Five Search Marketing Insights You Should Know Today
It’s hard to argue the importance of search in our everyday lives. Search engines have replaced phone books, classified ads, directories—even libraries for many people. Today, if we have a question or a need, we look to search.
That makes marketers very concerned about getting found online by their prospects and even more concerned about the changing search landscape. Not only is Google continuously evolving their products, but the way consumers and decision makers use search is maturing.
If your entire understanding of search marketing was defined years ago, you might want to re-evaluate your past approaches and assumptions.
Below are five insights that you can use to shape your marketing strategy in 2015 and beyond.
1. Almost one-fifth of search queries entered today have never been searched before.
There are more than 3.5 billion searches per day on Google, 16% to 20% of queries that get asked every day have never been asked before. Staying ahead of the curve and anticipating what your customers will be searching for tomorrow can yield tremendous results.
The highest trending search term in 2014 was “robin williams,” which was spurred by his sudden death. I doubt any marketer would have anticipated that when forecasting search trends for 2014. Yahoo’s most popular search term overall was Ebola last year. Even if these terms are irrelevant to your business, you should understand that targeting keywords based only on past search volume is like driving with only the rear-view mirror.
2. Organic Search Is still responsible for over 60% of all web traffic. Social media marketing and mobile apps get all of the media attention today, but it’s hard to argue with the continued significance of search traffic. And that trend is likely to continue as more of us integrate more devices into our lives. Which leads us to the next point…
3. Search is the leading way mobile users find mobile content + websites. Marketers should be planning their search campaigns with mobile in mind. Mobile use is growing dramatically as smart phones become more ubiquitous and high speed wireless services become faster and more widely available.
But those rewards are being enjoyed by fewer winners. On mobile devices, ranking #1 is far more important than on desktop. If you rank number one on a smartphone, you will get three times more clicks than in position two. On a desktop, the clickthrough rate is more equally distributed over the top results, providing meaningful traffic to more contenders.
4. As of early 2014, mobile Internet traffic now trumps desktop Internet traffic. It’s true, desktop use is not going away, but mobile traffic has taken the lead, and not just with young consumers as you might think:
- 92 percent of executives own a smartphone used for business.
- 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
- 93 percent of executives will purchase that product via the Internet using a laptop or desktop.
- 86 percent use their tablet and 72 percent of executives use their smartphone to conduct research for products or services for their business.
5. Since 2010, Google has used website speed and other performance metrics as ranking factors. Traditional search engine marketers have focused exclusively on content optimization and link building. But today, it is believed that Google is using data about the usability and speed of your website as ranking factors. Google has publicly announced that site speed and mobile accessibility are contributing factors in ranking. Based on patent filings, the SEO community also believes that how users interact with your site when clicking through from Google affects your rankings.
It’s a no brainer that delivering a quality user experience is good business, but today it is as much the responsibility of your search marketing team as it is for your design team. A sustainable search initiative is going to require giving your users a quality experience on any device.
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