Consumer Search Queries Longer, More Relevant

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In a tight economy, it’s important to use your advertising dollars wisely. If your business is already placing paid ads online, you’re headed in the right direction, but you’ll get there a lot faster if you target the search queries that your potential customers are likely to use.

Comscore posted some interesting trends on search activity and ad coverage. Consumers are searching more but clicking on paid advertising less; paid clicks are only up 18%, while search queries are up 68% over the last year.

One reason for this is that the major search engines have improved the quality of their search results and relevance of the advertisers displayed. It only makes sense that if a consumer finds what she needs on the first click, she doesn’t need to click again.

Another reason is that search strings are getting longer. Search queries have gone from an average of 2.8 words per query a year ago to over 3 today. Comscore says: “This apparently reduces the likelihood that an advertiser has bid to have his/her ad included in the results page from these longer queries, due to paid search advertising strategies that limit ad coverage, such as Exact Match, Negative Match, and bid management software campaign optimization.”

Search engine algorithms are only going to get better, and consumers are going to get more savvy. With online advertising spread out over the long tail, it will become even more important to think about how your best consumers would try to find a company like yours.

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