There is even more data appearing that reinforces one of Blizzard’s opinions: Ranking is nice, but HOW you look when you rank is very important.
A new eye-tracking and click-tracking study from Mediative (formerly known as Enquiro) shows the value of having the top spot in Google’s local results, but also suggests that social content and signals can boost rankings further down the page.
Mediative’s study of online click-tracking:
- Most clicks went to the first listing, with the second and third businesses getting progressively fewer clicks.
- The fourth listing, the one with a review and text snippets, appears to have had more click activity than the third result.
- The top-ranked business always garnered attention and clicks, but listings further down the page did well when they had additional social content like star ratings, reviews and text snippets.
- When the top results have fewer social signals such as reviews (e.g. London), lower results get more visual attention.
- If your website is listed in any position other than the top, and your listing does not include any social signals, it will be relatively ignored, especially if there are other listings that do have social signals.
An eye tracking study done in July 2010 reveals some new insights into searcher behavior.
The study shows that the search snippet, often the meta description from the site, is an extremely important factor for searchers. It is fixated ovre more than the title or URL… searchers spent more time reading the snippet.
UK based SEO firm BrightLocal recently conducted an online survey of just over 2,000 consumers in the US and UK to determine local search usage patterns and attitudes. They found:
- 71% of online consumers consulted local business reviews at least occasionally, with 22% saying they do so regularly
- Those in the 35-54 age range consult reviews more than other groups
- 55% of US consumers trust a local business more after reading positive online reviews, and reviews appear to have a meaningful impact on consumer behavior
- 67% of respondents say they trust online reviews as much as word of mouth recommendations