December 2, 2016 Kevin

Small changes for big gains(es) in Google rankings

It’s been a great month for one of our clients. They picked up a big award recognising their work (which is awesome) AND they’ve had some nice gains on the back of our SEO efforts.

Clients have different expectations about what SEO can do. Of course, everyone wants to be #1 for every search term. But you don’t need O level maths to realise that we can’t all be #1.

This client had seen some of their target keywords drop down to the second half of page 1 in Google. Their preferred keyword was bringing them up in 6th or 7th position and they wanted to be higher.

So, we did some restructuring (the sort of site architecture work we talked about in this post) and “Hey, presto” 6th becomes 3rd. And we’re confident that we’ll move 2nd before long.

Now, if we were talking about moving 3 places from 26th to 23rd we wouldn’t be bragging about it. It’s easy to move around in the cheap seats, there’s plenty of action down there and rankings can vary wildly. And, frankly, who cares? Your site is going to be ignored just as much in 23rd as it is in 26th!

But 6th to 3rd is good. In fact it’s great.

Studies like this one from MOZ show that moving from positions 5-10 to position 3 will give us a change in click through rate from 4% to 10%.

It’s important we convert that to meaningful numbers. So, we’re saying that for every 100 searches, positions 6-10 will give us 4 clicks and position 3 will give us 10 clicks.

So the real outcome of this is a 150% increase in organic traffic for that particular keyword.

Of course, keyword search volume plays a huge part. 150% more clicks for a search term that nobody is searching for is going to be 150% more of nothing!

And why does everyone want to get to #1? According to MOZ #1 search results get a click through rate of 30% and that translates to a huge increase in traffic.

Pinch-of-salt time

If you’re really interested in this it’s worth reading the MOZ report, there are many caveats. Search intent, branded searches, meta descriptions and page titles all play a part in dictating your click through rate. And these are only benchmark numbers, your specific terms might differ for any number of reasons.

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