To Click or Not to Click: A study of tourists social media click behavior on search engine result pages
This study aims to discover whether tourists are more likely to click on website or social media results from Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), and whether rank, title, URL and/or meta-description impacts click behavior. An experimental research design consisting of 521 random respondents was used to determine whether tourists click on Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) website or social media sites, and which factors influence tourism consumer click behavior on a SERP. The findings from this study indicate that tourists are more likely to click on tourism destination websites than social media sites from SERPs. However, tourism consumers are more likely to click on DMO social media sites when these are top results on a SERP, and when rank is a determinant of click behavior. Therefore, while social media plays a significant role in searching for a tourism destination, maintaining a well-optimized website is still vital to being found on search engines by potential visitors. There have been studies exploring tourist website click behavior on SERPs; however, there has not been a study exploring the difference between tourist’s website and social media click behavior on SERPs.