In the many articles I have written about online marketing I have always mentioned the importance of being listed on page one of the search results. I realised today that I have never provided the research data to support this claim.
So here it is:
iProspect have been conducting research into how people use search and search results since 2002. Their last report was undertaken in April 2008
One of the key areas they look at is how many internet users click on listings on the first page of the search results. In 2002 48% clicked on first page listings; by 2008 this percentage had jumped to 68%.
The % Of Searchers Who Click On Links On The First Page Of Results
They also look at how many searchers look beyond page three of results. Today just 8% of internet users venture beyond the third page of results compared with 19% in 2002.
The % Of Internet Users Who Look At Listings Beyond The Third Page Of Results
The implications of these findings should be obvious for website owners and search marketers alike.
Now, more than ever, it is vital for a website to be found within the top few search results, or the first page of search results, or at least within the first three pages of search results. Whether this is accomplished through optimization of web pages, or through paid search ads, the need is unmistakable.
It is also worth remembering that this does not mean these results listings need to be direct links to your website. With the introduction of blended search you can have indirect links to your content on sites like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr which ultimately lead people back to your site.
There is one last very important point which is worth you bearing in mind. More and more internet users believe that sites that are listed on page one of the search results pages are the leaders in their field.
The % Of Internet Users Who Believe Websites Found On Page One Of The Search Results Are Industry Leaders
Being on page one of the search results for your most important keywords is critical not just for getting targeted traffic but also for building your brand as an industry leader.