Smart businesses get free traffic from Google

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Many businesses are finding new customers by advertising on Google. However what you might not realise is that only a very small amount of people actually click on these paid ads and the smart business owners are getting most of these clicks for FREE!



The image above shows the typical search result page on Google. On the right side is where the Pay-per-Click ads appear. These are the ads that business owners have paid for and each time someone clicks on one of these ads the business owner pays a small amount to Google.

Then in the middle are the ‘organic’ search listings, these listings cannot be purchased by advertisers and are the result of Google serving up what it deems to be the best result.

The truth is that most people click on the organic search results. As you can see the first listing gets over 42% of all clicks alone, with the next 3 taking up another 26%. As you go down the page the percentages get less and less until you get to the last one. This last percentage of 10% of clicks is a bit of an anomaly as people often click this result rather than clicking through to a new page.

But the thing is the paid ads over on the right run from just 8% to .02% with the top ten average being 3.16%. That is in line with the worst of the organic listings.

If we take a look at the heat map below we get an even more dramatic view of how dominate the first few organic listings are when it comes to search results.


Now let’s consider this in dollar terms with a search term that has 15,000 searches a month. If you had the number the one Pay-per-Click position for this term then you might receive 2% of that traffic which is 300 clicks. Now let’s presume these clicks were a $1.70 then your cost for this traffic is: $510

Now that doesn’t sound too bad until you realise if you ranked number 1 for the same keyword in the organic listing, then you would receive 6,300 visitors at virtually no cost.

If we ran the Pay-per-Click ad to achieve the same amount of visitors then we would have to fork out $10,710!

So if you can get free traffic from Google, why do business owners choose to use Pay-per-Click advertising at all? Well Pay-per-Click is often attractive to business owners because it will instantly bring potential new customers to their website as soon as they start running the ads. Which is fine for those business owners who have the spare money. But for me I prefer to spend the time optimising my website and developing great content and links with the aim of ranking highly in the organic listings.

When it comes to getting traffic to your website from Google, a little bit of work goes a long way.

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