search marketing

How Much of a Difference Does Ranking #1 Make?

Written by Kurt Steinbrueck

winningEveryone wants to rank #1 in the search results, but does it really make that big of a difference?  What if you are ranked second or third?  What if you are ranked first, but on the second page of results?  How big of a difference does it make?

It makes a huge difference!

According to recent study by Chitika, the first position search results had a click through rate (CTR) of 32.5%, the second position had a CTR of 17.6%, third was 11.4%, while every other position was under 10%.


They had a previous study in 2010 that showed similar results.

In 2011, a study by Optify, also showed similar results:

  1. 36.4%
  2. 12.5%
  3. 9.5%
  4. 7.9%
  5. 6.1%

The rest were less than 5%.

Second Page
So, what about being listed first on the second page?  Both studies showed that while the first position on page 2 does get the most clicks of any listings on the page, none of the results on the second page get even close 5%.  In fact, the Chitika study showed that page 1 received 91.5 % of all clicks.


All this shows the importance of getting onto page 1 of the search results, especially into the top results.

The SEO Catch
After seeing studies like these, it can make you think that it’s so important to be ranked #1 than you should go after that number 1 spot at all costs.  However, that’s not usually the best strategy.  The truth is that the amount of effort it takes to get from page 20 to page 1 is much less than what it takes to get from #2 to #1.  Because of that, focusing solely on getting to that #1 position for a specific keyword can lead you to spend tons of time and money to move up one space while you ignore dozens or hundreds of other keywords which are ranked on page 2 or lower.  Instead, it’s often better to get a page ranked on the first page, or in the top 5 and then move on to the next page/keyword.  It will provide more overall traffic.

Are You Ranked #1?
Do you even know where you are ranked?  If not, it’s time to find out.  You may be missing out on a lot of traffic from the search engines.

Share Your Thoughts

  • How is your site ranking?
  • How important do you think it is to rank #1?
  • What are you doing to get your site ranking better?

About the author

Kurt Steinbrueck

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .


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