The number one position in search results isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all for marketers anymore, according to a new study by Blue Nile Research.
The research shows search results with rich snippets (i.e. star reviews, author images) listed further down on the page outperformed a standard link in the first position. On average, a position 2 search result with rich snippets received 61 percent of clicks. In contrast, a standard link in position 1 received 48 percent of clicks – a 13 percent difference.
“Because we as human beings are wired to respond to visuals, this shift has the potential to greatly impact the consumer’s click decision,” wrote the authors of the study.
In one particular example, those surveyed picked a rich media search result in the second position 76 percent of the time. The first search result was with a standard link.
Rich media elements can be added to search engine results through structured markup/schema tags in the website code.
Marketers Take Note of Change in Click-Through Patterns
Blue Nile Research isn’t the first to study the changing trend in how searchers are clicking. In 2014, another study, The Evolution of Google’s Results & Effects on User Behaviour, by Mediative found results in positions 2-4 were seeing more click activity than in previous years. With paid ads typically found at the top of the page, users are looking further down the search results for the organic results.
Keywords, meta descriptions, content, ratings and reviews are all tactics that marketers should consider when aligning their web pages with revised search behavior.