Nielsen//NetRatings reports that online search rose 39 percent between January 2005 and January 2006. The pace of online search use continues in the double-digits.
In addition (and amazingly, to me), people are using search engines to find sites that they already know about and sites that have familiar URLs, such as using search engines to find "google" or "ebay." Instead of simply typing in the URL in the address bar (www.ebay.com) they're going to Google and typing "ebay" in the search box. More and more, people are using search engines as the start page for all their online needs.
According to WebProNews, three out of five shoppers say that the internet is their primary source of information when evaluating products and services. The greater the household income, the more likely it is that a person will use the internet to compare products and services.
Nielsen/NetRatings also reports that Google typically getting 50 percent of all the searches performed; therefore, it is wise to start with Google when planning any of your search engine marketing techniques. For comparison purposes, Yahoo hovers around 23 percent of all searches performed, and MSN slides in third at 8 percent.
Notes and News about Local Search
One of the up-and-coming internet marketing techniques is "local search." Think of local search as an online replacement for the Yellow Pages. People type in a search phrase to find local service providers, local retailers, and local restaurants.
For example, a typical user might go to Google and type in "painting contractor san diego," and local contractors will show up at the top of the page. In addition to listing the contractors, local search also tells the user how many miles away they are, and provides a map to show the user where the contractor's location is. The best part is, if the contractor has a website, local search will display that URL as well. Bingo!
Here are some tips for using local search as one of your marketing techniques:
- Make sure that all the branch locations of your company are listed.
- Make sure your website is in the search engine's organic listings; most search engines won't include you in their local search database unless you are in their main database.
- Be patient; getting listed in local search can sometimes can 7-8 weeks.
- Google's local search: http://local.google.com/
- Yahoo's local search: http://local.yahoo.com/