Which Search Methods Are the Most Popular Among Audiences?
Search engines were once the end-all, be-all solution for individuals who sought to find news, information, entertainment and social solutions. While various aspects of technology have led to concepts such as social media providing many of these benefits, virtually everybody still uses standard search engines to find solutions they want or need on a daily basis.
Understanding the nature of how people use search engines is crucial in understanding how best to appear and rank prominently in select search results. Not every type of search is ideal for every brand or page. To know which works bests for your particular needs, dissecting the main search methods is essential.
Here are the main search methods that people use every day to find what they need.
The most popular form of search performed by users on a global scale, information-based searches can best be described as searches seeking unbiased information on a particular topic of interest. While all searches can technically be described as information-based searches, this form seeks out answers not related to a particular brand, product or website.
Increasingly, search engines are opting to display qualified answers to these searches on the results page. This is frustrating for many brands, because despite more people pinging search engines than ever before, fewer and fewer people are clicking on links when the information they need is displayed front and center.
A majority of searches performed can be classified as information-based searches.
Arguably the next most popular type of search results are consumer-based searches, which focus on users seeking to learn more about various products and services (or purchase them outright). The internet serving as a one-stop marketplace for shoppers worldwide is more true than ever, with trillions in global spending occurring online every single year. As such, businesses seeking to optimize their content to catch the eyes of would-be consumers is more important now than ever.
It can be more difficult to rank prominently – at least in real terms – for consumer-based searches given the sheer number of PPC ads that are often placed in consumer-based search results. As such, even ranking at the top of organic results may mean your page is only fifth or sixth from the top when factoring in ad placements. Nevertheless, optimizing pages to take advantage of consumer habits is essential.
The last main category of searches revolve around navigation-based searches, which encompasses a very wide category of potential results. Most notably, navigation-based searches center around users who know where they wish to go – but use search engines to point them in the right direction. This could be anything from searching for a particular brand to searching for products sold by that brand. Users often are pinging search engines with these requests because they don’t know the website address or want to further refine what they will find upon landing there.
Navigation-based searches can also pertain to physical navigation as well: local searches seeking to find the nearest store, restaurant or even directions from one place to another can all be considered as part of this category (even if no particular brand is preferred).
Understanding how the nature of search engine users breaks down is crucial in optimizing content and pages for long-term SEO performance. Whether people are looking for information, navigation assistance or a particular product, knowing the difference can help improve keyword research, SEO and overall brand performance.