Search engines carry out billions of searches every day and display both ads and organic results on their results pages. Organic search results, as already explained earlier, are lists of websites that search engines display when someone does a search with a particular search term – a keyword or keyword phrase. The main difference between organic search results and the ads listed on a results page is that the organic search results are free and you can click on a particular listing or link to reach a website.
Visitors who reach your website from search engines, whether through organic search or from ads, are visitors that have searched for a product or service that your keyword or keyword phrase represents and which has led them to your website.
In fact, the major portion of web traffic (more than about 85%) is search engine referred traffic i.e. visitors find your site through organic search, while the rest come through ads, links from other sites, social media etc. Your online success in most situations, therefore, greatly depends on where your website appears in the search engines; the higher the ranking i.e. the more towards the first of the results pages, preferably the top three positions on page one, the greater the chances of visitors finding your website.
Unless you have the most advanced search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies, you will find it difficult to get your website on page one of search engines, such as Google, as there are literally millions of competing websites trying to fight for the page one rankings for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
A lot of research has been done to find out what Google visitors are looking at when scanning a search results page. As you can see from the heat map below, 86 per cent of the clicks on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) are made on the organic listings produced by SEO, and only 14% of the clicks are made on paid search listings produced by PPC campaigns.