12 Apr 2012

How do I get to #1 on Google

Here is an article we found of great interest which debates the virtues of Google Adwords (Paid adverts and serach links) vs Natural SEO results and efforts.


How do I get to #1 on Google must be among the most common questions for anybody who works with the internet. Its an obsession but is it the right thing to obsess about?

Getting great positions on search engines for popular terms isn’t free. It can take an enormous amount of effort building links, writing content and fine tuning pages that don’t necessarily convert as well as ppc based sites because they have to be search engine friendly. With SEO and Google it doesn’t happen overnight so be prepared to wait months to hit the front page.

If you believed what people tell you nobody ever clicks Google adwords. A company we know of had a great opportunity to test something we have believed in for a while, that Google adwords traffic generates more sales than traffic from the normal search engines.

Look at this google result for K&N’s (the worlds leading manufacturer of performance air filters)

The two results of interest are:


A shop promoted only via adwords. A lot of time has been spent optimising the adwords that they use so as to get the maximum number of clicks.

A domain purchased because it was the #1 result for K&N but the existing owners had ceased trading. They knew it had traffic and the price was right so they threw a duplicate site on but retained the title and description tags so they could retain the #3 position.
Both sites are exactly the same except for a different colour top banner and logo.

The differences – rounded the monthly numbers to keep it simple.

Traffic to adwords site: 15,000 visits
Traffic to #1 shop: 2,500 visits
Revenue from adwords site: £24,000
Revenue from #1 shop: £1,700
Each visitor generated from adwords site: £1.60
Each visitor generated from natural site: £0.68

Action points

  • What is clear (in this situation) is people who click on PPC buy more than visitors to the organic results. People do click adwords in much higher numbers than most would tell you.
  • The highly targeted text in the adwords campaign allows you to tick the emotional boxes that make customers want to click them.
  • If time is short, I would be hitting adwords harder as a priority rather than working on search engine traffic because its easier to buy this position and as long as the price is right for the adwords then it is going to make you more money quicker.
  • Getting people onto the site is one element but the better and more targeted the page you send them to the better.  The gains in sales from fine tuning these pages let you turn poorly converting adword campains into winners.
  • Getting to #1 in Google is not free, SEO is expensive and time consuming.

Nobody likes paying for adwords compared to the free traffic from the organic listings but these are great reasons why you should.