Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Image Credit: Mike Ramsey, click image to see explanation​

Yesterday we looked at a click through study and some heat maps showing where users click in the new Local 3 Pack - by Casey Meraz.

Last night I discovered Mike Ramsey from Nifty Marketing did another CTR study with heap maps.

Mike's study included shots/analysis of both desktop and mobile results for attorney and storage unit queries. He even did a heat map for the new sponsored home service packs in San Francisco.

5 Revealing New Local Pack Click Through Rate Studies

When changes happen I like to run whatever tests I can to understand the effects. While these click through rate studies don’t represent every search phrase, they sure do give us some interesting things to think about. For each of these we asked 100 individuals a variation of the following question:

“Pretend you needed an (industry) in (location). On a (Desktop/mobile device) you searched for “(Google Search Phrase)” and got the following search result. What listing, result, or option would you click/touch on next?”

Click through (pun intended) and check out Mike's heat maps and click through analysis.

THANKS MIKE! Great information!

In case you missed it, here is the thread about Casey's click through study.
<a href="">New 3 Pack Click Test Study! See where potential visitors are clicking</a>

See some correlation between the 2 studies?
They both scream loud and clear - organic is the place to be!

Besides the fact that organic rules again, does anything else jump out at you???
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Apr 16, 2014
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Thanks so much for sharing :) I was wondering how the new layout would change the heat map.
Thanks to Casey and Mike for doing the tests too.

How many people are seeing the top local 3-pack websites also being the top organic websites? I used to see it consistantly, but am seeing more yellowpages/kijiji/directory listings take the top organic spots now. Sometimes the 3-pack winners arn't on the first page organic at all.


Nov 25, 2013
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What I see more than anything is the increasing need to ensure your client/business is diverse in its online marketing strategy. If you have all of your marketing dollars and new client strategy only on GMB rankings, then you may be in trouble.

You really need a good blend of SEO, PPC, Social, Reputation, Directories, etc. An integrated approach will always be the best strategy, IMO.


Mar 10, 2014
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Great study and I agree with Mike that the studied sample should be bigger as to draw major conclusions, but the key point still applies here - there is a rise of the CTR on ads, the question is: are there verticals that will only be slightly affected by the latest SERPs reorganization or the impact will be significant.

My favorite part of his observations: "Getting into the top 7 was hard. 3 is a freaking joke. Yet again, organic first, local pack second."
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