For years, it has been rather difficult to project, with any degree of confidence, the potential value of front page Google listings. Then in 2006, AOL had an agreement with Google to supply search results for their AOL subscribers and user base. Google was and still is the most commonly used search engine in the world. AOL’s data gave us a first look at the numbers.
Then in 2010, Chitika, a search-based online advertising network, decided to find out for themselves just what those spots are worth. Not much has changed in the past 4 years – the first spot still gets the lion’s share, but it is interesting to note the small changes.
Keep in mind that these are not hard and fast figures, but rather show averages.
Here are the click-through rates for the top 10 spots in Google for search terms. The first percentage is AOL’s numbers in 2006, the second is Chitika’s in 2010:
1— 42% vs. 34.35%
2— 12% vs. 16.96%
3— 8% vs. 11.42%
4— 6% vs. 7.73%
5— 5% vs. 6.19%
6— 4% vs. 5.05%
7— 3.6% vs. 4.02%
8— 3.2% vs. 3.47%
9— 3% vs. 2.85%
10— 2.8% vs. 2.71%
Taking the data a step further, AOL determined that 89.82% click on a result on the first page, and only 10.18% click on a result on the second page or beyond which means you need to be on page one if you want to achieve success with your search engine marketing campaign. Chitika found that going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic, proving that a very small percentage of users click through to the second page whilst searching online.
Let’s say you’re a Hotel in Branon, MO, and you want to know how much traffic the term “Branson Vacation” may generate for the sites on the first page of Google.
According to Google’s keyword tool, the phrase “Branson Vacation” gets queried around 60,500 times per month and would cost $2.90 per click if you decide to run an advertising campaign for the phrase (as a Pay Per Click – PPC).
So looking at the percentages above, the top position on Google is likely to get over 21,000 visits (assuming all searchers actually do click through).
Even though paid advertisements do not receive anywhere near the traffic levels as the organic (the main listings) listings for identical keyword phrases, if you had paid for that level of traffic to your website: For 21,000 visitors at $2.90/click, you’re looking at a cost of $60,900. Even half of that would be an amazing amount of money to spend on marketing for one month for one keyword phrase!
It is more difficult to project the potential revenue of each individual business, but let’s assume you successfully converted one out of every 100 (1%) visitors to your website into a paying customer. That would result in 210 new customers for the top organic position.
With these figures as a model, you can now determine whether a paid and/or organic search engine marketing campaign makes sense for your business.
If the average value of a customer is $1,000 for example, those 210 new customers would be worth $210,000 over time. (Keep in mind, this is only one month’s worth of analysis.)
One of our goals at Master Design Marketing is to be sure you are ranking in multiple search engines, not just Google. According to Chitika, Bing users are over 50% more likely to click an ad on your site than Google users. You can check out the full results of our research in TechCrunch’s article, “Are Bing Users Twice As Likely To Click On An Ad Than Google Users?” So being ranked high in Bing or Yahoo can bring you increased traffic since the click-through rate is higher.
Regardless of your thoughts on Internet marketing, you’ll likely agree that being on the first page of Google and other search engines makes a difference. Dominating the first page would make even more of a difference. Even if you didn’t have the #1 position, if you had several of the first page positions, you could actually out perform the top position.
The next time you’re evaluating advertising and marketing strategies for your business, don’t overlook organic search results as part of your mix. Our goal is to help small business dominate Google’s first page for their market and location. Let us put organic searches to work for you.