Knowing how people use Google to find your web page is an important pillar of understanding the role search engine optimisation has in your online marketing strategy. Armed with this knowledge you can effectively target and reach your audience.
We’ve all used Google to help us find a massive range of different web pages, so let’s categories our mindsets when we perform search queries.
Transactional queries are when you want to buy a laptop, or download an eBook, they represent a query that will end in a transaction (not always for money) between the service provide and you. If you operate an ecommerce website these types of queries will be your bread and butter for sale conversions and gaining quality visitors to your website.
Informational queries relate to when you are searching for information, say you’re out in town and can't remember the address of the restaurant you're going to, well you grab out a smartphone, type the name in Google and boom, there is the address using an informational query such as “Papa Italian postcode Northampton”.
Navigational queries are when you can’t remember the exact web address of the website your looking for, so your search in Google for the brand, company, team or band name, for example “northampton town football club”.
(Thanks to Bernard J. Jansen, Danielle L. Booth from College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University for their query type categorisation).
Once you perform your search query, Google goes off to find relevant pages within it’s index and presents them on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page), you then trawl through what you think is relevant and click onto a web page of interest. Now it get’s interesting, Google is listening to your actions and tracking if you come straight back to search page (known as a bounce) or whether your spend time looking at the web page clicked on and other pages on that website, because if you are reading more content and spending more time on a particular website, then it must have been relevant to your search query, so thats a good result served up for Google.
Google is trying to serve up the most relevant results it possibly can by listening to 1000s of signals and how you search and then interact with the clicked on website is one of them. Without relevant results, Google’s core product would be useless and you the searcher (i.e. Google’s customer) would use another search engine.
We all use Google without really thinking about it, so let’s run through a transactional query session from start to finish:
What's interesting about this session is that we started with a fairly wide query, no mention of brands or size, then we narrowed it down after visiting a few websites and finding a brand we liked, but it didn't stop there, once we found the product it was then a case of getting the cheapest price and on top of that trying to find a discount coupon. There may of been 10 - 20 websites involved before a purchase decision was made. Therefore it’s incredibly important to get top rankings to gain visibility, but don’t take your eye from the offering, presentation and conversion optimisation too as the visitor can easily click away.
The top 5 search engines in the United Kingdom from August 2012 to July 2013 where Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and AOL. However, Google has a 90.54% market share! That’s why RANK! is focused solely on the process of ranking in Google.
It’s obvious to see that a top ranking in Google is going to potentially bring you a tenfold return in visitors compared with other search engines.
Getting on to page 1 of Google for your keywords is a fantastic success, but don't get complacent. Your position on page 1 of the SERP will dramatically affect the amount of people that click through to your website. A study by SlingshotSEO revealed these click through rates:
You can instantly see how important position one is, even over position 2, with nearly double the amount of click throughs. It essential to dominate the top 3 positions for your keywords to see a decent return on your SEO time and money investment.
The other “lost” percentages are made up of: