Impact on Revenue of Not Ranking In the Top 10 in Google

Krista LaRiviere SEO Leave a Comment

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I regularly get asked the question, “What really is the impact on my business of not ranking in the Top 10 in Google?” The truth is I have absolutely no idea. The reality is I guarantee the impact is significant enough for you to care.

In this post I’ve applied math to some well-known, published data about search engine usage and paid search. I then related it to a Page 1 versus a Page 2 organic search ranking.

The outcome demonstrates the foregone revenue for a particular business of being ranked on Page 2 rather than Page 1 in Google.

There are 4 billion Google searches performed every single day (ComScore.com, December 2009) which accounts for approximately 75% of all Internet searches.  Of those searchers, 30% will click on the paid side of search (Google Adwords/PPC) while the other 70% will click on the organic side of search.

Let’s stop and do some math:

4,000,000,000 * 70% = 2,800,000,000 or 2.8 billion searchers click on organic search results every day. 
Now get this. According to a study from iCrossing.com from February 2010 over 95% of searchers do not go beyond the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Conclusion, you need to be on the first page of Google, Yahoo! and Bing for the terms you want your prospects to find you for or you’re not in the game.
More math:

2,800,000,000 searchers * 95% = 2.66 billion people clicking on one of the Top 10 organic search results every day.

Now what really does this mean for your business? Let’s apply paid search data (AdWords) from an actual business, to the organic side of search. This example will illustrate the magnitude of the foregone revenue to this business as a result of being ranked on Page 2 instead of Page 1.

Note: Although this data has been simplified, this particular business was indeed ranked on Page 2 in Google and they were subsidizing their lack of a Page 1 ranking with Google Adwords. I also acknowledge that there are other factors involved in conversions and the purchasing process and not all businesses are the same. In other words, this is a very simple model, but I think it gets the point across.

The Data:
1. Product sells for $100
2. 1,000 clicks generated through Adwords
3. Conversion rate of 15% (where conversion = purchased product)

Paid Search Results = 150 converted visitors * $100 = $15,000

Remember though, with Adwords you’re only capturing 30% of the eyeballs. Therefore, for every 1,000 clicks on paid search there are 3333 (1000/.3) available clicks on organic search. But of them, 95% don’t go beyond Page 1. This translates to 475 (3333 *.95 *.15) converted visitors from a Page 1 organic search result and just 25 from Page 2.

Being listed on Page 1 in Google would provide this business with 475 converted visitors = $47,500 Instead, they are capturing only 25 converted visitors from their Page 2 rank or $2,500.

This business can assume the foregone revenue of their Page 2 organic ranking is $45,000 ($47,500 – $2,500). By improving their ranking to a top 10 spot in Google search, they could potentially increase their organic search engine generated revenue by 1800% and their organic search generated revenue will be more than three times their paid search generated revenue.

That’s enough to care.

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