When it comes to the importance of Search Engine Optimization, we make it pretty clear to clients the importance of both on- and off-page tactics that can improve their ranking in search returns. Recently published data shows the urgency for organic SEO tactics may be more pronounced than anyone realized.
When we talk with clients, we like to use the most recent statistics from the 2012 State of SEO and Internet Marketing report, that show 75 percent of all clicks in search engine results pages are organic vs. paid links.
As powerful as that is, a recent study by Compete.com brings a sharper focus to the importance of a properly executed and regularly revisited SEO strategy by not only looking at organic vs paid, but where on the page those links appeared. Highlighted in a post published last week, the study reviewed "10s of millions" of search clicks and found not only were 85 percent of the listings were organic, but that:
53% of clicks went to the link in the first position
15% to the link in second
9% to the link in third
6% to the link in fourth
4% to the link in fifth
You can quickly see why it's important, then, to not only be on the first page, but the difference between ranking first in a search vs. second is huge. In their conclusions, the authors of the Compete.com study wrote “since the vast majority of listings on a SERP (search engine results page) are organic, and the majority of clicks are on the first listing, it’s imperative that an ongoing search strategy includes constant monitoring of results due to the ongoing evolution of search engine algorithms.”
That study also found similar results for ranking at the top, but showed there was opportunity to being in spots 4-10, noting that 39 percent of clicks in its study went to those spots.
The bottom line: SEO is a vital component of success for online marketers that should include regular checkups to ensure success. The value of those top spots on the search engine results page are just too important.
So what should your SEO strategy include to help you get to the top of the page?
Well-executed on-page SEO tactics: page titles, compelling meta descriptions, image alt text, URLs and keyword rich content - that are also regularly reviewed
Optimized, quality content that speaks to your prospect pain points
A regular blog
Use of social media to share and promote your content. Social signals are playing a greater role in the search engine rankings of your website
A good SEO strategy will involve ongoing content creation and other activities to help your website steadily move up in search rankings. The stakes are just too high not to.