Why you MUST be at the top of the search Results

I’m asked time and time again why it’s so important to be at the top of the Google search results so I thought I’d let you see for yourself where visitors look on the search results and what they click on. The following is a ‘Heat Map’ of a typical Google search results page (SERP). This heat Map was generated by researchers at Cornell University. They mapped the eye movements of numerous subjects and mapped the time spent looking at each position on the screen. The time was then colour coded with the maximum time showing in ‘hot’ colours’ and the minimum time shown as ‘cold’ colours. Hence the name ‘Heat Map’!

Google SERPs Heat MapAs you can see from the image, there are several clear observations we can make about what people look at:

1. The right hand column (The Adwords PPC) sponsored links get about 10 to 15% of the viewing time.

2. The Banner ads at the top also get around 10 to 15% of the viewing time.

3. Looking at the organic search results (the natural results that haven’t paid to be there), the top 3 positions get the most views.

Click through rates:

SERPs click through rateFrom Google’s statistics, the number 1 website on the organic results gets about 42% of the clicks. (Above the fold means the part of the screen visible on most computers without needing to scroll down)

Number 2 gets around 12% and the third position only around 8%.


If you’re a business, think about the consequences of this. If your website does not show up at the top of the search results, either through paid or organic searches, you are missing out on the majority of business to your online competitors. Considering we know that searching online is the number one method for researching local products and services, this has big implications to your bottom line.

To get your business found online, contact us to discuss your Online Marketing options.

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