With the advancing times, a lot has changed in the Google’s display of search results and so has the search patterns. Now we can see paid advertisements on the top of results, at the right side and just above the fold too. Now, the top result no more appears on top, it can be buried beneath the ads which are now significantly contributing in bringing the search traffic to the website. Mobile users want quick results and so they do not wait for the organic result to show up, they go with the PPC ad or featured snippets or carousels for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs).
Those websites which do not provide the answer to the query in the first paragraph itself, are hit with ‘back’ button instantly. There are so many websites with so much to offer; as such you need to be the best to beat the rest. The number 1 positioned website is still getting the maximum clicks but only if the content is relevant, the number 3 or 4 are also getting significant clicks. When you read SEO agencies reviews about the mobile search pattern, they can put you on the right optimization path.
Since the desktop and mobile representations of search results are different, you cannot optimize your site only for desktop, and hope that it improves your mobile search rankings too. With the limited number of listings of search results page, the competition is becoming tougher and the necessity of gaining top position has escalated.
We are not writing our views on the search patterns; these are the conclusions of eye tracking study by Mediative; a leading digital marketing company. A group of searchers were asked to use mobile phone to search over the internet. Their search pattern was recorded; the time they take to click on a result, the position of search result that they click the most, the time they spend on each site and the number of sites they visit for a specific keyword was analysed closely. Let us discuss all the conclusions of this study in detail.
Conclusion #1: About the First Organic Result
The top result on the search results page is still the most viewed result, but now users take longer time to reach to it. It is not visible to mobile users instantly at the left upper corner; they need to slide down to see it. So, all those lazy lads out there who just want the answer, they go to the paid ad. The rest of the people slide down to click on the organic result. As such, the relevancy of the content needs to be the top priority of the content creation team. You may rank at number one position in the search results, but users have read the ads too, they will compare your Meta data and topic relevancy with the ads.
So yes, you have beat the competition and came at the top, but now you need to beat the PPC ads too which can only be done by catering the needs of your audiences. There is too much distraction on the search result page and the relevancy of your content was never so needed before.
Conclusion #2: About the Results below the Fourth Position
The mobile screen is small and with limited search listings on each page, so you need to scroll down to access more results. This is the theoretical concept, but the truth is: even if you are scrolling down to see more options, the results below position 4 are still pretty much ignored. The click rates are negligible and sometimes, mobile users do not scroll down and go for the top few results.
Mobile optimization is the need of the hour and if you fail in that, you fail in your SEO campaign. Strip down your HTML and make your site fast loading, track your mobile SEO separately and closely. Since ads and carousels appear before organic search result, use them to get some extra traffic. Now, Google has started considering app data for search results too, so if you have an app make sure it is indexed. Do not build up the problem much and focus only on providing solution. One good way to get an edge over your competitors is to develop AMPs. Not many people are using them but they sure are the future of mobile search.
Conclusion #3: About effect of Knowledge Graph
Google is proud of providing quick and relevant information to its searchers. With this purpose, it shows knowledge graphs at the right side or top of search results. These knowledge graphs offer basic and quick information about the searcher’s query. Those people, who are searching for a definition or a short bio of a famous personality or some quick recipe to make an eggless cake, need not to click on any result. As a result, the queries that show knowledge graphs, the clicks on first result is decreased significantly; if not drastically (some people still want full detailed information).
This is due to the fact that knowledge graphs are right in front of the eyes and does not need scrolling down. If you are losing your traffic because of them, you need to find new keyword opportunity that does not show these knowledge graphs.
Conclusion #4: About the Top Sponsored Ad
Since we know that sponsored ads are stripping away traffic from the organic result, they themselves present as an excellent shot to drive search traffic. The small screen of mobile demands the wise use of every small element of it. If you cannot invest time in core SEO, you can invest money in PPC. Search top SEO Companies and find the best in your interests. These professionals help you from keyword bidding to designing landing pages. The top paid ad receives maximum number of clicks and the traffic drops as coming down the list. In short, consider putting some money in PPC ads to ‘buy’ visitors.
You need to put the business services, phone number and location in the Meta for that ad, to inspire impulse actions. Give your site and app extensions in the ad so that people can visit your site and download your app through it.
Conclusion #5: About Maps and Local Listings
Local businesses now have more scope to drive traffic to their website than ever before. Google promotes local businesses and has given them a place in the search results too. Whether you have searched implicitly (global search without mentioning your city, like best coffee shop) or explicitly (with your location like best coffee shop in Texas), both the results will contain a few coffee shops from your location; Texas. People who are searching for a place to hangout or for an appliance repairer, they will definitely prefer local results and thus other organic listings get very less chance to be visited.
The local results may be situated at the top or in the middle, but they surely attract more traffic and impact the organic results negatively. You need to start focusing on your local landing pages and manage them with full dedication. The landing pages of different cities should be unique and included call to action, testimonials of customers and full address and number. Manage your Google+ account and keep it informative. You can read more about local landing pages here.
Concluding the discussion with the important concept to be kept in mind- Whatever you do; use PPC ads, core SEO, local landing pages, accelerated mobile pages or snippets, you need to be visible on the first screen of the search results. The results below the fourth organic result is as good as nothing, the odds in the favor of getting clicks is negligible. If you think that optimizing the search engine is tough, try optimizing for mobiles; it is tougher. Anyhow, it is the need of the hour, if you are not already doing it, start from today before it gets too late.