For many marketers, ranking on page one on Google is the ultimate sign that your content made it.
Every SEO strategy ever developed is aimed at getting you there. If you're lucky enough to rank high, you have a pretty big advantage over the competition when it comes to attracting new customers. At least that is the prevailing belief of modern marketers and SEO specialists.
But – how valuable is a ranking on page one?
Teknicks asked More than 1,000 internet users use a representative sampling method to uncover their Google search behavior and how far they would go to find what they are looking for online.
The answers were predictably different, but they allowed us to pull out some pretty clear SERP stats and conclusions.
For starters, marketers who say the first page is the only page that matters aren't exactly wrong.
However, it may not be good enough to just create page one – more than 43% of the respondents said it would not be very likely that they would scroll down the page to see additional results. If you're aiming high, you might as well aim all the way up.
And if you think page two is good enough, you should reconsider these search engine traffic stats: About 56% said they would rather it Try a different search query or search engine than the second page of search results. That's a lot of traffic to be missed.
And what about clicks? Get pages two and three only 5.59% together. The percentage of Google traffic by results page drops drastically with every new page you click on.
What do these SERP statistics mean for you?
What marketers can learn about keywords, rankings, and users
Knowing how far people are willing to look will give you a better idea of what your goals should be. On page one on Google is anything but easy. In fact, it takes a huge investment of time and money (depending on the keyword you're trying to rank for).
For example, suppose a marketer knows that only the top three results for a given term will attract users. If they're not anywhere near that ranking, consider budgeting for paid search or social networking (if applicable).
Of course, such a huge investment of time and money on certain keywords doesn't make sense given the value of Google results positioning varies. An easy way to get a keyword's traffic score is to multiply the profit per click by the number of searches that contain it, and then multiply that by the click rate. Just don't expect this value to stay constant.
It's also worth noting that keywords shouldn't be the focus of your content strategy. Google's algorithm is constantly evolving thanks to machine learning. Keywords are becoming less and less important for a high rank.
This makes sense – keywords were useful in the early days of searching, but computers have evolved to interpret human speech more effectively. So write naturally and only include keywords where it makes sense.
The BERT updateFor example, Google can process words in relation to the rest of the sentence, rather than one at a time. For example, the search query "Can you renew your driver's license for someone else?" forces BERT to acknowledge "for someone" changes the meaning of the query.
This is especially important considering how often people use voice-controlled devices like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri. Actually, over 25% of our respondents performed a voice search and we expect this percentage to increase in the years to come. To make page one, you should focus on answering these questions and securing featured or Google-rich snippets.
And if you're wondering why we're only talking about stats on Google search results, it's because the search engine has cornered about 92% of the entire search market.
Does that mean that only the Google search stats matter? No, but we can assume that Google's search behavior is representative of broader user behavior.
So let's talk about how you can take advantage of this behavior by going to page one.
1. Start with a question
Based on the Google search stats our data provided (and the stats from the internet confirm it), we recommend starting your SEO journey with a question: should I even target page one?
To answer this you need to have a general idea of where to start. If you already have a fairly robust content marketing program in place, you may not be that far away. But maybe you haven't invested much in content yet. That doesn't mean you can't get started – just don't plan on becoming the celebrity search results overnight.
You should also evaluate the competitiveness of the keyword you are ranking for and be realistic about your chances of success. Depending on how competitive the term is, you may want to focus on other avenues of discovery, such as: Language discovery (and no, we cannot stress that enough).
You can also do an eye tracking study on your term to find out where a user's gaze usually goes when showing results. It could land on one of the top three scores, but it could also drift down the page.
That said, if you're trying to rank on page one, you should still aim for the top, even as users scroll down (more on that in a moment).
2. Try switching to a PPC strategy
If you don't see yourself on page one soon – or ever – there are many other avenues you can go for. Put a budget on paid search that can be even more effective than organic search results.
Approximately 35% of our respondents were unsure whether they could distinguish between an ad and an organic search result, and people who click ads intentionally intend to make a purchase. And get the three best commercials 46% of clicks on the page.
However, you may have a chance to succeed organically on the first page. How? Let's get into that next.
3. Play the long game
To rank high for a fairly competitive run time across all of the channels your customers use, you need to invest time. Here's what to focus on:
- Optimize your FAQ page. An SEO friendly FAQ page can be a great way to improve your ranking and click-through rate. Just don't overdo it: the main purpose of this page is to provide customer support. So make sure it offers value. You can then mark this content with FAQ scheme and be entitled to have a rich result.
- Focus on link building. Search engine algorithms are controlled by links, which is why Link building is critical to SEO. Create highly inventive content, develop relationships with other website owners, and work to get links to your best content on their pages. Professional tip: focus on quality instead of quantity.
- To be relevant. You should create content consistently and that content should be fresh. Regularly update old blog posts and keep an eye on current events. The news can be a great source of inspiration, and creating content on trending topics increases visibility.
Search engines want to give their users the best experience possible because they want them to keep searching. Google search query statistics show that the technology giant's algorithm is constantly improving, leading users to more relevant results and more useful content.
People want to find what they're looking for quickly. If you want them to find you, make sure your Strategy is constantly evolving, also. The moment you stop trying is the moment you slip to page two.