Understanding how people interact with search engines is important to understanding how to perform SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines are continually updating their algorithms to meet the needs of people performing internet queries. Therefore, understanding how people interact with search engines can help you with SEO by creating content that best responds to searches, while also anticipating algorithm changes and more quickly digesting the changes as they roll out.
Why People Use Search Engines
People use search engines for three main reasons.
- They want to Do
- They want to Know
- They want to Go somewhere online.
The Do-Know-Go model of search queries was originally published in 2002 by Andrei Broder and has evolved over time, especially with the invention of personal digital assistants and the internet of things (IoT).
“Do” transactional queries are by people who want to do something, such as buy a product or watch a video.
“Know” informational queries are related to information, such as information about a specific topic or specific business.
“Go” navigational queries are search queries to find a particular website or web page, such as Facebook or YouTube.
Understanding why people use search engines helps us to produce meaningful content people want to consume, while better understand search engine algorithms. Therefore, understanding why people use search engines helps us do a better job with SEO.
Search Engines and Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing uses a combination of marketing channels, such as content marketing, SEO, and social media to draw visitors and potential customers to a website, rather than outwardly advertising to outwardly push a brand, product, or service upon prospects to generate leads and produce sales.
Search engines are a top source of inbound traffic to a website, making SEO extremely important for inbound marketing.
Related: SEO Increasingly Important, as Social Shares Continue to Decline
Here are some important stats about inbound marketing from our friends at HubSpot:
- Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic. (Web Presence Solutions, 2017)
- Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)
- The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words. (Backlinko, 2016)
- 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (Wordstream, 2016)
- 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)
- 70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. (MarTech, 2018)
- Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text. (Omnicore, 2018)
- Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018)
- Including a video in a post increases organic traffic from search results by 157%. (Search Engine People, 2017)
- Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2018)
- 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)
- B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost three times more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
- B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than four times as many leads than those that blog only four to five times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5 times more leads than companies that published zero to four monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute, 2017)
- LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for delivering content and securing audience engagement. (LinkedIn, 2016)
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
- 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
Organic Referral Traffic from Search Engines on the Rise
As referral traffic from social media is generally on a downward trend, and as clicks from search engine ads decrease, organic referral traffic from search engines is on the rise.
SEO, therefore, is more important than ever for companies generating leads and online sales and is expected to remain a top priority for many years to come.
According to Search Engine Land, “Search outpaced social for referral traffic last year, driving 35% of site visits vs social’s 26% share of visits. According to a new referral traffic report from Shareaholic, 2017 was the first time since 2014 search owned a larger share of visits over social.”
Importance of SEO
Search engines are enormously popular, as daily searches have been steadily increasing year over year. Inbound marketing, and especially SEO, are therefore increasingly more important to every company using any form of internet marketing.
For companies generating internet leads and eCommerce sales, it’s important to rank in the top 3 search results on Google. Just take a look at the stats:
- The #1 Google search result will receive around 33% of U.S. desktop clicks and 24% of mobile clicks.
- The #2 Google search result will receive around 13% of U.S. desktop clicks and 12% of mobile clicks.
- The #3 Google search result will receive around 9% of U.S. desktop clicks and 8% of mobile clicks.
Interestingly, #7 – #20 search result rankings all receive less than 2% of U.S. desktop and mobile clicks. A company with search rankings at the bottom of page 2 of Google, therefore, must move up to at least position #6 on the 1st page of Google to see a material difference in search traffic.
To be successful at SEO, it’s extremely helpful to understand how people interact with search engines.
Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to help people better find what they are searching for. So, understanding how people use search engines is like having a crystal ball that helps you anticipate algorithm changes and better understand changes as they are rolled out. And, most importantly, you are better able to produce content that fills the needs of people using search engines.
If you would like help with what to do next, request a free analysis of your website, including key SEO metrics, or schedule a free consultation.
Recommended: The Beginners Guide To SEO
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