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« Everyone Should Have a Business Mentor | Main | Staying Above the Fold »

The SERP That Really Counts

If you want to be successful with your online presence you need to leverage SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Look at targeting a series of keywords and focus on getting on the first page of the SERPs(Search Engine Results Page).  There are only ten positions on Google that really matter #1-#10.  Everyone wants to be #1 on top search engines and so should you.

Why is getting a top ranking position so important?
The higher your position the more visitor traffic you command.  If you can get a top listing for a competitive keyword you are well ahead of the pack.  Keep in mind there are plenty of companies that never achieve the number one spot and do very well online.

Important SERP Statistics:
  • 50% of users click on the first organic link to appear
  • 250% more users click on the organic listings before the Pay Per Click Ads
  • About 80% of users looking to purchase something start with search engines

Sources: Peter Kent, SEO for Dummies and Brad Fallon/Andy Jenkins

As you move down the SERP fewer clicks get distributed to each listing.  Just like a newspaper most of the user's concentration is focused above the fold.  The "fold" is represented by the viewable area in your browser window without needing to scroll down the page.   Newspapers and search engines keep their most important information above the fold.  A very small percentage of people searching for something online make it past the first SERP.  When is the last time you searched through the second or third SERP?

Searching and Purchasing
Brad Fallon makes a great point about how people search and their purchasing intentions.  When people use two words or less as a search term they are usually doing research, e.g. "Bahamas Vacation"  If they are refining their search terms with more than two words they are most likely looking to purchase something, e.g. "Discount Hotels Bahamas."  Use this knowledge when selecting your keywords.  Highly specific key phrases (keywords) might get fewer clicks, but they'll bring you higher quality visitors.

I stress the importance of getting a top listing on the search engines.  It's a shame that so many companies get lost in the SERPs.  The people at the top of listings make a lot of money regardless of how their sites look.  Set your sites high and work at it until you succeed.

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