’ “click patterns” on the result sets derived from 20,000,000 search queries. Setting aside the fact that many search engines handle more search queries than this per day, so it’s a comparatively small sample in real terms, it’s still worth taking a look even if simply because it’s the only set of figures we have available and any indication is worthwhile!
The figures (below) show that, in the sample, more than 40% of people click on the first result that Google offers them.
So if there are 1,000 searches per month for a keyword or key-phrase that you are targeting, these figures suggest that on average you will get 422 clicks if you are in position 1 on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) but a much lower 119 clicks if you are in position 2, and by position 5 barely one tenth of the click-throughs in position 1! Notice too the dramatic drop in click-throughs between positions 10 and 11, i.e. the first result page versus the second.
Take a look at the numbers below to help you understand how important search engine optimisation (SEO) is to your business:
|SERPS Position||Percentage Click Through|
So it’s clear enough that you want to move yourself as far up the SERPS as you possibly can, ideally into the first position. That much is definitely true.
But as always raw statistics can be misleading if you don’t understand how and where they were created. For example, the ratio of click-throughs to SERPS positions could vary with:
- Geographic location in which sample was taken;
- Time of day at which sample was taken;
- Day of week on which sample was taken;
- Niche in which the sample was taken (if any);
- Niche in which the website actually sits;
- Number of keywords in search string;
The ratios may also vary between different search engines, but in this case we know they all came from Google so at least that’s a constant. But did you realise that Google naturally tends to bias click-troughs towards Position 1? Take a look at Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button sometime, that you can click as an alternative to “Google Search”, and then consider that this takes you straight to the top-ranking result without even displaying the others.
But the figures are still highly relevant because most of our own UK-based websites, and those of our UK-based clients, derive around three quarters of their search-engine traffic from Google with Yahoo and MSN/Live/Bing (or whatever MS are calling it by the time you read this!) having a roughly equal share of what remains.
Note too that even if you can’t quite make the first position on Google, perhaps only number 2 or 3, there are still things that you can do with your webpage title & description to influence your click-though rate, and if you do it well and your competitors above you don’t, you may still get more click-throughs than them.
And to get a sense of perspective, even if you’re only in 20th place with a lowly 0.31% of the traffic, if the search volume is 1,000,000 searches per month then those 3,100 clicks you’ll get will still be worth having (although there’s no denying that 400,000+ would be better still).
Above all though do bear in mind that getting people to visit your website is only part of the story, albeit a very important part, because if they go there and you then fail to either turn them into customers or at least capture their details so you can build a relationship and turn them into customers later …your efforts in getting a great search-engine ranking will have been substantially wasted.
But it doesn’t matter how well your website can convert visitors into customers if nobody goes there in the first place! So you need traffic! And one of the bays ways to get that traffic is through good SEO. If you are targeting a specific geographic area, then what you need is well-aimed search engine local optimisation.
So now you know exactly how important SEO is to your business, click the appropriate link below and let us help you get more visitors to your website:
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