“Second place is the first loser.”
I remember seeing that quote on a T-shirt during the No Fear clothing craze of the mid-1990s. In the case of Google’s organic search results, it may seem like an overly pessimistic statement at first. Appearing second in the organic rankings is still useful, isn’t it?
Well, as some recent studies have revealed, second place isn’t as hot as we once thought. In fact, finishing first in organic search results may be three times as important.
As a study from Optify shows, it appears on the surface that any of the top three spots are profitable and that just “making the podium” is all that matters, as the top three receive 58.4 per cent of all clicks from Google searchers. But a closer look reveals the truth: 36.4 per cent of the clicks go to number one, 12.5 per cent to number two and 9.5 per cent to number three. So the top spot is worth just under triple what the second spot is worth.
Such a result may not seem Earth-shattering at first. First place is most profitable; surprise, surprise. But the gap between first and second is meaningful. An extra push in your SEO efforts, be it through outsourcing or time spent, could theoretically push you from second to first and triple your traffic.
Getting to number one is easier said than done. Luckily, another component of Optify’s study provides a reason for optimism: the long tail of search. Head terms – usually 2 to 3 words in length – still have the higher click-through rate for the number-one position at 32 per cent compared to 25 per cent for long tail. However, the overall click-through rate (CTR) for all of Page 1 on Google for the long tail is 9 per cent, almost double the number for head terms (4.6 per cent).
So, we can see that finishing first in Google results is massively important for generating traffic. However, since doing so requires so much time and capital, it’s nice to know there’s an alternative route to success in the long tail.
Make sure you finish first – or, if you don’t, that you think outside the box when you select your keywords!
About Writing Web Words Inc
In today’s digital world, the ranking of your business or service in Google’s organic search results is critical to your success. Toronto-based expert web writer Ray Litvak understands the art & science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and places the right words in the right places in your website to increase your rankings.
Many of Ray’s clients consistently rank on Google’s first page of search results and have grown their business as a result. You can do it too – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Discover how greater exposure on Google can drive more traffic, increase leads and grow profit for your business.
Call Ray at 416-226-8676 for a free assessment of your specific needs today.