Google Instant Previews Makes Site Design A Priority
First impressions are important, even when it comes to Web sites. So it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that Instant Previews, which Google released Tuesday, could prompt an increase in demand for designers and put more emphasis on colors and page layout. At least one search marketing firm in the United Kingdom believes it could have brands scrambling to redesign Web sites.
The Instant Previews feature aims to let people quickly determine the pages that are most relevant to their keyword search and avoid spam or virus-infected sites. One feature highlights when search terms appear to help people evaluate the result.
A little magnifying glass appearing in each query result tells the searcher a preview is available. Hovering the cursor over any other result allows the searcher to see a preview. For those who no longer use a mouse to search, Google lets searchers navigate results using the down arrow key to keep browsing and the right arrow key to see the preview. An image of the site pops up.
During tests, Google found that people who use Instant Previews are 5% more likely to like the results they click. The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making you more likely to find what the searcher seeks before visiting the page.
While Google's Instant Previews could assist searchers in seeing Web site pages without clicking on the results, it could cause brands to rethink the site design to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Google's search feature should make site designs even more important to winning the click in both paid and natural search, according to U.K. search marketing firm Greenlight.
Jim Warren, pay per click (PPC) account manager at Greenlight, believes the Instant Previews feature could prove costly not only to online advertisers, but also to brands with an online presence. He explains that previously the design of a site had an impact on the conversion rate, but companies could still generate the initial traffic to it. If searchers can look at the overall design of a site before clicking, then suddenly a whole new set of parameters begin to become important in generating clicks.
For example, colors, logo positions and size and site layout are just some aspects of the site that companies will need to consider when building landing pages. It's too soon to know exactly what will impact the click most, Warren says. The wrong colors and page layout to attract consumers could drop the percentage of click-through rates (CTRs) -- something brands didn't have to worry about in the past, he adds.
"This in turn would also result in a drop in Quality Score and an increase in cost per clicks (CPCs) as a result-- not good news for sites with a poor user experience," Warren says.