Commentary

Web Searchers Are Tenacious

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According to the new Performics 2010 Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Insights Study, conducted by ROI Research, regular searchers are tenacious. 89% will modify their search and try again if at first they don't succeed, 79% will try a different search engine, and half of the respondents are more likely to click on a search result if it includes an image or if a company/brand appears multiple times on the results page.

Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research, notes that "... (since) half of respondents will more likely click on a search result if a company/brand appears multiple times... the evolving SERP continues to reflect a brand's image, as determined by that brand... (and) the general public through social and user generated content. The (study) findings provide actionable data for marketers..."

While the primary search engine is Google for 75% of users, that percentage varies by the user's experience. "Novices" and "Advanced Beginners" have a tendency to start out on Yahoo!

Search Engine Used Most (% of Respondents)

Primary SE

All Users

Novice

Advanced Beginner

Competent

Proficient

Expert

Google

75%

57

63

74

79

76

Yahoo!

18

36

31

18

16

16

Bing

7

7

6

8

5

8

Source: Performics, Inc, September 2010

Respondents rely heavily on search when researching or making purchases, finds the study.

Search Engine Purchase Process

Use

% of Respondents

To find a specific manufacturer or product website

83%

To gather information before making purchase online

80

To learn more about product or service after seeing ad elsewhere

78

To find best price for product or service

78

To gather information before purchasing in-store or catalog

76

To find location for purchase of product offline

74

To find coupons, specials, sales, etc.

63

Source: Performics, Inc, September 2010

Over one-half of respondents say they are more likely to click on an ad if it includes an image. Nearly half are more likely to click if a company/brand appears multiple times.

Search Behavior (% of Respondents)

Behavior: Likely to Click On Result if it Includes...

% of Respondents

Exact words searched for

88%

An image

53

Brand multiple time on results page

48

A video

26

Source: Performics, Inc, September 2010

The study finds that users are more likely to first click on "natural" search results.

Natural, Organic or unpaid  search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising. ... Wikipedia

Frequency of Clicking by Type of Result

Frequency of Click

Natural Result

Sponsored Result

Always

37%

5%

Frequently

42

15

Occasionally

15

43

Rarely

4

29

Never

2

8

Source: Performics, Inc, September 2010

Summary of key takeaways, according to the report:

  • Those who are new to using search, or relative beginners, are more likely than more advanced searchers to use Yahoo! as their primary search engine
  • Google users are less likely to stray from their primary search engine than Yahoo! or Bing users, but in general, the majority of respondents use an alternate search engine at least occasionally
  • Over three-quarters of respondents say they use search to learn more about a product or service after seeing an ad elsewhere
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents are aware of the difference between natural and sponsored search results, with men and those age 18-29 more likely to be aware of the difference
  • One in five respondents say they click sponsored results frequently or always
  • Yahoo! users are more likely to look at natural and sponsored results first, before other parts/features of the SERP

Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics, concludes that "...understanding people's motivations and behaviors can help marketers better engage with brand participants, more effectively manage the SERP and capitalize with more holistic strategies to connect with users... "

 

For additional information about the study, please visit Performics here.

 

1 comment about "Web Searchers Are Tenacious".
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  1. Diane Bell from Local Leads Miner, October 9, 2010 at 1:55 a.m.

    Local & small downtown businesses stand to benefit from these local searches...if they take the time to get on the map (so to speak.)

    Thanks for the great post. I used an excerpt for my readers, in an article focused on SEO Small Business Marketing...at http://www.localleadsminer.com.

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