Who clicks what on Google search?
And how it should inform your digital dental marketing
The results of a recent large-scale study has been published which show how users interact with Google, i.e. how many people click on specific parts of the search results. For example, how many people click on ads versus the traditional organic (free) results, how many use local listings, shopping feeds and so on. This type of data is essential to help inform digital marketing strategies, including those for dentists.
With this in mind, I thought it would be useful to summarise the key findings of the study and how the results impact decisions we make when advising dental clients about their digital campaigns. Let’s make a start.
What percentage of users click on ads versus organic results?
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, “organic” simply means the traditional results (“10 blue links”) which Google has always presented i.e. not paid adverts. The results are quite interesting in that around 20% of users click on ads when they are searching compared to 65% who preferentially use the organic results. This is perhaps a little bit surprising in that ads in Google are increasingly prominent and you might expect users to click there first. However, it is well known that a lot of people are slightly wary of ads and tend to trust the organic listings more, hence why the traffic ratio is more skewed than you might expect.
But what does this tell us? The overriding takeaway is that you should still ensure that organic SEO is a priority within your digital campaign i.e. attaining and then maintaining good organic search listings for your priority search terms. This is simply because those results will deliver the most traffic and also traffic with the best chance of leading to an enquiry (converting).
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore ads; on the contrary. Google ads are a great way to get prominence quickly and will be particularly beneficial if you are still building good organic presence. They are also essential for gaining visibility on mobile searches and for “topping out” traffic where good organic positions have already been achieved.
What percentage of users click on “local pack” results?
The local pack results show on page one, often accompanied by maps, reviews and other information. They are typically very prominent and hence very important within a search strategy. If you hear the phrase “local SEO” this is what is being discussed. The study showed that 42% of users click on the local results when local search queries were used – so a lot of traffic. For example, for users typing “local dentist” into Google search, on average, 42% would click on a local pack result.
This tells us that presence in the local pack is essential for your dental practice and that those positions must be strived for as part of a broader SEO strategy. Elsewhere in this blog we’ve discussed techniques to achieve this, for example building reviews and business citations.
How many people use the auto-complete function?
When you type a search query into Google, you are typically presented with a range of “auto complete” suggestions. These are based on historical user searches and represent what Google thinks you may be looking for. The study suggests that users use one of the auto-complete suggestions around 23% of the time; so quite frequently. We can actually use this information to help us optimise web content in line with what Google thinks users want – it is very useful for basic SEO keyword research and contextual analysis around that.
Do users go to page two of the search results?
In a word “no”. Well actually around half a percent of searchers do. Only around 9% make it down to the base of page one. This quite clearly shows us that our web pages need to appear prominently on page one of Google and that page two is pretty much a wasteland. Ideally we need to target the top half of page one and then progressively move our results into the top three where most of the clicks occur.
Single page users
This one is quite surprising, but just under 60% of users visit just a single page to get the answer they need. Only 6% visit four or more pages. This tells us that we need to be provided specific, accurate information on all of our website pages as users can be reluctant to click to find additional information. Of course this type of well-crafted information is also needed to help achieve good Google positions in the first place.
How quickly do users click after making their search query?
50% of searchers select a result in 9 seconds or less, so they don’t hang around. This tells us that we need to make the information which appears in Google as attractive as possible to get those clicks. So making sure your page titles and descriptions is well worth the effort. It’s also essential to investigate the use of code “mark-up” techniques to help Google interpret you information and show more of it in the search listings.
The survey also produced lots more data but we think the above represents the most interesting and useful. However, if you’d like to see more, please get in touch with our team.
Every day the SEO team here at Dental Media is acquiring and analysing data like the above to help hone and optimise our client’s SEO campaigns to bring in lots of new patient enquiries. If you’d like the same experience brought to bear for your own campaigns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01332 672548. Our team will be delighted to take your call.Google+