Nov 09 2011

Research Shows Which Google Places Listings Get More Clicks

Category: local search marketingTom Shivers

 

What gets more attention from prospects: listings with images or those with customer quotes?

As it turns out, the answer is “yes.” Mediative recently completed a study watching people interact with search results in Google Places listings. They wanted to know where people look, whether listings with reviews influence people and if/how people use the maps.

The study involved 12 in-person participants using eye-tracking software and another 90 participants online. The premise was that each participant took an imaginary road trip across Canada, choosing a place for a friend to get a tattoo in each of 4 different cities: Hamilton, London, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Some findings were obvious: the top listing gets the most attention, as do listings with maps.

But the first interesting finding came in London, Ontario, where the Number 3 listing had several positive reviews, including a snippet of one reviewer’s quote. The other listings had no reviews. The eye-tracking participants definitely noticed the Number 3 listing, as did the participants who clicked on search result listings.

Eye tracking heat map of Google Places listings:

Clicks on Google Places listings and map:

This finding suggests that being the top listing is good, but having positive reviews helps, too.

Based on the eye-tracking results, Mediative observed:

  • People tend to start scanning at the top listing from left to right and move down to the next listing, but not scan as far out, and so on, creating a triangular pattern. This means it’s important to attend to your website’s SEO and Google Places listings, because the higher your ranking, the greater your chances of having prospects read more of your listing.
  • Thumbnail images get attention and clicks, so add them.
  • People do look at the map.
  • When top results have fewer reviews, lower results get more visual attention.

Based on the click maps results, Mediative observed:

  • When no reviews are present, the top listing gets the most clicks.
  • If your site is not in the top spot and does not have reviews, it will be ignored, especially when other listings do have reviews.
  • It’s a good idea to complete your profile, adding as many clickable items as possible.

Get Mediative’s full Eye Tracking and Click Mapping Google Places study.

Interested in optimizing your Google Places listing? Contact us. We’ve got great ideas to help you attract more attention (and customers).

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10 Responses to “Research Shows Which Google Places Listings Get More Clicks”

  1. Nyagoslav says:

    While this is a truly awesome research, it unfortunately covers only the Maps results which are not the most important ones in local search. Nevertheless, it is nice to see one more proof that reviews generate higher CTR.

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  5. Erik Ketelaar, CPA says:

    I saw a huge pick up in my CPA practice when I started doing more to improve my google local places ad. It seems like regular search is good for international and national services while map searches are best for local or regional services.
    Erik Ketelaar, CPA recently posted..Financial Management CoursesMy Profile

  6. webdesign india says:

    The research was great it is very detailed but it should also be done using thumbnail images. Because i feel that attractive colored thumbnails also catches eye like a hoarding in real world. If top results have green color in their thumbnail then one should use red, it may also help. Thanks anyways for sharing.

  7. Brian Greenberg says:

    The heat maps are fantastic. And at least you have proof that people do indeed look at the maps 🙂 Getting reviews and having a full profile is the way to go.
    Brian Greenberg recently posted..Google Plus Now Open For BusinessMy Profile

  8. Sim Renegade says:

    I agree with webdesign india. one should be using thumbnail images to have a “feel” of the destination or location one must go. after all humans are mostly visual persons and the color red is the color that makes people stop like in traffic lights.

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