More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Mike just blogged about a new heat map study done by Mediative.

I'm not going to rehash because Mike has the screenshots and some great analysis, so head over to read about it there.

<a href="">Local Heat Maps – Lots of Attention, Not So Much Clicking</a>
(Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

Mediative has published results of their recent eye-tracking and click through research performed last spring that included local pack and carousel results: The Evolution of Google Search Results Pages and Their Effects on User Behaviour”. They discuss the local implications in a blog post today.

<li>13% of time spent on the pages was looking inside the Local Listings box.</li>
<li>38% of participants look at the Local Listing box.</li>
<li>6% of page clicks were to the local listings.</li>
<li>The top organic listing garnered 41% of page clicks</li>
<li>The top two organic listings garnered 53% of page clicks.</li>

Mike made some great points about some of the limitations of this study in that it only tracked clicks and not overall actions. Mike said: "there is no data on whether or how frequently users cursored over local results to explore the Knowledge Panel. Nor whether users would have stopped and called some of the local results."

Phone calls in local are a biggie and I think more consumers pick up the phone and call local businesses instead of clicking.

I commented:
Thanks Mike, this actually (sadly) supports some comments I’ve heard at the Google Business forum.

One user I remember was really irate when he became “A” in the 7 pack instead of #1 in organic. (Back in the days when you could have either not both.)

He said when he was #1 organic he got lots of clicks but when his organic turned into a pack listing his clicks dropped way off. If I remember right the numbers were something like 212 organic clicks the previous month. 12 clicks from the A spot.

He wanted to kill his G+ Local listing so he could get his organic result back.

I think it depends on the type of business and the searcher’s intent. For some the bigger, more contextual organic listing, would deliver better results and get the clicks – especially if it was above the pack. But in some industries I think those map markers and reviews are really the drawing card.

Here is the Mediative post:
<a href="">The Evolution of Google's Search Results Pages & Effects on User Behaviour</a>

What do you think about this research???
This is what I noticed which surprised me. If you look it does not seem like a star rating was influencing the clicks at all. The top of organic and the top of the pack were receiving the most clicks no matter what. Wow, its very hard for me as a marketing guy to believe stars and ratings do not make more of a difference than they do.
No limited study is totally accurate.

And like I said: Phone calls in local are a biggie and I think more consumers pick up the phone and call local businesses instead of clicking. That research gives us no clue how many more called the pack listings than the organic. And of course many organics don't even have a phone# in the SERPs to call.

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