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One big question facing a business owner is why they should invest in any marketing effort to target search engine results.

Yet this kind of effort is critical if driving more organic traffic to a website is important… here’s why…

Google alone processes more than 40,000 searches per second… that’s more than 3.5 billion searches per day.  According to ComScore, Google commands 64.4% of the U.S. market share for search.  Bing controls another 20.1% of search.

And what are individuals searching for?  Other People.  Entertainment.  News.  Sports.  Diet.  Exercise.  Medical…

And of course, they are SHOPPING!  (You can explore some details here.)

The point?  Google has inserted itself into the purchase process and become a kingmaker.  (The same is true for Bing.)  If you want to RULE your market, you have to be found in search because that is the single best way to drive organic traffic to a website.

Once you accept this modern marketing reality, you can begin to make informed decisions about how best to target your business marketing.


Understanding the value of being ranked organically in Google.

In 2006 AOL leaked millions of records regarding search activity.  This was deeply analyzed and the relative click volume of lower ranked results was compared with top ranked results.  Based on the AOL data, the big finding in 2006 was that 42% of all search traffic in Google routed to number one ranked position in results.

Here’s the complete chart:

2006 Organic Traffic by Google Results Position


In 2010 and then in 2013 a study by Chitika, a large advertising network, shows the value of being ranked #1 has shifted slightly.  Here are the results of the study:


2013 Organic Traffic by Google Results Position


The trending shows that while being ranked at positions #1, #2, and #3 offers the greatest potential for organic results, a slight increase has occurred in the value of being ranked even at position 15.

Still, imagine the potential of receiving 33% of all the organic search traffic to your website assuming you could rank #1 for a given term.  Impossible?  Actually, it is quite possible with the correct effort.


Should one consider paid advertising?  

Only if you have cash to burn or you have already done what you can to organically maximize your results.

The reality is that the position with the greatest value in paid advertising is the absolute top of the page.  One must plan to pay a premium (bid high) to have a fighting chance in advertising. clearly evidenced this reality in their own study.


How to increase organic traffic?  It isn't via paid advertising!


The results are clear.  

  • 85% of all click-through traffic to web sites is via organic search results!
  • Only 15% of click traffic is via paid advertisements…

And for that 15% of paid click traffic, a whopping 53% of people who click on advertisements tend to click on the first advertising link seen on the page.  The percentages plunge the farther down on the page the advertisement is placed.

If you’ve ever wondered why you almost always see Geico at the top of the paid advertising slot for a given insurance search term, it’s because such positioning works.

But paid advertising can be expensive.  A single insurance term’s cost per click can be in excess of $116!  Mortgage Brokers, Attorneys, Medical Practitioners, Financial Advisers, Health and Fitness related entities can all expect to pay significantly above average fees for advertising.

In fact, a recent study by Word Stream, a paid online advertising firm, reveals the most expensive cost per click keyword categories…


google advertising costs per click


Why is this important?  Because the more competitive a keyword family is, the more expensive it will be to organically rank for that keyword term.  Why?  Because there’s more aggressive competition for those keyword families and as such, a small business must leverage every organic search optimization method available to fight for top positioning.

But that’s OK because ranking organically for a search term is always better than having to pay to advertise in google for that term.

Increasing Organic Ranking in Search… The Final Analysis:

  • Independent data (and practical experience) demonstrates that Google (and Bing to a lesser degree) are where people go when looking for answers to life’s issues, whether that is in finding a new insurance policy or working to get a new loan for a car or home purchase.
  • Independent studies clearly show that while the organic value for being ranked #1, #2, or #3 in search has gone down a small amount over roughly 9 years, being in the top 3 of organic results is of significant value that translates into real visits to a web site.  Given that searches are typically motivated by purchase intent, this also translates into higher than average conversion rates as well.
  • Studies also clearly show that the best positions for PAID advertising are those which are either first or second in relative placement on a page.
  • And we’ve learned that Insurance, Mortage, Legal, and Medical related keyword concepts are some of the most expensive.

Put it all together and we see the foundation to understand the value of search.  Being ranked well has a strategic and intrinsic value and according to massive surveys almost automatically guarantees significant traffic to the well ranked site.

If you are ready to take the next step in casting a wide net to automatically rank in Google and Bing for highly valuable keywords, let’s talk about Organic SEO Marketing right away!

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