Does getting on the first page of Google really matter?

SEO. Google rankings. Content optimisation. If you’ve read anything on digital marketing lately, chances are you’ve heard about the power of Google in determining your business’ success.

But does SEO – search engine optimisation – really matter? The short answer is, absolutely! Here are three concrete reasons why.

75% of searchers never look past the first page of results.

In other words, your potential customer base shrinks by 75% if you don’t make it to the first page of search results for keywords that are relevant to your business.

If you do make it to page one, your position within the top 10 also affects your click-through rate. For example, the average click-through rate for a spot in position one is 43.32%. This drops to 37.36% for position two and goes on to decrease further until it reaches 3.11% at position 10.

That’s why businesses invest time and resources into not just making it onto the first page, but also gaining a high position on that first page.

When people search for a business, they focus on location.

Google’s research into search behaviour found that 76% of people who search for a business in their area online visit a store within a day, and 28% of local searches result in a purchase.

That’s why it’s especially important to make it to the first page of Google’s results, especially when you have a physical location. This kind of local search also makes it easier to appear on page one, as there are fewer businesses competing in location based searches.

Ensuring you’re listed on reputable location-specific directories like yellowpages.com.au is a simple way to boost your chances of appearing at the top of location searches.

RELATED: 7 ways to appear in more local searches.

Organic search drives more revenue than paid search.

Organic search results are results on Google that don’t involve you paying for a space on page one.

Google reserves up to four paid spots at the top of page one, which you see marked with a small ‘Ad’ notice next to the result. The rest of the page spots are ‘free’ and also known as organic, which you can’t simply pay to occupy – you have to earn these spots through your website content and other SEO efforts.

And while both paid and organic search are important, organic search is typically more valuable. One study found that B2B and technology companies generated twice as much revenue from their organic search than other channels, with an average revenue of 44.6% coming from organic search, and an average of 27.6% coming from paid search.

Simple SEO best practices.

So, now you know that SEO and getting to page one really are important, what best practices should you be following? Here are some useful tips to get started:

  • Regularly create content on your website to make sure Google rewards you for having fresh content (aim for at least one new post per week)
  • Create a yellowpages.com.au listing – it’s free and easy
  • Do keyword research to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and tailor your content accordingly
  • Create a unique, keyword relevant page title and meta description for every page on your website
  • Include photos or images with keyword-rich captions
  • Use keywords in headings and format headings as <H1>, <H2>, <H3> etc. in order of importance
  • Hint: <H1> is used for hero headlines, <H2> for subheads and <H3> for pull-out points
  • Break up blogs and other content into easily digestible sections using headers in <H2> and <H3>
  • Make sure all URLs on your website are descriptive and use keywords wherever possible
  • Aim to keep your site speed as fast as possible
  • Keep image file sizes below 200kb to minimise the impact on site speed
  • Submit an up-to-date sitemap to Google to help it understand your site’s structure

RELATED: Why local SEO is worth the time and investment.

Yellow can help.

While there are some SEO practices that you can probably master pretty easily, you may need a hand with others. If so, Yellow Pages’s expert SEO team can help, with a range of SEO packages designed for small businesses.

For expert SEO advice and implementation, get in touch with Yellow Pages.

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