(This article was published by eMarkets and is very important information. More on search engine optimiztion in upcoming articles.)
Search Marketing: Coming Out On Top
APRIL 17, 2006
First page or bust!
According to iProspect‘s “Search Engine User Behavior Study,” search marketers should strive to get their natural results as high as possible on search return pages; 62% of search engine users click on links returned within the first page of search hits. A full 90% of users click on hits within the first three pages of search results.
Searchers seldom wander deep into results.
“The message to marketers should be clear, and the implications obvious,” said Robert Murray, President, iProspect. “If your site is not found on the first page â€” or within the first three pages of search results â€” you might as well be putting up a billboard in the woods.”
Search placement not only affects click-through behavior, it seems to have an affect on attitudes as well. Among search engine users, 36% believe that the companies whose websites are listed at the top of the search results are also the leading brands.
“[Many] search engine users ascribe industry leadership to those brands within top results, and believe them to be leaders in their fields,” said Mr. Murray. “Cleary, this brand lift is a critical element for brand marketers. It not only reinforces the importance of being found in the top results, but also underscores the need for collaboration between online marketers and their colleagues in brand management, as search is clearly no longer just for direct marketers.”
The study also found out what happens when users don’t find what they are searching for:
- 41% change search engines or search terms if they do not find what they seek on the first page of search results.
- 88% change engines or search terms if they do not find what they seek on the first three pages of search results.
- 82% re-launch an unsuccessful search using the same search engine but with more keywords.
“Marketers make six figure investments in websites without any consideration for how that site will attract an audience,” said Mr. Murray. “It’s time that companies that are refreshing, re-designing, or launching a new website start with the end in mind. If no one can find it, no one will use it. It will be a wasted investment without a clear search strategy.”