Nov 09 2011
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).