The importance of SEO and SERP Positioning
Now that you understand a little more about SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) and the elements involved with SEO, the next big questions is why is it important?
The higher you rank on the page the more clicks you will get to your website and at the end of the day, this is the main focus of all inbound marketing strategies, getting more people to your website.
Advanced Web Ranking ran a case study for May 2016 to find the current CTR (Click Through Rates) percentages on a search engine. They had a range of options but the below shows those percentages at the different positions on the first page and how much difference paid advertising made to those results.
The left side of the below table shows how many clicks that position received and the bottom shows what position they were on the page. Typically there are 10 spots per page. The last report I read showed that 95% of all traffic doesn't go past page 1 and most of those that do are usually SEO companies doing research.
Here is a quick summary of the results (red is without ads and blue is with ads) and if there were 10,000 searches a month how many would click through to your website depending on your position.
- 1st position, 27.9% and 21.18%
- 2nd position, 19.21% and 14.84%
- 3rd position, 13.03% and 10.66%
- 4th position, 9.24% and 7.96%
- 5th position, 6.79% and 6.20%
- 6th position, 5.14% and 4.82%
- 7th position, 3.95% and 3.80%
- 8th position, 3.11% and 3.04%
- 9th position, 2.55% and 2.48%
- 10th position, 2.08% and 1.96%
- 10,000 searches would equal 2,790 and 2,118 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 1,921 and 1,484 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 1,303 and 1,066 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 924 and 796 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 679 and 620 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 514 and 482 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 395 and 380 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 311 and 304 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 255 and 248 clicks
- 10,000 searches would equal 208 and 196 clicks
This shows that just over 60% of all clicks go to the top three spots and 76% for the top five. It also shows the big difference between first, second and third with nearly 10% between each one which can make a big difference to any business.
Making Dollars from Common Sense
Here comes the fun part, putting a dollar ($) value to these numbers to make them a little more real. First, we need to create a conversion rate (how many visitors to your website purchase or come into the store as a result of being on your website) and these will vary wildly between industry and websites so we will go for 5% as that's easy to work with.
Now we have the conversion rate and we know the web traffic numbers we need to know the average value of your service or product you sell. Again to make this easy we will assume you sell a training program for $99.00.
This is where the difference of your ranking really starts to show and how the difference of only one position can make a big difference.
The final price below is worked out by taking the number of visitors to your website, multiplying that by the conversion rate (5%) and then multiplying that by the average sales ($99). You can easily substitute your own numbers to gauge this. For the sake of ease, I have only calculated these totals using the red numbers.
- 1st position, (2,790 x 5%) x $99 = $13,810.50
- 2nd position, (1,921 x 5%) x $99 = $9,508.95
- 3rd position, (1,303 x 5%) x $99 = $6,449.85
- 4th position, ( 924 x 5%) x $99 = $4,573.80
- 5th position, ( 679 x 5%) x $99 = $3,361.05
- 6th position, ( 514 x 5%) x $99 = $2,544.30
- 7th position, ( 395 x 5%) x $99 = $1,955.25
- 8th position, ( 311 x 5%) x $99 = $1,539.45
- 9th position, ( 255 x 5%) x $99 = $1,262.25
- 10th position, (208 x 5%) x $99 = $1,029.6
Due to the curve in the graph above, it's the top 5 results you see the biggest differences from.
- 1st position, $13,810.50
- 2nd position, $9,508.95 - difference between 1st and 2nd is $4,301.05 in lost sales month
- 3rd position, $6,449.85 - difference between 2nd and 3rd is $3,059.10 in lost sales a month
- 4th position, $4,573.80 - difference between 3rd and 4th is $1,876.05 in lost sales a month
- 5th position, $3,361.05 - difference between 4th and 5th is $1.212.75 in lost sales a month
From position 5 down, the differences even out a lot more. I'm not sure about you but the biggest thing to me which stands out is not only how important your position makes to your bottom line but by outsourcing your SEO to a specialist, the ROI easily pays for itself the higher you rank. Now it is still an investment and you won't pay $1,000 a month to an SEO firm and you'll be in the top spot straight away. As we have explained before there are a lot of factors in Googles and other search engines algorithms that determine you position.