What is The Value of Being on Page 1 of Google?

At ConstantPLAN we work with professionals seeking higher search rankings in local markets where they already appear on page 1 in Google.  Frequently we are asked, “what is the value of each position on page 1 of search results? Is it worth the effort to move up on page 1? And, how hard is it to move up?”

Every position in Google search is up for grabs.  The top spots on page 1 change all the time. This is because Google changes its search algorithm frequently, hundreds of times actually.  The value of those top spots make and break online businesses all the time.

Page 1 – 1st Position      32.5% of traffic

Page 1 – 2nd Position    17.6% of traffic

Page 1 – 3rd Position    11.4% of traffic

Page 1 – 4th Position    8.1%   of traffic

Page 1 – 5th Position   6.1%   of traffic

Page 1 – 6th Position    4.4%   of traffic

Page 1 – 7th Position    3.5%   of traffic

Page 1 – 8th Position   3.1%   of traffic

Page 1 – 9th Position    2.6%   of traffic

Beyond Page 1 it really doesn’t matter much.  91.5% of all web searches never click deeper into the search results than Page 1.

Google-Results-Graph-(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Google data sourced from Chitika Online Advertising Network)

Let’s suppose for example’s sake that each of the companies in positions 1-9 all sell widget AAA for $100.00.  To make everything else uniform, all of their websites, landing pages, calls-to-action, sign-up forms, etc. are the same.  In a month widget AAA generates 10,000 search results that convert to sales.

Position 1 will generate $325,000 in sales

Position 3, $110,000 in sales

Position 7, $35,000 in sales

Improving the search results in your local area is not just a business imperative but is business survival.

banner-for-local-listings

If rumblings in the SEO community are to be believed, at this moment, organic listings as a whole get more (as many as double) clicks than sponsored ads.  This is sure to change (because Google makes more money from advertising).

Practical Help – Which business descriptor do you want to rank #1 in Google?

Name/Brand:  This is relatively easy.  By participating on social media and using the authority of other sites (such as directories and aggregators to host your NAP records), your company name or brand ranks higher.

Service in a Specific Geography:  This is relatively easy. It is achieved by optimizing the pages of your website (by including geographic mentions in the title, Meta descriptions, and page text), and maintaining a volume of consistent NAP records.

It is very important to remember that ranking is not an exact science.  To get found on page 1 of Google It is a fluid process that has general rules for success.  The SEO community diligently probes the different search engines to test which tools and methods work well, and which techniques have lost their effectiveness.

The numbers suggest it is worth the effort, even if you are already on page 1, to constantly improve your business ranking.

To Outsource Or To Not Outsource: there really isn’t a question

Should you outsource marketing and media operations?  Statistically speaking, yes.

95% of small businesses that have tried or are currently doing their media and marketing in-house report their efforts to have failed and are reverting to old marketing concepts.

Some sobering statistics to push us out of the gate and get us started.

  • 92% of consumers expect a business to have a website. Companies without websites instantly lose credibility.  Take Away:  Not having a website predisposes potential clients to look elsewhere.
  • If your site load time is longer than 4 seconds 46% of people will leave. Having a functioning site is a zero sum activity. Take Away:  Sites that load slowly, have broken links, grammatical and typing errors will ensure people look elsewhere before ever getting to know you or your services.
  • If your site looks badly on mobile 40% of people will leave and never comeback. 50% of all searches are done on cellphones and tablets. Mobile web activity grows while desktop activity falls.  Take Away:  You need an effective mobile site and strategy.
  • Clients expect inquiries/ complaints via online to be addressed in under 60 minutes.Miss that window and chances of negative reviews goes up by factor of 3. Take Away:Having someone babysit your social media, email inquiries, and website chat is not important, it’s essential.
  • If you don’t show up on page 1 of Google for the services you provide, you are missing 97.5% of the market. 1st position on page 1 gets 33% of all traffic. People don’t look past page 1. Take Away: If you don’t have a strategy that relentlessly pursues higher online ranking you are actively limiting contact with nearly all of your potential clientele.
  • Stagnant sites with little or no content updates get downgraded in Google’s ranking algorithm. Websites are like a bucket with a hole at the bottom. You may have created a nice site two years ago, but it needs regular updates to remain effective in search. Take Away: Adding quality and consistent content to your website is required to maintain searchability of your business’s site.
  • Time isn’t on your side. Weekly industry time estimates:  6 hours for social media, 3.9 hours for content creation, (one article, three posts)  5 hours for SEO.  Take Away:  Without including website maintenance, email marketing, customer service, all of which overlap in the digital world, business professionals don’t have time to manage all aspects of an effective media and marketing operation alone.

