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The top spot in Google gets 33% of all clicks

A new study put out by the online ad company Chitika shows just how important it is to work your site into the top spot in the Google search results. Amazingly, the top result in a Google search receives nearly 33% of the total clicks, and that number falls to 18% for the second result, 11% for the third, and downward from there.

While it’s still important to simply try to get your site onto the first page (traffic for position #10 gets 2.4% of the clicks, while #11 drops to just 1.0%), you’re really just fighting for scraps at that point.  Here’s a chart showing the percentage of traffic at each result position in a Google search:

clicks-by-position

A growing part of this challenge is wondering where you’re actually ranked.  Years ago you could say “I rank #3 for my keyword”, but it’s no longer that simple.  Thanks to geographic considerations, past history, Google+ and many other factors, the search results heavily customized for every user.

Even though it’s hard to know exactly where you stand for a particular phrase, at the end of the day you need to do everything you can to make sure that rank as high as you possibly can.  There’s no magic bullet to ranking well and it’s just a matter of doing a lot of small things right: use solid anchor text, set up Google Authorship, build links whenever possible, keep an eye on Google Webmaster Tools, update WordPress whenever necessary, etc.  However, don’t get hung up too much on that stuff; at the end of the day, the best thing you can do is simply produce great content.

With the above chart in mind, you’ll get more traffic by ranking #1 for a long tail phrase than you will by ranking #10 for for one that is 10x more popular.  Instead of chasing a popular keyword like “new homes in atlanta”, go after something a bit more niche like “two story homes in marietta” and you’ll likely have better results.

By consistently producing quality content on those niche phrases, likely via a blog, you should see your traffic rise steadily over time and help your business to grow along with it!

(via Search Engine Watch)

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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