Usain Bolt won the 100m sprint at the last Olympics. Who came second?
Michael Phelps came first 8 times in the pool at the last Olympics. Do you remember 2nd and 3rd places in any of those races?
Now, who do you think is raking in all the sponsorship dollars and appearance fees? Bolt and Phelps or the guys they beat? Trust me, the bulk of the money (like 90%) is going straight to the winners while the lunch money is being shared amongst the rest.
Online search is exactly the same. First place wins BIG, the rest pick up the crumbs. It doesn’t matter how many different survey results you look at, the numbers are always similar:
Position 1 = 42.4% of clicks-through
Position 2 = 11.8%
Position 3 = 8.4%
Position 4 = 6.2%
Position 5 = 4.9%
Position 6 = 4.1%
Position 7 = 3.4%
Position 8 = 3.1
Position 9 = 2.7%
Position 10 = 2.9%
The numbers obviously drop away even further once you get off the first page:
Position 11 = 0.7%
Position 12 = 0.6%
Position 13 = 0.5%
Position 21 = 0.3%
Position 31 = 0.1
Position 41 = 0.05%
Clearly first page in search is crucial, otherwise you’re only chasing a fraction of 1%. But the difference between first and second place is the most significant. First place receives almost 4 times the number of clicks-through than second place. FOUR TIMES!!!! That’s huge.
Imagine having 4 times as many potential customers walking through your front door every day.
Imagine having 4 times as many sales every month.
All by just improving your position in a search by one place.
Of course, if you are currently at the bottom of the first page of search then a jump to first place could result in 14 times more traffic. And if you are currently on the third page of search results then a jump to first place would result in 140 times more traffic.
You can have the prettiest site in the world, the best information in the industry or the best prices around, but if you aren’t winning the search engine results race nobody will know or care.
So how much is first place worth to your business? Are you content to just make the finals or do you want to be the big winner like Bolt or Phelps?
To the winner goes the spoils.