Study puts a word count on best web search terms

Most UK internet searches that result in a sale begin with consumers inputting two- or three-word search terms, research for search optimisation agency Spannerworks has found.

A six-week analysis of terms that delivered the best return on investment for selected clients, based on 20,000 sales, found that 68 per cent of online purchases resulted from use of two- or three-word terms.

The research, conducted using Spannerworks’ Aperture tracking tool, also found that people are more likely to buy as a result of four-word queries (12 per cent) than they are with single words (11 per cent).

Spannerworks’ communications manager Daryl Pereira says: “Measuring the behaviour of your most valuable customers is a crucial part of a successful search marketing campaign.”

He adds that marketing managers who put a lot of effort into single-term names such as “camera”, “mortgages” or “flights” might do be better to concentrate on longer, more specific terms.

However, Pereira adds that shorter, generic terms should not be ignored, as they “will lead a customer to your site, triggering them to return using more specific search terms once they are ready to make a purchase”.

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