 

These statistics, of course, shock no one.

Over the course of the last few years I have listened to very smart and capable business professionals who report consistent dissatisfaction with their results in digital media and marketing.  The complaints are common and come up over and over.

Expectations are wildly off

Many business professionals, especially those that have been in business for a while remember when one could put an ad in the paper, send out a mailer, host a dinner, or even cold call and experience measureable and consistent results.  Those days are gone.  Yet, the expectation for quick client conversion remains.

Digital marketing takes longer, and is much more complex.

Here is one example; (deep breath) Writing an article, leads to a website update, which needs social media promotion, which then requires a method to engage readers after the article is read, subsequently qualification of the reader as a potential client is needed, and lastly, there is a need for a method to move a digital relationship into an offline conversation.  In that example the tasks to be completed cover content creation, website management, calls to action, social media, lead scoring, UX/UI and several others.

Without a proper understanding of the time commitment to manage a media and marketing operation (20+ hours a week) and an understanding of the digital buying cycle (79 day average) and an appreciation for the complicated relationship between the areas of media and marketing it is easy to understand why 95% of small businesses report failure at digital media and marketing.

The rules are not understood

The strategies that work online change every day. Google updates the way they look at, score, and rank your site constantly.  Email deliverability, open and conversion rates are affected by many different aspects.  Consumers like your site design one day and hate it the next.   Social media audiences are fickle and respond differently on each platform. The methods that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.   Keeping up with the changes that effectively govern the success of your digital media and marketing strategy can be a full time job for several people.

So you’ve decided to outsource. Get a quarterback not a tool.

There are many media and marketing tools that solve a piece of the puzzle.  By themselves they do an amazing job at their one task.  But, as we showed in the example above all tasks are dependent on one another for a successful outcome.

A dedicated expert is needed who understands the challenges and solutions from first engagement to client conversion.  Tools can be plugged in where appropriate and then managed as part of the full operation.

Outsourcing marketing is inevitable.  In the end satisfaction is more achievable, costs more manageable, and outcomes more predictable with an outsourced expert managing a small business media and marketing operation.

Buying Process: You don’t find us. We find you.

A few months ago my wife bought a new car.  She has always had an affection for Volkswagens and has driven that brand since college.  A VW Jetta was the first car she bought by herself after high school.  She went to the local VW dealership with cash, spoke directly to the owner, negotiated a deal and drove off the lot that day.

Fast-forward 15 years to her most recent purchase.  “I’m thinking about getting a new car next month,” she announced one night.

Sitting in bed with a laptop on a Sunday night we scrolled through consumer reports, compared resale values, and within a couple of hours had chosen a model, compiled a list of features, and settled on a price we were willing to pay.  In the morning she drew a 500 mile circle around where we live and sent a short email to every dealership within that geography.

“I am interested in purchasing (car).  I would like it to have (features).  I will be paying for the vehicle, not financing it.  I will be purchasing within the next few days. Please let me know your best price.”

This email was sent to more than 15 dealerships.

Over the course of the next couple of days she received emails from four dealerships with quotes.  There were 11 emails requesting contact information without a quote.

On the third day she sent an email to the low bidder who was 230 miles away, coordinated a time to meet the next day and the deal was done.

As I reflect on this transaction it is remarkable that the sales methodology of a multi-national corporation could be so uniformly out of touch. The buyer was qualified, knew what they wanted to purchase, and had provided a timeline. Clearly the sales process was nearly complete.  Yet, ignoring those signals there was an attempt to create a new sales process that would have started back at step one: Give me your contact information.

The 11 dealerships that didn’t provide the requested information were ignored, three were sent declining emails, and one got the business.

The consumer controls the buying process

According to Google and the CEB Between 57 and 70% of the buying decisions  are made before contact is made with a supplier. of the  The more shocking revelation in this study suggests that sales professionals are capable of affecting, at most, 12% of the process if at all.  Gone for good are the days where skilled sales staffs could influence buyers’ decisions more directly. Unfortunately, the consumer controls that process and isn’t likely to give it up.

It’s time for a new approach.