How do marketers know for certain how well their strategies play out? The metrics marketers use to gauge how effective their search engine optimization tactics usually depend on traffic from several sources, click-thru rates and results on the search engine ranking page, among many others (1).
However, eye-tracking studies have been able to show marketers, Web designers and many others involved in online behavior how people actually see and interact with content. Specifically, research involving search engine results pages uncovered the "Golden Triangle," which appears in the top left corner of a SERP (2). In other words, people focus their attention most on the first few listings on the page, looking at the top results with greatest intensity.
However, this pattern has changed. Now, Web users tend to look up and down on the SERP, instead of clustering their attention in the corner. In addition, people spend less time looking at each search result. In fact, the average time spent dropped from 2 seconds to 1.17 seconds between 2005 and 2014. So while the top organic search result gets the most attention, buyers spend less time looking at it.
As a result, it's still critical that companies use the most relevant and effective SEO practices to not only land near the top of the SERP, but also inspire purchasers to click.