Online Competition: Google’s Instant Preview Offers Opportunity

by Celeste Bishop

in Online Competition

OK – you’re on the first page of Google Search Engine Results Page (in Internet marketing jargon that’s SERP) but your competitors are in higher positions. How can you grab the attention away from your competitors even though they’re ranked higher?

Answer: Google Instant Previews

Google recently added visual search capability to their search results. They refer to it a bit more eloquently – Google Instant Previews (made available via Google Instant).

Google Instant Previews enables searchers to immediately have access to what the page will look like, without even leaving Google’s site. Good news for Google – more time spent on their site means more advertising dollars earned for the behemoth. (They never miss a trick, do they?) Not necessarily good news for businesses — unless you understand how to leverage this.

Here’s a quick look at how an Instant Preview displays for a listing that came up when I searched on “Dalmatian.”

Instant Preview Example for Dalmatian Search

Instant Preview Example for Dalmatian Search

If you’re as fixated on Dalmatians as I am, you might find this preview pretty appealing and you can quickly compare it to visual representations of the other page listings without even leaving the results page Google displayed. In this case, this listing was #7 on Google’s first page. It normally wouldn’t get much attention, however, when I used Instant Preview it stood out as compared to some relatively dull visual previews for higher-ranking sites.

If you understand how to leverage Instant Preview you can actually grab some of the attention from your higher-ranking competitors. This can be profitable news when you stop to consider that (prior to Instant Preview):

•    42% of Click-throughs go to the #1 listing on Google’s SERP
•    #2 position plummets to just a 12% Click-through rate
•    A meager 3% of searchers will even bother to Click on the 7th position listing

And you thought all you needed to do was get on page one!

It won’t happen this way every time, however, if the listings that rank above yours have lackluster preview visuals, it’s entirely conceivable that the searcher will continue down the page until something captures their eye.

Now, with this visual element added, it’s possible for you to capture searcher’s attention that normally went overwhelming to the owner of the #1 position just by making sure that your previews stand out. Act now while your online competition is asleep at the switch on this new Google capability.

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