Google SERPs – Eye Tracking Confirms the Importance of Google Places

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Google SERPs – Eye Tracking Confirms the Importance of Google Places

We have all seen them in our search results.  Those little pins that let us know where a store or business is located.  Your looking for a good restaurant or a place to buy some shoes and when those little pins show up, is that were you look?  Well an article in SEOMoz’s The Daily SEO Blog, takes a look into local search with the help of Mirametrix, a company that produces affordable eye-tracking systems for researchers.
This experiment, in tracking where users looked when conducting different types of searches for “pizza,” had some really interesting results.  They help to confirm the importance of amping up your local online presence.

First SERP results -“best pizza in Chicago”

The first search result that was looked at was “best pizza in Chicago”.  The Google results and corresponding eye movement are very typical of what one might expect, lots of consideration being given to the top search results and looking at the map/ad space to the right hand side of the SERP.  This is the long standing “standard” of what people do when viewing search results, and it is called an “F-shaped” pattern.

Second SERP local results – “pizza”

Next up is a local search for “pizza”. These results were more varied but it’s clear that they were biased toward the part of the page with the locations shown.

Third SERP result Video Thumbnails – “how to make a pizza”

This one highlights the impact of video thumbnails in organic SERPs.  The query “how to make a pizza” brought up video thumbnails for the #2 and #3 spots. Here’s what the data had to say:

Fourth SERP Product Images – “pizza cutters”

The next search was for “pizza cutters” – this brought up brand and store searches at the top, along with images for shopping results after the 3rd organic listing. The eye-tracking data looked like this:

Fifth SERP  Expanded Sitelinks – “Pizza Hut”

Finally a search for “Pizza Hut” brought up 6 expanded site-links. Not surprisingly, this search also triggered some local results. Here’s the visual:


So whats the take-away

As you can see, thos esearch results that provide more than the typical SEO results and include either images, video, or location thumbtacks are certainly grabbing the attention of searchers.  With this being the case there are multiple things that we can take-away from this data.  If you haven’t updated your Google Places account, what are you waiting for.  Additionally, making sure that your Google Places account is properly set up to leverage not only your sites current content, but also matches those search terms that are both keywords for your website and are the terms that your possible customers are searching for.

Also, make sure that your video content and images also matches the correct keywords/search terms that can possible drive the right kind of traffic to your website.

Have you noticed any impact for your website from your Google Places account?  Do you know if your images or videos on YouTube are driving traffic from search results?

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