In SEO and Internet Marketing, everyone’s fighting for the number one search result spot for as many relevant keywords as possible. The reason is obvious…because that’s the position that gets the most traffic. But have you ever considered the impact of what being in that first spot really has on your business? And what changing from the number one spot to somewhere else on the first page could mean for your bottom line?

Click Through Rate

Click Through Rates by Position

A micro study looking at 5,000 Google Search queries shows the following rates based on position on the first page. As people are in a hurry to get the information they’re looking for, and don’t want to take the time to scroll, you can see why the first position gets most of the traffic.

  • Position 1 – 20.5%
  • Position 2 – 13.32%
  • Position 3 – 13.14%
  • Position 4 – 8.98%
  • Position 5 – 9.21%
  • Position 6 – 6.73%
  • Position 7 – 7.61%
  • Position 8 – 6.92%
  • Position 9 – 5.52%
  • Position 10 – 7.95%

Click through vs. Conversion Rates

Now, obviously not every single person who clicks through to your website will convert to a paying customer. That’s why it’s important to get a large traffic volume to your site, and to take action in other ways to improve your conversion rate.

Let’s compare the first and ninth position (since that’s the one with the lowest click through percentage) on Google for one of your target keywords. It doesn’t matter what that keyword is – these are hypothetical numbers, based on the click through rates, and the average landing page conversion rate of 2.35%. (Yes, it’s possible yours is higher – since the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or more.)

Hypothetically, let’s say a conversion earns you $100, and in each scenario, Google gets 10,000 searches per month. If your website ranks in the first position, you’re getting 2,050 visitors from organic search. At the average conversion rate of 2.35%, you can expect 48 people to convert, earning you $4,800. If you’re website is ranking in the 9th position, for that same keyword, your website gets just 552 visitors a month. At the 2.35% conversion rate, 13 people will convert, earning you just $1,300. It definitely pays to rank high – but as Google continues to change algorithms, making it harder to knock people out of that number one spot, particularly if they’ve held it for a long time – it becomes a difficult endeavor for many… so they turn to paid search….and according to Moz, new findings show Google organic clicks are shifting to paid.

Why Are We Seeing a Shift to Paid Ads on Organic Clicks?

  • Ads are being shown on more search queries
  • More ads are being served on each query
  • Ads are now larger – so more space on each results page is dedicated to them.
  • Google Shopping now shows up on many transactional queries, listing more products for each query, so it takes more space on the results page.
  • More subtle ad labeling, so ads appear less obvious

Is it Time to Invest in Paid Ads to Boost Your Traffic?

According to Google AdWords benchmark data, the average click through rate for a search ad is 1.91% across all industries. The average cost per click across all industries is $2.32 for search ads. Certain industries will have higher click through rates and cost per click, while others will have lower. Now, let’s take a look at the average conversion rate across all industries for search ads: 2.7%. If you’re seeing a lot traffic from your search ads, but aren’t getting a lot of conversions, there could be a problem.

Let’s say you’ve paid $232 for 100 clicks on your ads. At the 2.7% conversation rate, you’d get 2.7 paying customers for those clicks, so we’ll round up to 3. At three paying customers, you’ll have earned $300, creating a profit of $68. Obviously, it pays to get as much organic traffic as you can, rather than paid. But, if you’re in the beginning of your business, trying to build brand awareness and word of mouth, paying for ads is a good way to get the profit ball rolling. However, it’s possible to spend money on ads, get conversions, and still lose money. That’s why having an optimized campaign matters. And that’s where the team here at SEO Inc. can really help your business succeed.