The pre-story: The leading consultant of WSI Online Kristjan-Paul Raude is the internet marketing lector in TLÜ. One of the assumptions to pass the course was to write an essay about internet marketing. Some of the most interesting writings will be published in WSI blog. Here is the first of them. Authors: Kristtina Toll ja Karl Heinrich Lauri
Every day billions of search queries are made. The most popular search engine in the world is Google: the market share of Google Search is 84,14%, Yahoo and Bing own accordingly 7,57% and 4,42%. If you include searches made on tablets and smartphones, Google’s leading position is even stronger with 89,9% of market share. Google has 90% of search volume in Estonia. It’s extremely important for businesses to be visible on Google and rank as high as possible as customers are easily lost for competitors.
The most remarkable is Google’s first search result page (SERP). The studies show that 90% of people never watch beyond the first page of Google. First 10 positions are most wanted as they get 94% of all clicks. This means that positioning on a second page is already a battle lost. If the website is not easily found and positions further than second page it basically doesn’t exist at all.
Google’s first page
The competition for Google’s first page is fierce: you have to compete against your rivals for organic positions and with AdWords ads. The first organic search position is the sweetest getting 1/3 of all clicks. Second position gets twice as few clicks, not to talk about the results on further pages. Nr 1 position is worth the effort as it brings lots of new visitors that in turn increase the conversion. The effectiveness of Google search is based on motivated users who are interested in a certain topic when making the search query.
Besides organic results there are also paid search results – Google AdWords. Google ads get about 25% of all clicks. Compared to organic results paid advertising is less reliable for users but it’s a great opportunity for businesses that cannot rank high enough in organic search.
How the information is received?
People scan the results in a shape of a letter “F” starting from upper left corner. The hot area is also called “The golden triangle”. We can result from the heatmap that not only the first position matters but also second and third have a high impact. The amounts of clicks the first page positions get are as follows:
Result 1 – 100% Result 6 – 50%
Result 2 – 100% Result 7 – 50%
Result 3 – 100% Result 8 – 30%
Result 4 – 85% Result 9 – 30%
Result 5 – 60% Result 10 – 20%
Search engine marketing – SEM
Search engine marketing will help to reach the first page of Google. SEM includes search engine optimization and Google AdWords paid advertising. The objective of search engine marketing is to make the website visible online and accessible in search. Both SEO and PPC have the same purpose and by combining those techniques they support each other in their activities and fill gaps that arise when you use only one part of search engine marketing.
The result of search engine optimization is higher page rank that improves the organic position in Google. SEO includes various activities that are divided into on-site and off-site tactics. SEO involves various activities, which are carried through the website, in order to achieve a better positions in search engines, and to focus on the keywords that are most important and relevant to the website and that have the highest search volume.
As Google search is based on keyword search the most important part of SEO is keyword search. Keyword analysis can be done with Google’s own Keyword Tool. Keywords must be included into website structure and copy: website headings, landing page headings, titles, copy, meta data, links etc. As Google constantly changes it’s algorithm it’s important to follow good manners of optimization or Google will ban your website from indexing if the violation is discovered.
AdWords is based on paid advertising and keywords that are difficult to rank on the first page. Instead, you can buy the first position. AdWords has a great ad placement: paid results appear on top of organic results, on the right edge or sometimes on the bottom of the page. Ads appear every time a search query is made that are related to specific ads.
The biggest threat of AdWords is to underestimate it. Google’s ads are quite easy to set up and manage which is why there are lots of newbies who waste their money as the keyword prices turn higher and higher. The cost of an ad depends on competition and the account quality. If an inexperienced adwords user tries to compete against big fishes he has a big chance to lose as they don’t know how to bring down cost per click. Professional adwords managers have an advantage here as they can offer lower click prices with better positions.
The first page on Google brings lots of new visitors and increases conversion. Website optimization is essentially free advertising as Google don’t charge you for appearing in search results. In reality SEO requires a lot of work that needs both time and money. As SEO is a long-term process and the results may appear until few months using AdWords is a great alternative. SEO and PPC work together as a complete search engine marketing strategy (SEM) making your website visible online.