How Search Engines Show You the Money.
Do Search Engines Drive Internet and Offline sales?
According to a recent article by Jason Miller, a reporter for
Web Pro News “MSN searchers were 48% more likely to buy online
than the average Internet user. His info was based on a report
from the month of June by comScore Networks, Inc. The report
also indicated that “Google users are 42% more likely” to buy
than the average Internet users.
On the flip side of this good news was the lackluster ecommerce
involvement of AOL users, who were only 3% more likely to make a
purchase than the average Internet user. This is significant to
know because search engine users have been traditional thought
of as better potential customers than other types of Internet
traffic. Search engine users are proactively looking for
information with specifically targeted search terms, and
therefore are considered by many marketers as target direct
response driven prospects.
One theory is the reason MSN searchers may be more likely to buy
is that the majority of them are women (who many times make more
buying decisions for their families), while the majority of
Google users are men at 51%.
This theory doesn’t really hold up because AOL subscribers are
52% women, but who tend “NOT” to make many more purchases than
the average Internet user. Perhaps MSN users are slightly more
upscale than Google, Yahoo! or AOL users.
The comScore study also reiterated what a lot of recent studies
have shown by other sources. It indicates the more sophisticated
and complex search terms are, the more likely the searchers
using those terms will be inclined to make an online purchase.
Another interesting revelation in this article is that many
searchers (85%) made their purchases offline 5 to 12 weeks after
the initial search session. Only 15% made a purchase during the
first search session (which by the way is very high because most
websites have a initial conversion rate of .5 – 1%).
It is because of these facts that search engine marketing is
debated as a direct marketing tool. Many would categorize search
engine marketing as more of a long term marketing strategy,
because their usage may precede a purchase by as much as 60 to
90 days. According to the comScore study most searches (70%)
started out as generic generalized terms and then became more
specific. Only about 20% of the search terms started out as
brand names like Sony, HP, or Dell.
It must be mentioned here however that closer to the buying
circle more brand names are used in searches.
A deeper look at the comScore study also showed that “search
played a role in roughly half of all online purchases.”
The comScore study was commissioned by DoubleClick because
comScore had a panel of 1.5 million U.S. Internet consumers.
In is also interesting to note (in a different study) that
According to Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence
service, search engines contributed greatly to the record
traffic to shopping and classified sites last Dec. 11th, 2004 of
(9.73 percent). In other words search engines drove about 10% of
Holiday sales. The specific traffic drivers were Google (4.26
percent), Yahoo! (2.24 percent) and MSN 0.54.
According to the Hitwise research Google seems to drive retail
traffic of books, sports, fitness and music. Hitwise further
reveals “Yahoo! search is stronger in sending its shopping
referrals to: … video and games, automotive, and classifieds”.
MSN sends a higher share of its shopping referrals to Apparel &
Accessories, House & Garden, and Appliances & Electronics”.
Here are some other reasons to use search engine marketing…
The Top 7 Reasons Your Site should have a Search Engine
1. 47% of Internet traffic is driven from the search engines.
2. 91% of Internet sales are first researched on the search
3. Search engine traffic is the best free way to position your
business to target ideal sales leads and customers.
4. Search engine traffic is more targeted and receptive to your
products and services. This is the case because unlike
traditional advertising search engine traffic is initiated by
5. 20% of search engine queries are for local traffic. Twice as
many people use search engines to find local businesses as do
use the local yellow pages.
6. Search engines are the cornerstones of any Internet marketing
campaign (I don’t know any successful Internet marketer that
doesn’t have a search engine marketing component to their
7. Search engine traffic can be inexpensive or free but
naturally monetized with strategies like Google Adsense, link
brokering, and traditional advertising.
This definitely shows that search engine marketing is an
important part of the marketing mix of most companies —
especially in the retail industry. Search engine visibility may
take a few months to manifest themselves, but search engines
without a doubt drive sales down the info superhighway —
showing us the money along the way
By: Prashant K Shukla, SEO Consultant
After you have built a website and optimized it by tuning its meta tags to the best, it is the time to get it submitted to major search engines and directories. So, that your site gets indexed by the search engines and the directories. There are lot of confusions in submission to search engines and web directories. Here, I would try to clear this confusion. A close study of search engines and web directory will sure help to solve this confusion.
