The importance of being first
A recently conducted study
(PDF) examined the links users followed on the search engine
results page. They found that 42% of users clicked the top
result, and 8% of users clicked the second result. This confirms
previous studies that the number one result gets many more
clicks than all other results.
In this study, the researchers did a second test, wherein
they secretly swapped the order of the top two search hits.
The original number two entry in the search engine's prioritization
ended up on top, and the top entry was relegated to second
Although the search results were different, users still clicked
on the top entry 34% of the time and on the second hit 12%
of the time.
What does this mean to your web site?
The study confirms the importance of being listed on the
first result page. If your web site is not listed on the
first result page, changes are that web surfers won't see
A previous study of the Georgia Institute of Technology
found that 75% of searchers never look further than page
one. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen pointed out: "Users
almost never look beyond the second page of search results."
It is important that you get your web site on the first
result page. If you're new to search engine optimization:
submitting your web site to search engines is not enough.
You have to do more to get high search engine rankings.
How do you get your web site to the first result
page or even on position 1?
- Start by choosing the right keywords. It makes no sense
to target general keywords such as "business"
because you have no chance of getting the number 1 listing
for such a keyword.
Choose targeted keywords that are related to your business
and that attract web surfers who are interested in what
your web site has to offer. This
keyword generator tool can help you to find the right
- Create a content rich web site that can be optimized for
many different keyword combinations. The more different
web pages you have the more likely it is that search engines
will list your web site on the first position for a keyword
and that web surfers will find your web site relevant to
your web pages so that search engines can list them
on the first position. Use descriptive and keyword rich
summaries in the Meta description tag for search engines
that use that tag.
incoming links to your web site. High search engine
rankings are the result of optimized web page content and
good incoming links. If you want to have rankings, your
web site must have both.
Read the free
SEO book for detailed information and checklists on how
to get your web site in the first result page on Google and
other major search engines.