Let’s start with the obvious: Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world, comprising about 80% of all desktop searches and a whopping 97% of all mobile searches. * So now that we’ve established that Google is the only search engine you should bother with trying to impress, let’s examine why you should be trying to impress Google.
- Brand Recognition
You know that feeling you got the first time you Googled the name of your business and saw your website pop to the top of the search results? Wasn’t it incredible, knowing that your business is out there–accessible and open to the whole world? Too bad you’re the only one Googling it! We don’t mean to sound harsh here, but “branded” searches (as they’re known in the SEO industry) have to be earned. Your business needs time and an effective marketing strategy—not to mention a quality product—before people will type its name directly into Google.
But even when a company finally achieves that milestone, branded searches will only bring in customers who are already familiar with the business. To continue growing, every business must constantly get their brand in front of, and draw in new customers.
Fortunately Google is an ideal tool for putting your name in front of people who are looking to buy exactly what you’re selling. The majority of Google searches are for a product or service they’re looking for. By showing up –and by showing up first–in these searches, people will begin to recognize your brand. This in itself is significant because sixty percent of consumers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than a brand they’ve never heard of, according to a study by Nielsen.
So, we have to ask: what website shows up first when you Google the service or product your business sells? Go on—try it. We’ll just stand here awkwardly and wait.
- Click-through Rate (CTR)
So? Was it yours? If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of traffic to your site we’re going to go ahead and guess no.
The fact is most people click on the first result they see in their search results. How many is most? We’re glad you asked. The number fluctuates over time, but Advanced Web Ranking (a leader in the business of evaluating website rankings in Google) is conducting an ongoing study to keep track of it. In September 2017 for example, they found that approximately 34% of all Googlers (aka your potential customers) clicked on the website that showed up first in their search results.
Compare that to the site that came in second in the search results which received 15% of clicks. Sure, that’s nothing to sneeze at, but is still less than half of the clicks that the first site received. That means businesses coming in second are reaching fewer than half the number of potential customers that they’re first-place competitors are reaching. Predictably, the click-through rate (or CTR as it’s known in the industry) continues to drop for each subsequent result, finally fizzling out in a long, lonely plateau at about number 10.
Convinced yet of the value of ranking first on Google?
- CTRs Before CROs
How many times have we heard that tired phrase? Click-through rates before conversion rate optimization is a no brainer, right? It doesn’t matter that 100% of people visiting your website are clicking that all-important “purchase” button, when no one is visiting your website!
So hopefully it’s clear to you by now, but let us connect the dots just in case: You can’t get a conversion on your website without someone visiting your website. You can’t get a website visit if no one knows about your website. No one can know about your website if it doesn’t show up in Google searches. AND—if you’re going to show up in Google searches at all, you might as well go ahead and show up first—because those are the websites that get all the clicks!
Of course, once a potential customer is on your website the job of convincing them to give you their business actually begins. But that’s another topic for another blog post. Stay tuned.