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Is Number 1 really the best position?

Ranking thoughts



2:08 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Over the last few weeks our site took a tumble from the top 10 on google for our chosen keywords.

While not jumping on the "Damn we need to make major changes to get back in the top 10" I left Google to its own devices and langiushed in 12th, 11th, 15th etc over a couple of weeks.

We have just returned to top 6 so we are happy, although while we were on the second page our conversions increased up by 0.7% (based across average visitor numbers just breaking a 1000 daily..)

Begs the question, is number 1 always going to bring better sales? not knowing our competitor sale figures and as they are a US based company and we are UK they would be quite a difference in figures.

Im starting to think top of the 2nd page seems to be a ideal place to aim for, and i think we have a better chance at this knowing the man and number 1 has his fingers in all the SEO's pies so is it a futile attempt to gain on him..

Your comments, experiences..


2:16 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Begs the question, is number 1 always going to bring better sales?

Typically yes. That is the goal of just about everyone visiting here, to be number one. But, if that number one spot is just too difficult to acquire, then I'll settle for...

2, 3, 4, 5
11, 12, 13, 14, 15
21, 22, 23, 24, 25

I've found those positions above the fold (ATF) produce a higher return than those below the fold (BTF).

Position number 11 tends to be more lucrative than position number 10. Position number 10 can sometimes be more lucrative than position number 5.

A shift from number 4 to number 3 can sometimes bring a dramatic increase in visitors. A shift from number 7 to 10 can also do the same.


2:26 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Its been a strange run over the last few weeks, our visitor numbers havent really been affected by the drop in position, but the conversion has increased..

We were still seeing visitors from the Serps, gets me thinking, do surfers now give less attention to the big cheese and number 1 and go for the little man at the lower positions..

I feel we got more kudos in the visitors eye for a lower positon, this in effect closed the deal with many of them looking for our 'widget' but then again, it just may have been everyone got paid at the begining of the week!

Time to attack Position 11..


2:31 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My guess is that often someone price checks on the first few sites, discovers all the prices are the same and ends up ordering. By this time they may be on their 4th or 5th site.


4:39 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For our site, being in position #1 makes a big difference. The difference is not so much in traffic - but its our experience that people are more likely to buy if you're in position #1. My theory is that being in that position increases the perception of the site's authority and trustworthness so people are more likely to buy.

Regarding the post above, in our business there is big differences in price so even if a customer sees us first and moves on they will often come back.


4:57 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Keep in mind that your ranks are likely moving up and down for lots of "little" search phrases, as well as the busy ones that you make a point of tracking. You might be getting sales from search phrases that aren't even on your radar, especially since multi-word searches are often better targeted than average.

That can make it hard to draw any reliable correlations between rank and conversion statistics.

When I'm setting up PPC campaigns, I often find that position #3 or #4 has the best ROI. However, for free traffic I'll simply aim as high as I can. If the percentage of conversions happens to be a bit lower, more traffic usually makes up for it.


5:29 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I agree with POR's ranking preferences. Those positions ATF have been better to us as well as 10 being better mostly than 6-8.


10:23 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Being new to this forum, but have a website which went live in the early '90's and always at the top of the serps for my keyword and kw phrases...number 11 seems to have a much better sales conversion than than say 4 or 5. If I can't be in the top 3...I would rather be at the top of the 2nd page. In my own searching I find that my eye hits the top listings then I go to the 2nd page. I think it is the prevailing "ordinary joe" search behavior.


10:46 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When the SERPs update I usually see a significant change in conversion ratios. I have a number of sites that get 98% traffic from google. When a major change happens I see a huge change in the conversion rate of these sites.
The reason for this is competition.

Say I have a number 3 ranking and get a good conversion ratio. The serps update and I am now number 1, but the new number 2 and 3 have very well targeted titles and offer a similar product to me at a cheaper price. People are clicking not only my page but number 2 and 3 as well and thus choosing the best price / product.
When you look to buy something online, how often do you look at one price / product?

Alternatively if i am number 1 and the other top ten results satisfy the surf better than my site then i will have a low conversion. An update that moves me to position 6 may move the other valid results lower and thus my conversion rate increases.


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