Perhaps this study that I came across really validates why Google AdWords are such an effective form of advertising.
Three researches from Cornell University studied the eye movements of users while they used the Google search tool. A sample of undergraduate students participated in a test to perform 397 searches on Google, while the research team tracked the movement of their eyes.¹ The study produced some interesting results.
As seen in the 'heat-map' image below, users focused mostly on the top four listings on the page. Interestingly enough, that is the same area that Google AdWords appear.
Many landlords do not have the ability to reach the top four positions in Google but purchasing your way to the top through Google AdWords is a great way to gain traffic.
Some of our clients have even seen increases to traffic and email leads in the 200 to 300 percent range!
1. Laura A. Granka, Thorsten Joachims, Geri Gay. 'Eye-tracking analysis of user behaviour in WWW search', SIGIR, 2004. Available at http://www.cs.cornell.edu/People/tj/publications/granka_etal_04a.pdf Retrieved on 26.10.06