In the SEO world moving the needle is improving the rank on search queries (What people search for) in the search engines. Higher rankings means higher click-throughs, which translates into higher traffic numbers. To understand the significance of moving up just one place in rankings, and what effect that has on traffic, let me share with you a study that was conducted last year by SlingshotSEO.com on click-through rates based on ranking position in the search engines.
The graph below will help show the significance of moving up, and how important it is to break into the top four positions.
As you can see moving up in rank in positions 5 through 10 doesn’t nearly have as great an affect as moving up in positions 1 through 4. Moving from position 10 to position 5 triples your click-through rate. However, moving from position 5 to position 1 has a much greater affect, 6 times as great.
There are two main areas to focus on to improve traffic: paid-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). With PPC, it is a matter of managing thousands of keywords across numerous campaigns, and bidding against other advertisers on each keyword for a ranking position in the sponsored listings in the search engines. To have an edge on the other advertisers requires harvesting good targeted keywords, geo-targeting, effective bids rules and compelling ads.
With SEO, many factors come into play to rank a keyword or keyword phrase as high as possible in the search engines. To understand the factors, is to try and understand how search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo rank websites. They use what is called an algorithm (A sophisticated program) to value and rank websites. Volumes can be written, and have been written on what those factors are. I’m going to mention just a few important ones.
On-page factors. On-page factors are those elements of a website that the search engines evaluate to determine how valuable a website is to people searching for certain search terms. Having fresh, relevant content, focused on certain keywords are one of those factors. Using keywords in URL’s, Title Tags, Image Alt Tags, Anchor Text, Links, are also important, as well as how a website is structured, its architecture and ease of use.
Off-page factors. Off-page factors are those strategies to use to generate outside interest in your website. They are social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Tmblr, to name a few. Strategies like Guest Blogging, Backlinks (Other websites linking to a site), YouTube Video’s, Press Releases, Directory Listings, and several others.
Moving the needle in rank is a matter of hard work and paying attention to the little SEO strategies (white hat) that add up over time. But being in 1st position is more important than ever.