For many small business owners, SEO is like sausage – they crave the final product, but would rather not know how it’s made. They could care less about title tags, are bored by backlinks, and semantic search makes them long for tax discussions with their accountants. However, one statement is almost universally expounded by the small business owners that I meet with – “We want to be on page one.”
Page one represents search engine success. Page one means traffic – lots and lots of traffic! Or does it?
New research How User Intent Impacts Google Click-Through Rates by Catalyst, suggests that Page One should not be the goal. The research instead indicates that reaching the first page is important, but is only one step in the process. Once there, the searcher must choose to click your listing among the growing number of available options.
1. Only 48% of searches result in an organic click. The remaining 52% click on pay per click ads, or leave the search engine results page without clicking on a listing.
2. The Top 4 positions, generally those considered to be “above the fold”, receive 83% of first page organic clicks. The remaining organic listings only receive clicks from 8.16% of searchers.
3. Mobile CTR: Average CTR on mobile devices tends to skew even more towards the 1st position. The researchers suggest that the small screen offers fewer listings at any one time.
4. Coupons: Couponers are looking for quick deals and are more likely to click the first result.
5. Searchers using a question result in higher click through rates.
6. Long Tail Keywords: As searcher intent becomes more detailed or specific (long tail term), the click distribution across the first page organic listings begins to even out. The researchers attribute this to the searcher looking for the best match or answer to their search.
According to the Catalyst research:
Website Conversions = search interest + rankings + click through rate
This equation recognizes the conversion (sale, signup, etc) as the ultimate goal of the business, and highlights the significance of SEO (keywords and rankings) and click through rate optimization as factors in the conversion process.
Search Engine Click Through Rate Optimization Strategies
1. SEO is still important. Not only do you need to appear on page one, but you really need to try to be “above the fold” in one of the first four positions.
2. Because of the skewing towards the top spot in mobile, it may be an advantage to develop a PPC campaign alongside your organic SEO campaign – position your ad in top spot and on the users screen.
3. Businesses that rely on coupons (i.e. Dry Cleaners) should be sure to optimize their coupon pages for search, then work to achieve a number one spot on the SERPs.
4. Provide detailed answers for common industry/customer questions.
5. Develop strong/enticing Listings:
- Use of search term (keywords) in the Title tag and URL
- Craft an engaging Meta Description
- Incorporate Rich Snippets
- Set up Authorship
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