Search is still the major marketing method that everybody is still focusing on, and it is where most people are putting all of their effort. Of course, this is because it continues to be the perfect way for marketers to see the results they desire. The main point in search marketing however, is getting your search results higher than those of competitors, essentially making it more likely to be clicked than others. Since getting search results to the top seems to be getting harder and harder these days, it is important to know just how important a spot at the top actually is. According to new research results from, it may be much more important than you think. is a marketing resource company, and their recent analysis of what they are calling “tens of millions” of search engine results generated by consumers provides some interesting information to marketers. In the last quarter of 2011, the time that these results are from, 85% of all of the listing were organic, and 15 percent were paid listings. Out of all search pages, 55% had ads.

Here’s where the top search results come into the results. Of that 85% of all search results that were organic, 53% of all clicks on those results went to the very top result. As for the second results, only 15% of clicks went to them. To the third, 9% of clicks were seen. After that, the numbers shrunk to 6% for the fourth results, and 4% for the fifth.

Now, here is the problem; most people are clicking on top results, but that is not where most advertisers are appearing. According to the research from Compete, advertisers are appearing in all the wrong spots when it comes to search results. Of paid results, based on the position on the search page, 85% of consumers are clicking ads at the top of the page, while only 24% of advertisers appear there. Most advertisers, 61% of them, are appearing on the right side of the results page, while consumers only click these ads 13% of the time. Also, 15% of advertisers have their ads placed at the bottom of search pages, while only 2% of consumers are clicking there.

Sure, advertisers are seeing results with their search marketing efforts, but they are not seeing the results they could be seeing if they more strategically placed their ads.  Here is what Compete has to say about it in their reporting;

There is a strategic battle going on in SERPs and every decision has a dramatic impact on results. Most, if not all, search marketing efforts need to prove a ROI as there is a very definite spend, whether it is SEO or SEM.

Search marketing is one of the more competitive digital marketing platforms, and marketers are always trying to get to the top. Now that we know how incredibly important being nearer the top actually is, marketers should begin to figure out better ways to get there.

What's your opinion?