The Importance of First Page Google Rankings

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is largely all about the race to get to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPS). It’s the quest to make your website visible on the first page of Google when someone out there types in a search request using keywords relevant to your site.

Why is this a race you need to win?

Because websites that appear at the top of the SERPS are noticed and therefore get the most click-throughs, which equates to higher traffic. High traffic means the best opportunity to capture new business with conversions.

It is organic rankings that count – ie. the position on the SERPS your site appears at without the help of any paid advertising, but simply on the strength of your website’s relevance to the keyword search term.

If you want an illustration of how important it is for your website to rank on the first page (ie. top ten organic places) of the search results – and preferably in the top three places – then consider this jocular digital marketing industry adage: “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google”!

2021 research from Zero Limit Web reveals that the first five organic results account for 67.6% of clicks in Google.

Types of Non-organic Search Results

When you peruse a page of search results on Google you’ll see far more than just the list of 10 organic results – commonly known as “blue links” – that you would like your site to rank in. There will be a range of other results too, known as SERP features, that are not traditional organic results but just as valuable.

If your website qualifies with Google as rating for one or more SERP features, it obviously helps your visibility in the rankings too.

The Google features where you could rank to help you reach your target audience include:

  • Google Ads (paid)
  • Featured snippets (boxes containing definitions, tables, or lists)
  • Top stories (Google approved news boxes containing trending stories)
  • Local packs (or Map Packs) – a set of 3 local results for a query Google considers to be local
  • Image packs (sets of images displayed in response to a search query)
  • Twitter cards
  • Knowledge panels (boxes with data about a specific person, company or event)
  • Site Links (sublinks under a homepage listing)
  • Quick answer boxes (People Also Ask)
  • Video Carousels
  • Shopping results

 

An SEO expert can optimise your website to take full advantage of SERP features to back up your “bread and butter” organic search results, by using the right sort of keywords and monitoring their performance with software tools.

Advantages of a Google Top Spot

When your SEO kicks in (and that involves a vast range of issues from site speed, backlinks and bounce rate to content and mobile friendliness) your website will start climbing the ranks and if and when you reach the top of the first page of Google you can seize the opportunity to get your business to take off.

Bear in mind that getting there is one thing; it takes ongoing work to keep your position and keep drawing in the website traffic.

Yes – increased website traffic is the prime advantage of a Google top spot, because when people enter a search term they generally click on the first search result that comes up, and if the link gives them what they need, it will have hooked their interest and, hopefully, their business. If it doesn’t suit, they’ll likely move to the second result, and so on.

According to Search Engine Journal the first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 28.5%. Average CTR falls sharply after first position, with the second and third coming in with a 15% and 11% CTR respectively. By the time you reach 10th position the CTR has dropped to 2.5%.

There are some other less obvious advantages of being top of the pops on Google. Studies have shown that users ascribe more authenticity to businesses whose links appear at the top of the SERPS. It’s a psychological ploy, but it does help you come across as more authentic, and also, it’s been proved, gives your business a more reputable and respectable image.

There’s also a cost-saving factor, because a high organic rank is worth as much – or even more – than an expensive marketing or digital advertising campaign, and will have the spin-off of boosting  your social media marketing as well.

Want to grow your business online?

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If you would rather, you can ring up for a chat, or drop in for a coffee. We can help and advise you on how to improve your digital presence. There are no catches.

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