How Consumers Search and Why It’s Important to You

*hint—It might affect your SEO strategies


Going to the library to look up information, or pulling out a hard cover copy of a dictionary has become a thing of the past. According to comScore, nowadays, more than 14.7 billion searches are being performed each month. Everyone is ‘Googling’ items or visiting other major search engines to find the information or products they’re looking for. In fact on Tuesday, December 15th2009 a record high of $913 million was recorded as the highest individual spending day online. Cyber Monday (Nov. 30th) came in second for 2009 at $887 million in online spending. It’s no wonder with statistics like these that more and more people are turning to the internet to sell their products; but which search engines should you focus your SEO efforts towards?


There are plenty of SEO companies out there that promise to hand submit your website to thousands of search engines; but can you even name ten? When it comes to SEO work, it’s good to remember that quality is definitely better than quantity. There is no point of submitting your website to thousands of search engines when 71.6 percent of searches happen through Google.The second place search engine is Yahoo with 15.4 percent of the search engine traffic. If you’re thinking about paying someone to complete some SEO work for your company, make sure you can differentiate the ‘fluff’ work and bogus promises to what will really help your website.


Before you choose a company to help you with your SEO or SEM efforts, or before you decide to tackle the SEO/SEM beast yourself; make sure you educate yourself with the different types of searches consumers perform. About 80 percent of searches are informational in nature with only 10 percent of searches being either navigational or transactional. What does that mean for you?


Navigational searchesare when you visit a predetermined destination looking for the ‘correct’ website. For example, maybe you’re looking to check in to your United Airlines flight…you might Google ‘United Airlines’ to find the check in area.


Transactional searchesare when you are identifying a local company to make a purchase or complete a task. For example, if you search for an Italian restaurant nearby, you are performing a transactional search. The most popular searches are informational in nature. This means the consumer is searching for an answer to a question; whether it’s finding out reviews for a certain product, determining which vacuum will clean their floor the best, or finding out the cast of a particular television series…those are all informational searches.


It’s important for your SEO efforts to know how consumers are searching for you because 62 percent of consumers will click on a link within the first page of a search, and 90 percent of consumers will click on a link within the first three pages (according to The Art of SEO, 2010). The more information you know about your customers, the more you can target your SEO efforts.


As you may know SEO is a reoccurring chore. If you don’t update your content, optimize your site correctly, increase your link juice, etc. on a regular basis, your company will quickly and steadily fall to one of the last pages of a consumer’s search. However, whether you are tackling this by yourself, or you’ve chosen to hire a professional, once you’ve mastered SEO for your keywords, the results are amazing.


Samantha Colafrancesco is the director of community relations for 123Triad Web Design & Marketing. If you need help starting your own website, SEO, or SEM campaign, please feel free to contact her at 800-720-0816 or email,





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