by: Dick Stroud 

This article from MarketingSherpa is fascinating. It is not age specific but the general principles will apply to the 50-plus market.

How do we use Google. More accurately, how do we look at Google?

It appears that when using Google (or any other engine) our eyes view the results screen in a predictable series of involuntary reactions.

These are some of the findings from the research:

Attention span: 0.7 seconds: Two-thirds of the consumers studied looked at a typical result for only 0.7 seconds. Search results are generally very short--perhaps 20 words in all including headline, body copy, and click link. But even at that length, it would take more than 0.7 seconds to read all that copy properly.
Clearly, consumers don't both reading the copy properly. They don't read every word you've written. They make click or not-click decisions on a microsecond's worth of reading time.

Copywriting really matters: In addition to displaying the actual search term in your headline (something so many marketers are doing now that it may lose effectiveness in 2006) best copy tactics to test include the use of bold, displaying actual prices, featuring a phone number and lots more.

Organic vs. paid listings: Organic results (free listings) are far more important and can get more viewership and clicks than paid for keywords.

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