Searching For Clicks

Searching For Clicks

A new report from 360i and SearchIgnite, describes the value of the entire path a searcher takes from the first click through purchase. Data from more than 3.9 million users and 5.1 million clicks during the first quarter of 2006 confirms the fact that the more times a consumer clicks on a marketer’s ad, the more likely that consumer is to convert. In addition, the highest conversion rate (9.30%) resulted when the user’s first click and last click on a marketer’s paid search ad were both brand terms. 

Other key findings include:

  • When the first click is on a non-brand term and the last click is on a brand term, the conversion rate is almost as high (8.73%). Marketers can leverage this by driving non-brand searchers to brand terms, concludes the report
  • 5% of conversions from paid search campaigns occur from consumers who click more than one of the marketer’s ads. Purchasers click an average of 5% more of the marketer’s ads than consumers who don’t complete a transaction
  • Consumers who click a marketer’s ads ten times are three times as likely to convert as consumers who click an ad only once. Purchasers are more deeply involved in the process
  • Conversions also rise as consumers enter more unique keywords. Consumers entering multiple unique keywords accounted for 8.39% of the sample studied, but they accounted for 19.2 % of transactions

The report cites a Hitwise study that confirms that branded paid search terms convert better than non-branded terms in search engines, and that brand terms account for a high percentage of commercial searches. The study of 30 brands in the travel, retail, and business & finance verticals found that 75 of the top 100 search terms contained brand names, up 17% over February 2005. And SearchIgnite studies on branding found that brand terms generally represent a small percentage of the keywords that are managed in a search engine marketing campaign, yet they usually account for a disproportionate percentage of conversions.

Consumers, on average, clicked a marketer’s ad 1.33 times during the searching process. For the consumers who went on to make a purchase, they clicked a marketer’s ad 1.53 times on average – an increase of 15% compared to the overall population of consumers. Put another way, consumers who convert to buyers are more likely to spend added time searching and familiarizing themselves with a marketer’s brand, website, and offerings.

A number of factors that lead to increased conversions. concludes the report, are: 

  • The frequency at which a searcher clicks your paid search ads impacts the conversion rate. Conversion rates steadily rise as searchers click on more ads. 
  • The more ways a searcher interacts with your site, the higher the probability of conversion. For instance, searchers who clicked on two unique keyword ads are more than two times more likely to purchase than searchers with only one keyword exposure. 
  • For searchers who begin their search process on a non-brand term and then switch to a brand term, conversion rates are seven times higher than when there are only non-brand terms.

Finally, for users who start with a brand term and end with a non-brand term, says the report, the conversion rate is four times higher than for the users whose start-click and end-click is a non-brand term.  And,  for those searchers who click a marketer’s ads more than once, the conversion rate climbs significantly. As an extreme example, consumers who click a marketer’s ads ten times are three times as likely to convert as users who click an ad just once.

Read the complete report here.

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