The value of SEO
Some days ago, Chitika, a search based online advertising network, published some new numbers about the value of a listing on Google. They analyzed a sample of 8,253,240 impressions across their network in May, 2010. The first result in Google gets as many visitors as position 2-4 combined
"In order to find out the value of SEO, we looked at a sample of traffic coming into our advertising network from Google and broke it down by Google results placement. The top spot drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 4 slots combined, and more than the numbers 5 through 20 (the end of page 2) put together."
Result number 10 gets 143% more clicks than result number 11
"The biggest jump, percentage-wise, is from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1. Going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic. However, the base number is very low – that 143% jump is from 1.11% of all Google traffic to 2.71%. As you go up the top page, the raw jumps get bigger and bigger, culminating in that desired top position." Here are the numbers:Google Result
Impressions Click Percentage 1 2,834,806 34.35% 2 1,399,502 16.96% 3 942,706 11.42% 4 638,106 7.73% 5 510,721 6.19% 6 416,887 5.05% 7 331,500 4.02% 8 286,118 3.47% 9 235,197 2.85% 10 223,320 2.71% 11 91,978 1.11% 12 69,778 0.85% 13 57,952 0.70% 14 46,822 0.57% 15 39,635 0.48% 16 32,168 0.39% 17 26,933 0.33% 18 23,131 0.28% 19 22,027 0.27% 20 23,953 0.29%
How to judge the financial value of your Google rankings
A number 1 ranking on Google is great but it won't help your business if it is for the wrong keyword. To judge the value of a keyword, you can do the following:
For example, your ad might have had 10,000 impressions during a week and 200 visitors have come to your website. Six of them purchased something of your website and the total profit was $500. That means that the average single visitor who finds your website through that keyword is worth $2.50 to your business ($500 / 200). The 10,000 ad impressions in a week can create a click-through rate of 34.35% (see table above) if you have the number 1 ranking for that keyword. That means that you would get about 3,435 visitors per week. Based on the average value of $2.50/visitor you would earn $8,587.50 per week or $446,500 per year just with a single keyword. That is why businesses love search engine optimization.
- Start a Google AdWords campaign for the keyword, select "exact match" and point the ad to the page on your website that is most relevant to the keyword.
- Track the impressions and the conversion rate of the ad. To get useful data, you should track at least 500 clicks.
- With that data, you can make a guess about the value of a visitor that finds your website through that keyword.