We know that online users spend very little time reading webpages. Through studies that track eye movements looking at webpages people have been shown to look briefly at only the top ranked pages on Google. Very few people actually scroll down to lower ranked items.
Unfortunately search engine rankings are highly complex algorithms. You can pay to be in the sponsored links but top keywords may be costly. Rankings also depend on location so you may be number one in your city but off page 1 elsewhere.
Your marketing academics may have an eyetracker like a Tobii Pro. If they let you borrow it, you can do your own studies on webpage effectiveness and stickiness.