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by Eric Sharp on April 30, 2014

Topics: SEO


The first page of Google’s search results is the Holy Grail for marketers.

Reaching page one signifies a major milestone for your website. However, where people click — and don’t click — may surprise you.

Do the organic (natural) listings get most of the clicks, or do the Paid ads? Do Googlers advance to Page 2? What kind of traffic can you expect by being the #1 result?

The job is not nearly complete once your website reaches the first page of Google; it simply gets more competitive and scientific. And the numbers prove it.

Organic Listings receive 90% of clicks

Though this data varies depending on branded vs. non-branded keywords, niche market, industry, and keyword competition, the average seems to come back to 90%.

This average strongly indicates that people give organic listings significant focus.

Google organic listings
To earn your way into the organic listing, Modern SEO is your friend.

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Common SEO Mistakes – Strategy & Structure (pt. 1 of 2)

To avoid common SEO mistakes, take an 80/20 approach (Pareto Principle). 80% of the issues come from 20% of the mistakes. Here are 5 to avoid with your strategy & structure.

Paid Ads (Pay Per Click) receive 10% of clicks

Similarly to organic listings, this data varies from study to study, but 10% or under seems to be the average.

Compared to the organic listing, this is a staggering low number. However, it’s much easier to obtain rankings because you’re paying for placement/clicks. Your budget dictates how high and how often your listing will be shown.

Google SERP Paid Ads
Your Ad can make the first page of Google in 30 minutes, but expect only 10% of the overall clicks

Less than 10% of people advance to Page 2

This statistic blew my mind initially, but after analyzing my own behavior, it became more believable.

Page 1 placement is where 90% of Google traffic comes from. That’s pretty phenomenal if you think about the numerous pages that are returned on any given search.

Google Page 2
When is the last time you Googled something, scrolled to the bottom of the results and clicked “Next”?

Furthermore, page two drives about 5% and page three 1%.

Google traffic by page results
Moral of the story? Page 1 or bust!

The #1 organic result drives 33% of clicks

If your keyword research discovered 1,000 monthly searches for “yellow widgets” and you’ve earned #1 in Google, you can expect 1,000 visits monthly from the keyword “yellow widgets”. Right? Wrong.

Being #1 will drive traffic, but not everybody will commit to clicking. If you’re #1 for “yellow widgets”, you can expect to get 330 visits per month (33% of the clicks).

Google organic listing #1The top 3 organic results (#1, #2, #3) capture 61% of clicks

As I mentioned earlier, the first page of Google is extremely competitive. The competition only heats up as you strive to obtain top three placement.

The reason? #1, #2 and #3 is where most of the activity (aka traffic) happens. After the top 3 results, click-through rate (CTR) drops dramatically.

Google search results traffic share

“If you’re not first, you’re last”

ricky-bobbyAll these statistics can make your head hurt. It’s a lot to absorb.

However, it’s critical to your website’s traffic to understand the science behind Google’s first page.

If you just threw an office party because your website ranks #38 for “yellow widgets”, I’m about to crash it. Put away the cake and hand over the remaining party dollars to a good SEO person. The first page of Google is where the celebration begins.

Ricky Bobby is no SEO expert, but he may just be on to something.

More about Google & SEO:

Modern Day SEO: The 3 Major Elements That Really Matter

What modern SEO techniques are going to land you on the first page? Backlinks? Keywords? Find out which 3 will generate the BEST SEO results today.

4 Uncommon (but Powerful!) Keyword Research Tips for your Website

Can’t find the right keywords for your website? Don’t rely on the basics of a keyword research tool. Use these 4 tips to discover a goldmine of keywords.

Don’t Invest in SEO if expecting Big & Fast Results [Rant]

SEO is like a crockpot, not a microwave. If you’re expecting big and fast results, don’t invest in SEO. Here’s my (friendly) rant that’s long overdue.

Author Info

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Hey there, thanks for reading! My name is Eric Sharp and I’m the Founder of ProtoFuse. Learn more about me, follow me on Twitter or find me on Google+. Oh, and I’ll call you family if you’re a Chicago Bears fan. Daaa Bearsss.
  • I really like how you broke down all this information into nice bite size morsels which were easy to digest. Cute graphics, and a nice pace give this article it’s juice. Kudos!

    • NoMercy

      Eric’s pic gives the article plenty of juice all by itself. Mmmmm

  • Thanks @jiggskc:disqus! Appreciate the feedback and thank you for reading.

  • rand

    interesting information about Google’s results-but, what is the source of the data?

    • Hi Rand, thanks for reading.

      There’s a few links within the content to a few of the studies where I found the research data. There’s a lot out there, so I tried to find cites that were of high authority.

  • Hi Rand, thanks for reading.

    There’s a few links within the content to a few of the studies where I found the research data. There’s a lot out there, so I tried to find cites that were of high authority.

  • Thanks for the article. It’s always good to have a well written article like this, that I can point potential clients to, if they want to know just how important SEO is to their business.

  • Najbul Haq

    Thanx for the Valuable Information Eric. I am Goin to Follow u on Twitter.

    • Thanks for reading sir! Appreciate the follow on Twitter too. Cheers this holiday season!

  • Hi all, is this still relevant today?

    • Hi, Milosz.

      First, thanks for reading!

      Second, even though I wrote this a few years ago I still think the numbers in general are fairly accurate. The SERP has changed a bit in the last few years (e.g. Paid Ads at top/bottom and no longer on right), but I haven’t found any newer data that would make the statistics I shared irrelevant.

      If you find anything different, I’d love to see it!