We all know that the #1 spot in the search results is the most coveted position for any keyword. The entire point of the SEO game is to help your business take that spot—because it pays off with far more clicks. But what if the difference is even bigger?
That’s the lesson from a recent spat of research by Alex Stein. Alex had an opportunity to track conversion data as his company moved into the top spot for a variety of his industry’s keywords. He found that topping out the Google results didn’t just get him more traffic, it got him higher converting traffic.
SEO and Conversions
The normal incentive to focus on SEO is simple: sites that are higher in the search results get more traffic, because more people click on them. That comes with an inherent boost to sales. More eyeballs mean more conversions, no matter what your conversion rate is.
But Alex noticed more than that. He didn’t just get more sales because he had more traffic total—the conversion rate on all traffic increased by 34 percent. For some reason, being higher in the rankings meant people were more likely to buy.
But he didn’t stop there. Trying to explain the change, his team asked if people clicking on the top result were just more likely to buy. They decided to adjust their numbers to look at only the extra traffic from the SEO bump. After the adjustment, the boost to conversion rate was a whopping 160 percent.
Few businesses can boast numbers like that.
Why the Higher Rate?
Of course, this kind of conversion jump doesn’t happen without a reason. Why would traffic clicking on the top result be more likely to convert than those looking farther down the list?
Alex’s answer is simple: people looking at the fourth or fifth result, or even in the second page of search results, are bouncing around doing research. Or, they’re comparing prices. Either way, they’re not ready to click “buy” just yet. With the first search result, a higher portion of your traffic is people who just want to pull out their credit card and complete the purchase quickly.
I would add another reason. Most of us try the first search result first—and only move on to more results if it doesn’t help us. That means people clicking on the third or fourth result have already been frustrated by higher results, and are less likely to be in a buying mood.
Numbers that Matter
If Alex’s reasoning is right, the added value of a top position applies to any field, even if you’re not directly selling online. Law firms, for example, might find that they get a higher rate of consultation requests once they hit the number one spot. This is so vital that Alex suggests it’s worth it to add extra staff, commission extra content, or bring on an outside SEO firm if it will make the difference in getting you to #1. The sales will more than pay off your investment.
Want to put Alex’s claim to the test? EverSpark Interactive provides in depth, results-oriented SEO. Contact us and get a free consultation today.