If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of Google or Bing when prospects search for your services, you are essentially invisible. A large majority of people never look beyond the first page of the search results.
A high position within the first page of Google is also very important. According to The Value of Google Results Positioning by Chitika where they analyzed 8,253,240 impressions, over 77% of people clicked on one of the top 5 organic positions. In fact, over 34% clicked on the 1st organic position.
Consider your own business website. You can go to Google or Bing and search for the keyword phrases you think prospects might be using. You can also use What Page of Search Am I On? to quickly check different keyword phrases. Of course, the keywords that you think people are using to find you may not be the ones they actually are using. That usually requires some additional research and preferably instrumenting your website to see how people are finding you.
Once people find you on the 1st page of Google, there are still a lot of other factors that will affect whether they click on your website link. For this discussion, we are ignoring the effects of any paid advertising (PPC, Pay Per Click) that might be displayed above the organic results or to the right of the organic results. We are also focusing on local businesses that offer products or services in your local community.
Does your listing appear “above the fold“? In other words, do you have to scroll down to find it? Many people simply will not scroll down to examine additional choices.
How many Google Places listings are shown on the page? Google keeps experimenting with the placement of the Google Places listings. Sometimes they are blended in with the organic results and at other times they are all grouped together above the organic results or somewhere within the organic results. Having your Google Places listing on the first page with good review comments along with your website shown high up in the organic results is a big plus.
This Google Places link was shown today when searching for: mexican restaurant albuquerque. Not only is it in the top “A” position, it averages 4 out of 5 stars among the 89 Google reviews as of today, which is quite impressive. The El Pinto Restaurant is also listed in the 1st organic position and their website is very informative. All of this will make a strong impression on people searching for a Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque.
There are many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors that affect whether your website will be featured on the first page of Google. Once you are featured on the first page, what does it take to be featured in the top half? What else can be done to draw a prospect’s attention to your listing instead of a competitor? It is one thing to rank well for keyword search phrases that hardly anyone is searching for. But if you aren’t ranking well for the actual keyword phrases real people are searching for, you still won’t be found.
If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of Google when real people are searching for your products or services, then you are essentially invisible on the Internet, no matter how pretty your website is.