When you submit your website to a search engine, it reads your site meta tags, looks their relationship with the contents, indexes you website and assigns a rank to your site according to the algorithm it follows. Here, you should understand that by submitting your site to a search engine does not mean that you will start getting high traffics just after its submission. This simply means that now the search engine knows about your site and its pages and would place you in its SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) according to your rank in its index.
You must have read very often about the offers for submitting your site to thousands of search engines for a fee, no matter small or big. No doubt that there are really thousand of search engines on the web but most searches are routed through a few major search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, alltheweb etc. If you submit to these search engines alone, it is really enough to get noticed in the search engine world. I am giving their site submission URLs and little info about their strategies.
They ask you to submit your top level page and have pretty easy to understand instructions for submission. Google updates its index normally once a month.
They have two options free and paid. Free listing takes about 30 to 45 days. However paid listing assures a quick listing of your site.
MSN in routine picks new websites having good inbound links. So if you have good inbound links, your site will be picked for listing in MSN even if you don’t submit your site to them.
You can not submit to AOL directly but if your site is indexed by Google, AOL will most likely include your site in its index too.
Web directories are different with respect to search engines. A search engine uses its algorithm to index and rank a website through its regular crawling process whereas a web directory is defined into several categories and subcategories where it contains the websites submitted. In this way a web directory is considered an expert index of sites. Here you select a category and subcategory for your site and submit your site to it. Visitors come to brows a specific category in a directory as per their interest. This ensures that your presence in a specific category will attract a targeted visitor. Most of the search engines use these directories to update their data. This also increases your chance of getting high rank with search engines.
These directories can be classified into free directories and paid directories. Normally, free directories take comparatively more time to list the submitted sites. Whereas the paid directories list the submitted sites instantly. Some good free directories are DMOZ, Yahoo!, World Wide Index, AbiLogic, Gimpsy, JoeAnt. However, good paid directories can be named as Arielis, BOTW, BlueFind, Microsoft bCentral, and GoGuides.
Before submitting your site review your site thoroughly and make sure that your site has no broken or dead links. Write a suitable description of your site to put into the description field of submission form. Search thoroughly the categories and subcategories before selecting the category for your site. They normally offer you to suggest one if you don’t find a suitable one.
No doubt, submitting your site to major search engines and good rank directories help increasing the traffic and good placement in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). Submission to good directories is something which ensures this goal.
The pay-per-click (PPC) search engines have formed a new way for websites to promote and boost traffic to their sites and it is very inexpensive. There are a variety of things on search engines PPC, you must know so read the following suggestions and educate you on PPC advertising. Once you know how pay-per-click advertising works, you’ll be able to use this tool affordable advertising to increase your website traffic.
Tip # 1 – Search Engines PPC
Also known as pay per click, these networks allows websites to place ads on their search pages targeting a keyword or phrase. The site owner does not have to pay for advertising unless a visitor clicks on the ad and is regarded as their web page. As a result, these search engines and advertisements are known as pay-per-click because you pay only when someone clicks on the ad.
Tip # 2 – bidding for ads
In general, when it comes to advertising PPC, you submit your maximum bid for advertising based on keywords you are interested in advertising. You will then be listed on the search page when your keyword or keywords are searched. However, when you rank in the bidding process will depend on whether you were the highest bidder, the second highest bidder, and so forth. For this type of campaign it is important that you are close to the page, at least in the first four, so keep this in mind when bidding.
Council No. 3 – Choosing a PPC Search Engine
Many search engines offer PPC advertising, but to get the most exposure obviously you want to advertise with the largest and most popular. You can search online to find out who are the best and then present your candidacy for the keywords you are interested in buying advertising. Remember that the bidding process is more competitive with the biggest search engines, to keep that spirit.
Council No. 4 – Click fraud
Since you pay per click with this type of advertising, you can run into a situation known as click fraud. This happens when your competitors click on your ad as many times as possible in order to manage your account dry. This eats your advertising budget and does not allow you to reach people who are really interested in what you sell. If you think this is the case, inform the PPC search engine immediately, because there are things that can be done to help.
Council No. 5 – Keywords
So you know the keywords that are most used to search for your product, but they are very popular and you find yourself entering a bidding war on a small budget. Don’t do. Instead, switch to a cheaper keyword. You will always receive a lot of success and you will not drain your budget.