A fantastic whitepaper has come to my attention that is a “must read” for anyone involved in SEO or PPC management. The whitepaper, entitled “Giving Clicks Credit Where They’re Due: What You Need to Know When Allocating Your Search Budget” lends a very helpful eye on search behavior. The paper, put out by search marketing firm 360i and SearchIgnite, reveals the behavior of search engine users and how this related to conversions (is there a more important topic in our industry?).
The whitepaper covers the difference in conversions of those who use generic terms vs those who use brand-specific terms in their search queries. While the paper focuses on what this means for those involved with PPC it certainly lends a helpful eye for those who are paying attention to their natural rankings. Here’s a short excerpt from the whitepaper:
- The highest conversion rate (9.30%) came from when the user’s first click and last click on a marketer’s paid search ads were both brand terms. Yet, 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.
- The more times a consumer clicks on a marketer’s ad, the more likely that consumer is to convert. When marketers run paid search campaigns, 25% of conversions from the campaign occur from consumers who click more than one of the marketer’s ads. Purchasers click an average of 15% more of the marketer’s ads than consumers who don’t complete a transaction. In fact, consumers who click a marketer’s ads ten times are three times as likely to convert as consumers who click an ad only once. This further shows how 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, supporting the “long tail” concept – the highly targeted queries that individually have a low volume of searches.
What does this mean to those of us in the organic world? That to maximize the ROI for our clients the arena is perhaps a bit more complicated that simply finding the phrases that are most searched and rankings a site for them. Perhaps it’s now equally important to rank clients for the most-searched phrases AND the branded phrases the searchers are likely to switch to. Or maybe, in some cases, it’s most profitable to simple target all the branded and product-specific phrases as opposed to the most searched. Just perhaps.
The whitepaper is available free here (you do need to register but that too is free). Again, this is highly recommended reading.
SEO news blog post by Dave Davies, CEO @ 4:28 pm on May 29, 2006