Sites that rank on page one for search results take home 91.5% of all traffic. Over many keywords, this can be thousands of dollars gained (or lost). Follow along for an in-depth lesson.
Follow Along At Home
Take a moment and do the following:
- Turn on private browsing in your browser. We do this so our past search history is not impacting our search results and it gives us a much more honest perspective on where sites rank. It may go by a few different names depending on your browser:
- Safari: Private Browsing
- Chrome: Incognito
- Internet Explorer 8: InPrivate Browsing
- Firefox: Private Browsing
- Opera: Private Tab/Window
- Go to Google.
- Type in “SCUBA your city name”. Replace “your city name” with the name of the city where your dive business is located.
- See where your web site ranks.
If you’re on page one of the search engine results page (SERP), congratulations, you got a portion of 91.5% of all traffic!
If you’re on page two, you’ve got your work cut out for you because you’re sharing 4.5% of all traffic.
If you’re on page three, you get to split up 1.1% of all search traffic.
Search Engine Optimization is Critical
The numbers above are from a recent study by online ad company Chitika. From the study:
Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of online ad impressions in which the user was referred to the page via a Google search. From the referring Google URL, Chitika is able to extract the position that the webpage was on within the prior search results page. From this, Chitika can measure what percentage of Google traffic comes from each position of the search results page.
The graph below shows their results out to page ten, but as you can see, being beyond page one is pretty much pointless.
How much of a difference? First place averages 32.5% of all search traffic while tenth place averages 2.4%.
I’m Bad At Math, Help Me!
Okay, let’s do a little example here:
I gave my friends at Pro Scuba Sites some feedback on a campaign they’re doing for a client in Cozumel Mexico. Based on Google’s Keyword Research Tool, using my search example above, there should be roughly 260 people per month searching for “SCUBA Cozumel”. While this may seem low, stick with me because I’m going to show you something amazing in a moment. If you are optimizing for “SCUBA Cozumel”, here is an idea of how much traffic you can expect each month based on where you rank:
[table id=1 /]
As you can see, the person ranking #1 gets almost twice as much traffic as the person ranking #2. The person in position one gets 5.5 times as much traffic as pages two and three combined.
“Who Cares About 84.5 Clicks Per Month?!”
Sure, if you have a conservative conversion rate of 1% and we round that up to one extra sale per month, that may not be a ton.
But when we consider long-tail keywords such as “Cozumel SCUBA diving”, “SCUBA diving Cozumel”, “SCUBA diving in Cozumel” and others we can easily target using a blog for our inbound marketing, suddenly the estimated Google search traffic jumps to 2,852 searches per month. This is from the Google Keyword Research Tool:
Let’s do a handy table showing how much traffic that could result in:
[table id=2 /]
So if you target 28 different keywords that Google suggests and can rank first for all of them, you can expect to receive roughly 927 search visitors per month. Assuming our same 1% conversion rate (you can do better though, I promise), that means an extra 9-10 customers per month.
If each customer only nets you an extra $100 per month (I’m sure some of those visits represent groups or families, so $100 should be easy), you’re looking at an extra $900-1000 per month.
Tell Me More About These Longtails
Here’s some information from a site I manage:
In case you choose not to click to enlarge the image, what it’s showing is that the site received roughly 3,000 clicks over 14 days due to 6,281 longtail keywords. Let’s take that same 1% conversion and $100 profit and we get $3,000 every two weeks!
I Like $3,000 Every Two Weeks!
Yeah, who doesn’t… 😉
What you really meant to say is, “How can I do that?”
- Blog Regularly. If your website isn’t built on a blog platform with blogging capabilities, I highly recommend the people who help me with my site. They can even help you out with finding good keywords and generating content if that’s not your thing.
Yes, there is a second step known as Search Engine Optimization, but as I’ve explained before, that in itself is a full time job. If you are creating high quality content regularly (also known as “blogging”), you will rank in the search result pages. If you want to accelerate the process using techniques that will not get you penalized with the search engines, I can’t help but recommend my friends since I taught them everything they know. Okay, almost everything.
Won’t I Run Out of Keywords?
I did a very quick search of keywords related to “SCUBA Cozumel” and found about 500 related results. I took out all of the results Google considers hard difficulty, which left roughly 260 longtail keywords. Those 260 keywords result in roughly 114,300 Google searches per month.
Get on page one (91.5% of traffic) for those keywords and you could expect somewhere between 2,743 and 96,583 clicks on your site per month. At a 1% conversion rate, that’s 27 to 965 extra sales per month. At a $100 profit per sale, that’s an extra $2,700 to $96,500 per month.
With between 260 and 500 keywords in this example, posting once a week means you’re looking at 5 to 10 years of content generation for your site. Knowing which keywords to prioritize, then optimizing them is crucial to short-term success.
If you are not generating content for your site on at least a monthly basis, you’re already falling behind your competition. Luckily, most of the dive industry has been very slow to adopt inbound marketing concepts such as blogging, keyword research, and search engine optimization. While you may be behind, you can easily catch up.