Study Demonstrates Impact of Google Checkout, Visibility of Search Engine Click-Through Rates
SendTec Teams with Eyetools, Examines Consumer Response to Google Checkout
St. Petersburg, Fla.—Dec 13, 2007— With the Cyber Monday collapse of Yahoo’s checkout platform, the checkout features offered by both Google and Yahoo are receiving tremendous scrutiny from advertisers and consumers. With this recent disastrous event, advertisers need clear documentation of what the potential benefits are from opting into a Search Engine’s checkout feature. A recent study from SendTec, Inc. (OTCBB: SNDN), a Search-Centricsm multi-channel marketing company, and Eyetools Inc., the leader in eyetracking analysis software, investigated the impact of the redesigned Google Checkout icon on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s).
The eyetracking data was collected from 100 participants and the click-through and conversion data was based on a case study involving data from a Google Checkout merchant. Although this study found that the enhanced button, featuring brighter colors after a February 2007 update, did not increase significantly the visibility of Google Checkout merchants’ ads, a SendTec case study does in fact show increased click-through rates for these ads. Further, the study showed a high positive correlation between how frequently Internet users’ eyes are drawn to elements on a search results page and clickthrough rates.
uBid.com, a SendTec client, noticed a 27 percent increase in conversion rates after the launch of the new Google Checkout icon, accompanied by a 5 percent decrease in cost-per-click. The Eyetools study concluded that although the presence of the icon did not increase the overall number of users who viewed an Adwords listing, the button’s presence does impact click behavior. This impact may be due to factors other than increased viewing such as Google brand recognition or user confidence in the Google Checkout service.
This study also showed that if a search listing is more likely to be seen, it is also more likely to be clicked on by users. The correlation between viewing and clicking fits an exponential curve, meaning that the drop off in clicking parallels the drop-off in viewing and vice-versa. With a very strong correlation of 0.95 according to the research, it is clear that any vehicle that increases an ad’s visibility will help advertisers achieve their marketing goals in the search channel. The SendTec-Eyetools results show that not only does being in highly viewed listing areas greatly increase the likelihood of being clicked, but also that an icon on AdWords can greatly improve click-through for sites in lesser viewed areas.