This post was most recently updated on May 5, 2022.
People often ask us, “how important are my Google search results?” The short answer is that they’re extremely important. Your search results can differ between landing a job interview or not getting a call back, amongst other opportunities.
Why do search engine results pages (SERPs) matter?
Digital marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts have been studying the click-through rate (CTR) of search engine result pages (SERPs) since as early as 2006. Although the numbers vary slightly, on average, the studies show similar results:
A June 2013 study conducted by Chitika Insights reported that 91.5% of Google traffic stays on the first page, and only 4.8% of users click through to the second page of a search. More than 90% of people never click on the second page of Google search results.
The SEO giant, Moz, conducted its own study in 2014 and found that 71.33% of Google search traffic goes to the first 10 search results, and only 3.99% goes to the second page of Google search results.
Why are organic search results so important?
Click-through rates also greatly depend on the link’s position on the first page. Studies since 2006 have consistently shown that the first organic search result (organic meaning not a paid ad) on the first page gets at least 30% of clicks, and the top three search results get between 50-60% of clicks. Organic traffic is incredibly important because it is a targeted search result.
The value of Google search result positions are just like headlines on a newspaper: the first 3-5 results are like the top headlines “above the fold.” The most important articles are placed “above the fold,” since that is what people will always see immediately.
Overall, searchers tend to ignore ads, which are placed above and to the right of organic search results. According to Michael Hodgdon of Infront Webworks, 90% of clicks on the first page of Google’s search results are made on organic links, and only 10% go to paid Google ads.
When you consider that 93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine, these numbers reinforce just how powerful the top few results of your Google search can be.
The difference between the first page and second page of Google search
Based on the information above, the second page of Google search results only receives a collective 6% of all search traffic. The further away you are from page one, the less click-through rate you’ll have on Google SERPs.
Try to add more authoritative and expert knowledge to your content to help it rank higher in the SERPs. Reach out to contributors who have the advice to share on the topic you’re writing about to help bolster your content.
How to get to page two of Google
It might seem silly, but one of the simplest reasons that the second page of Google search results has such a dramatically lower click-through rate is that many searchers don’t know how to navigate to the second page of Google!
Unless you’re a Gen-Z or Millennial who’s grown up around technology, Google search’s interface might not be very intuitive. Plus, Google has changed its search interface over the decades, and with it, so has the navigation bar.
Google defaults to showing ten search results per page. So, to view all results, you will have to navigate all the way to the bottom of the search engine result page. Or, you can change your search settings to customize how many results you want to be displayed per page. Digital marketers tend to utilize this setting to maximize the number of results they can see at any given time.
Previously, users would have to scroll to the bottom of the Google search results and click on the red “O’s” in “Goooooooooogle” to navigate to more result pages. Fun fact – there are ten “O’s” in Google because the search engine defaults to ten pages of results per query! The navigation bar used to be easy to miss because there was no numbering of the pages, and users would have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see it.
Now, Google has updated its logo and interface to include numbered result pages. Plus, users can now click the “Next” button if they’d like to look at search result pages chronologically.
What key factors make a website rank higher on Google?
The primary SEO objective is to be the golden egg – the very top-ranking organic result on Google. There are several key factors that play into the ranking of organic search results, and in order to improve your search rank on Google, you have to have an SEO strategy.
When it comes to content creation for your website, pay attention to long-tail keywords, related search queries, and meta descriptions. Hitting the nail on the head for those three aspects alone will give you a better chance of landing at the top of the heap.
You also want to make sure your content is original, insightful, and mobile-friendly. Organic rankings depend on how good your website is at matching a search query, which is the question a user types into Google. Your website’s ability to answer that question is up to Google.
Writing your content with SEO in mind will always aim you higher on the totem pole of search engine results.
Hiring the right marketing team can help you rank higher
Our advice: Get your website past the second page of Google and onto the first page to get more online visibility.
We provide online reputation management (ORM) services that will help you build your professional brand with a plan to optimize your search results to make the best first impression on potential clients, colleagues, and contacts.