What’s Different on the Small Screen
Back in February (or there abouts) Google changed the way the SERP displays on computers; sidebar ads were removed from the right-hand side of the page. Their reasoning was in part to make the search engine result page on a desktop more closely mirror the experience on mobile, giving a greater sense of continuity for users. There’s another reason these ads were removed – they weren’t getting many clicks/attention from searchers. However, the mobile SERP is a bit different. Naturally, you have a smaller screen so your attention is more focused. So where do people actually look? The answer may surprise you.
Mobile SERP: It’s Right In Front of You
In a 2015 study carried out by Medative, the habits of people using mobile search were thoroughly examined. The study provided insight into what is important, and it directly relates to the mobile SERP experience. Here’s what the study found:
- People don’t scroll down as far. Being on the front page is important as you know. It’s doubly important on mobile SERPs. On desktop searches, 16% of people will go below the top 4 results, but on mobile, this drops to only 7%.
- Ads take up more space. On the mobile SERP, it is unlikely that the top result is going to be an organic link. More often than not it will either be an ad or some part of the google architecture (Maps, Google News, Knowledge Graph, etc). So this means that even if your organic SEO ranking is great and you’re top of the page, you need to also consider paid ads. Mobile ads can take as much as 24% of all clicks from the mobile SERP.
- Ratings and reviews. When rating and review websites were the top links for a search, they typically took over 50% of the viewers attention. So if you find your business being outranked by your Yelp or Tripadvisor reviews, be aware that as much as half of your traffic could be diverted there before they visit your site. Make sure your profiles are clean and you’re responding to reviews (both positive and negative).
- Ad extensions. If you are running AdWords ads already, then make sure you maximize ad extensions. A fully-optimized ad, if displayed by Google in its entirety, can take up almost an entire length of a mobile SERP. That means that one well-executed ad has the potential of the lion’s share of clicks for some searches.
The simplest conclusion we draw from the research on mobile search behavior is, at the very least, you should be running some brand ads on the Google AdWords network. If you’re not, and your competition is, you are drastically reducing your chances of getting clicks on any mobile searches. With the way mobile search is evolving, you may become invisible.
Is your mobile search behavior similar to what was found in the search? Or, are you a rebel with a smartphone?
How can we help?
Do you need help with your organic SEO? Where are you on mobile SERP?
We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.