google search Query

How People Use Google Search (New User Behaviour Study)

If your goal is to increase traffic organically, then understanding user behaviour is very important.

Who doesn’t want to rank higher in the search engine results page. But to make your business offerings noticeable you need to understand user behaviour.

There are lots of Google algorithm but user behaviour is the most focused factor that determines search engine rankings.

By understanding the user behaviour, you can optimize your SEO efforts and improve your rankings in search engines.

Luckily, researchers of Backlinko conducted a study. It is to understand and learn how users engage with the search engine results. 

I hope with the findings; you can strengthen your SEO efforts and improve search rankings.

The Method of Studying User behaviour with search engine results:

Experts in Backlinko asked more than 400 users from the US and asked them to perform a set of tasks by using Google. 

They analysed more than 1,800 user behaviour sessions. After that they understood how people interact with modern Google results page.

Below are the tasks or queries users need to search on Google.

  • Physical product of a business: For the Ford F-150 truck, find a phone holder under 20$.
  • Service of a business: For new cardholders, find an airline credit card that offers at least 20,000 miles in the first year.
  • Service of a business #2: Find a small business card that doesn’t take an annual fee and offers less than a 25% interest rate.
  • Locally: In your local area, find a car accident lawyer.
  • Information-based: Find the best video that shows how to cut the hair yourself.
  • Information-based #2: Find information on the best way to buy groceries online in your local area without having to pay a delivery fee.
  • Transactional: Finding supplements/medicines that can help to heal your lower back pain.

All the participating users had to record their sessions. Later it will be inspected whether they followed the task guidelines of the study.

After analysing all of them, Backlinko came with the below results.

1. 23% of the time, searchers used Google Autocomplete Suggestions:

Google Autocomplete Suggestions is based on users search history, geology and collected information.

When the user enters a few words, Google presents a list of suggestions in case it satisfies the user’s queries.

The study shows that 23% of the time users have clicked on one of Google’s autocomplete suggestions.

2. Almost 50% of the users clicked on a result within 9 seconds and 25% within 5 seconds of their search:

Users examine the search engine results page to click on the result which fulfils their query. Google tries the best way to answer the user’s query using video, ask boxes and narratives.

The study showed that almost half of the users clicked on a result within 9 seconds after they search. Also, further, it was discovered that nearly 25% of user clicked on a result within 5 seconds.

3. Only 9% of the users scrolled down to the first page’s bottom:

Users saw more SERPs when searching for “supplements for back pain” compared to “vehicle mobile holder”. This happened because of the difference in the search engine results page highlights.

Also, it was noticed that only 9% of the user scrolled down to the bottom of the page to gather information.

4. Only 15% of the user made changes to their first search term:

After many algorithm updates, Google has improved the capability of understanding user’s aim of a question.

And because of that, 85% of the user found the solution to their query. Only 15% of them had to change the search term to find relevant answers.

5. Just 17% of the user bounced back to the results page:

83% of the user were happy with the click on the results in the first page. Also, 59% of users clicked on unique outcomes, whereas only 6% visited more than four pages to seek information.

6. 65% of users preferred organic search results:

Despite, Google’s various SERP highlights such as featured snippets, etc. 65% of the users clicked on organic results.

It doesn’t mean that users don’t click on ads as many preferred both advertisement and organic.

7. During the search, 19% of users clicked on Google Ads:

Majority of the users clicked on ads when searching for business and value-based terms in contrast to educational query.

Ads in Google take up more space in the results page, and only 19% of the users clicked on advertisements. Also, a unique number of 4% clicked on different ads when searching for a term.

8. Users searching for local, 42% clicked on Google Map Pack:

The Google Map guides pack consists of three map outcomes that appear along with other search results.

When users searched for a query like “sushi New York”, they saw a pack of locations in a map. It was discovered that 42% of the users clicked on the map result when searching for a local query.

9. Users searching for a product, 19% clicked on Shopping result:

When searching for a product, Google shows a list of relevant products at the top of the page.

Only 19% of the total users searching for a product clicked on Google Shopping result.

10. Only 3% of the users interacted with People Also Ask box:

SEMrush indicated People Also Ask box has 43.21% rate of appearance in Google indexed lists. 

It was found that only 3% of the total users took the help of the People Also Ask box.

11. Only 0.44% of the user visit Google’s second results page:

Only 0.44% of the total user visited the second results page. This was also observed in CTR research that was done a year ago using Google Search Console.

That proves how crucial it is to rank on the first page of search results.

12. Average search session lasts only 76 seconds:

It was noticed in the study that on an average a user spends only 76 seconds before he/she finally clicks on a result.

Also, 25% of the users looking for answers clicked on a result of fewer than 30 seconds.

The time can be different depending on the type of query searched. Google does the best at providing relevant information on the first page.

And because of the many SERP highlights, it makes the searcher quickly clicking on a result.

Final Thoughts:

The purpose of this study is to help you understand how users are interacting with  modern search results.

As Google SERPs are constantly changing. You must know how the user react so that you can improve your ranking efforts.

User behaviour also changes, their knowledge grows, and they become better researchers. You must know to provide a better user experience.

Author Bio: Lavanya is a Digital Marketer and a blogger who is working at Suprams Info Solutions. She had worked with various businesses and helped them increase their online presence.

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