Do you ever wonder where most users click on the Google search results pages? MarketingSherpa did a study back in 2006 I just happened across, using a heat map (get a free heat map for your site). The study tracks the mouse arrow on the page and where they click. I think the study results are a bit expected, yet a bit surprising at the same time.

Google Results Heat Map

Here are my bullet points regarding this image:

  • Notice the sidebar sponsored results. Little to no activity. If this is the case, where do all of the PPC clicks come from for search results? Unless you’re the highest bidder and being shown on the top sponsored, there isn’t much action.
  • The top sponsored results seem to get the best activity as far as sponsored goes. It would appear the most opportunity would be the last, or bottom of the top sponsored results. In other words, closest to the natural results. Problem is, you have to break your bank if you’re in a competitive market to get those top spots.
  • The natural list is what was expected. People prefer natural results over sponsored results. The top 1-2 spots get the majority of the clicks and while the rest of the top 10 get some activity, the top spots are going to pull in a good 60-70 percent of the traffic.

Putting the pieces together, be careful of your sponsored ads. Keep good logs to ensure the clicks are good true clicks. A good click will stay on your site longer than a second or two. A good click will visit your site for a minimum of 15-20 seconds, but generally a few minutes.

If you really want the bang for your buck, go for the the top of the natural results. The clicks are real and no chance of fraudulent activity. Not to mention it usually costs a lot less when it all boils down. Want to learn more? Give us a call! 866.LNK.WRTH.

Per Enrique’s question below, I did an image search and found a link to this site, so credit to them and the actual sources of these images, but here is some other great information about searcher behavior:

Click Percentages


Sample Results