No Google Ads…Yet
A new study by EyeTrackShop shows that interest in Google+ ads would be high, if they had them. Granted there are only about 50 million Google+ users at this time, but already interest is high in finding a way to leverage its growing popularity into advertising revenue. The study shows that people who use Google+ (which right is just a bunch of early adopters) would spend at least as much time looking at them as they would at Facebook ads.
This is good news for anyone who makes their living as a social media marketer.
So far, Google+ is virgin territory.
Whoever gets there first is practically guaranteed to see the biggest return on their investment of time in learning their way around. Google+ is still not open to business profiles, but that seems to be only a matter of time. Google has all but promised it was making business profiles a priority for their new social media platform and would have something available in the Fall.
This doesn’t mean that everyone should rush right out and buy Google+ advertising space as soon as it becomes available. It is simply a sign that despite some past social media faux-pas (Google Buzz, Google Wave), Google seems to have finally picked a winner.
Google+ continues to rack up users and these users will eventually give them the power to leverage advertising revenue in a way perhaps never seen before.
EyeTrackShop conducted the study in Sweden, enlisting 54 participants for two days and using the home pages of both Facebook and Google+. It set out to determine whether the social network could become the stronger advertising platform of the two.
The Google+ page layout, similar to Facebook, made it easy for EyeTrackShop to create a mock-up of what a page might look like with ads. During the study, both Google+ and Facebook initially attracted the attention of visitors to the middle of the page. From there, the average viewer shifts their gaze left and up. Respondents then scan the top of the page from left to right before following the right rail ad column from top to bottom.
About 50% of participants fixate on at least one of the ads on Facebook. They first fixate on the ads about five seconds into the session. On average, they remain on the ad for about one second.
For the test, the same ads were placed on Google+ showing similar results. Since Google+ and Facebook pages look and track eye movement, the study concludes that ads placed on Google similar to Facebook would perform om a similar way.
EyeTrackShop displayed the ads for 15 seconds. It took most participants five seconds to find the ad on the page, and they spent one second looking at it. When Facebook ads were overlaid on Google+, the study results suggested a similar outcome.
“We think Google is positioned to make massive revenue on ads in Google+, and in turn, give advertisers an improved return on investment compared with ads running on Facebook,” said Jeff Bander, senior vice president of client services at EyeTrackShop, formerly MRC International. “On a benchmark of 74%, only 53% saw the ad on Facebook. People also spent less time looking at the ad on Facebook.”
EyeTrackShop’s online ad-tracking platform gives agencies, marketers and brands insight into how ads or Web sites are perceived by visitors or consumers. Participants can opt in to the study from any computer equipped with a Web camera, which the platform uses to determine eye movement.
- Users Respond to Google+ and Facebook Interfaces Nearly Identically [Study] (searchenginewatch.com)
- Eye-tracking software shows how Google+ ads could line up against Facebook’s (digitaltrends.com)
- Study: Google+ and Facebook using same ad-placement playbook (venturebeat.com)
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