April 7, 2020

How Important is the First Position in Google SERPs?

A study in 2013 offered a number of insights into the level of traffic each position in a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) gets. Since then, other studies have been conducted to determine similar findings. On average, each of these studies has found that the numbers have remained consistent in the 7 years since the first study.

The Power of the First Position

It’s no surprise that the first position in SERPs yields the most traffic. In fact, studies have shown that the first listing on a search results page captures approximately 33% of all traffic to that page. For each subsequent listing, traffic drops significantly. The second result, for example, gets about 18% of traffic.

The #1 position in Google search results gets 33% of all traffic. The #2 position, by comparison, gets approximately 18%.

Even on the second page of results, which sees far less traffic than page one, the first position reigns supreme. While overall traffic for page two is estimated to be about 5% compared to page one, the first result on page two receives 27% more traffic than the second result.

There’s Strength in Other Positions

These numbers shouldn’t discourage you. Even if you’re not in the number one position, you still stand to gain a respectable amount of traffic. Any other position on page one receives more traffic than the results below it, so if you’re second, third, or fourth, you can continue to outperform your competitors.

It’s important to continuously optimize your site and content in an effort to rise in the rankings. While lower-positioned results don’t see a sizeable increase in traffic from one spot to the next—for example, moving from the 10th to 9th position won’t show a marked increase—higher level movement, as from 3rd to 2nd position, can increase traffic up to 30%.

How Do You Rise in the Ranks?

The first thing to note is that based on the way ranking operates, the more traffic you get to your site, the higher you’ll rank in SERPs. Ostensibly, if you’re already ranking high, you’re getting enough traffic to keep that position. However, it’s also key that the traffic you receive indicates to Google that your page is worth all the visits it gets. In other words, ranking also relies on the time each user spends on your page, how many pages they visit per session, and your average bounce rate.

Utilize SEO

Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true recommendations for helping to improve those factors, thus improving your ranking position, and the overall theme involves optimizing your site based on user intent. If you know what the people searching for your target keywords and, in turn, your website, are looking for, then you can tailor your content to fulfill that need.

Reaching and maintaining a high ranking in SERPs typically comes down to one thing: understanding user intent.

First of all, make sure your site is easy to use. Fast loading times for your pages, images, and any multimedia content are critical. You want users to spend more time on your site once they find it, and they’ll only do that if you’re presenting streamlined, high-speed pages for them to navigate.

Create a Content Strategy

Next up, beef up your content. Don’t just post more, though—it’s incredibly important that the content you publish is relevant to your user and your site’s purpose. If searchers reach your page and the content is irrelevant, incoherent, or misleading, then they won’t spend the necessary time on your page to signal it’s worthwhile and they won’t come back.

Build a Holistic Backlink Profile

Third, you want to be smart about the backlinks you use on your page and employ them elsewhere. Linkbuilding can play a major role in helping you rise up in SERPs rankings. The more sites that deem yours authoritative (especially if those other sites are also known for providing authoritative content), the more valuable your site will seem to Google’s crawlers. This increases your chances of ranking at a higher position and getting more of that critical traffic.

Find a Reliable Digital Marketing and SEO Agency

Finally, consider partnering with a digital marketing agency like VELOX. We have a team of experts in everything from PPC and on-site SEO to writing authentic content and building your backlink profile. We’ve also got years of experience in a variety of verticals, from cosmetics to CBD to manufacturing to outdoor sports. It can be challenging to take on the task of improving your own SERP position. When you work with us, you can rest assured that our proprietary techniques and highly skilled team can get you to the top of the rankings efficiently and help keep you there once we do. 

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Want to learn more about how we can help your brand grow and increase revenue?

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