Research: Top Rankings Help your Brand and Reputation

Good Search Engine Results Placements actually helps your brand.

Question: Seeing a company listed among the top results on a search engine makes me think the company is a leader in its field.  39% agree!

Consumer Review Statistics Motherlode

Bazaarvoice hosts the motherlode of  “Social Commerce Statistics” snippets with an emphasis on reviews but much more.

Here is a small sampling:

  • Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted- nearly 12 times more- than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US mom Internet users by online video review site EXPO.  (eMarketer, February 2010)
  • 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009)
  • Customer reviews are an important research tool for online consumers, with 71 percentconsumer reviews make them more comfortable that they are buying the right product. (Nielsen Online Holiday Survey, December 2008)
  • Top-rated products site navigation path featuring 4- and 5-star products in each category delivered 49% higher conversion and 63% higher average order value. (Bazaarvoice, June 2007)
  • PETCO realized a 5X increase in email click-through rates by including relevant ratings and reviews content in the campaign promotion. (PETCO, June 2007)

Bazaarvoice also has a whitepaper resource guide.

68% of Search Engine Users Click on First Page of Results

Question:  When you perform a search on a search engine and are looking over the results, approximately how many results do you typically review before clicking one?

US Search Engine Marketing Spend 2008 and 2009

Wow… 88% of Search Engine Marketing budget is PPC, not organic search.  Compare that to the previous post which demonstrates that 88% of click traffic comes from Organic, not PPC.

Is something screwy here?

  • 2008 SEM spending totalled $13.4 billion
  • 2009 SEM spending is projected to rise to $14.7 billion
  • Long term projections show a total SEM spend of $26.1 billion in 2013
  • Paid placement accounted for 88% of 2008 spending, or $11.9 billion
  • Organic SEO accounted for approximately 11% of 2008 spending, or more than $1.4 billion
  • Additionally, the market for SEM technologies, including leasing, agency solutions and in-house development, accounted for 1.1% of overall 2008 spending, or $141 million.

 

Web Surfers Trust Organic Over PPC and Prefer It

In Axandra’s How Much is a Top Google Ranking Worth we learn that web surfers:

  • Click natural search results much more often.
  • Trust natural search results more.

The article continues to share several good pieces of data on the matter:

  • An iProspect study showed that 60.5 percent of Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL users selected a natural (unpaid) search result over paid search result as the most relevant on a sample query.
  • 60.8 % of Yahoo! and 72.3% of Google search engine users chose a natural search result as the most relevant
  • In addition, studies by Enquiro and iProspect revealed that 60.5% to 70.0% of users trust organic results while only 30% to 39.5% of users trust paid results.

Keep in mind, that “other” 30-40% that trust paid search is a big market itself…

Consumers Use of Local Search to Find Local Businesses

WebVisible reports about how consumers search for local products and services (local search), both online and off in the ‘Great Divide’ Separates Small Biz, Online Consumers.

Here is some of the interesting local search data found in the report:

  • 82% use search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN).
  • 57% use Yellow Pages directories.
  • 49% use Internet Yellow Pages (such as yellowpages.com or superpages.com)
  • 50% said search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN) were the first place they looked when seeking a local business.
  • 24% chose the Yellow Pages directories as the first place they looked when seeking a local business.

There are many more statistics and findings in the full online article from MarketingVox.

Email Marketing Really Works in the Travel Industry

According to Research from Epsilon’s Email Branding Study: Flying High: Measuring the Value of Email Marketing for the Travel Industry, the receipt of permission-based email makes travel consumers more likely to do business with a travel company.

  • 63% of recipients of permission-based email from travel companies more likely to buy from companies that send them email
  • 50 % who receive permission-based email from travel companies said they feel more loyal towards the sending companies and their brands
  • 86% of respondents who opt to receive email from travel companies do so to learn about sales, discounts and special offers
  • 51%  subscribe to learn about existing packages and destinations
  • 48% subscribe to receive coupons
  • 46% subscribe to hear about new packages, routes and destinations
  • 69% want to receive personalized content based on their website activity and past purchases
  • 48% who receive email from a travel company said the email has a direct impact on offline purchases.

Top Search Engine Rankings Help Your Brand

The iProspect Blended Search Results Study (April 2008) is an interesting piece of market research.  It shows that a top ranking in search engines relates favorably to your brand.

When they asked a bunch of search engine users to “Please state how much you agree/disagree with the following statement: ‘Seeing a company listed among the top results on a search engine makes me think that the company is a leader within its field.’ (Select one)”

The results looked like this:

Here an excerpt of analysis from the above chart.

“The findings of this question clearly demonstrate the extent to which search engine users perceive that the brands whose Web pages, or other digital assets, appear among the top results on a search results page are the leading brands in their respective marketplace or category.

The upward trend reflected in the chart below is clear — with an increase from 33% to 39% between 2002 and 2008 — with over a third of search engine users believing this to be true. And though there is a significant percentage (42%) that report being neutral on this belief in 2008, only 19% overtly disagree.

Perhaps this 19% represents a skeptical minority who believe that anyone can “game” their way to the top of the search results without having relevant content on their site, as well as significant endorsement from other relevant websites in the form of links to their site. graph_study08_10.jpg

The “chicken–or–the–egg” question that this finding raises, however, is whether search engine users assume that brands that are unknown to them that they find among the top search results are marketplace leaders — or whether, based on their experience as searchers of the Internet, whenever they have searched on a category they discover brands they are already familiar with and already perceive to be “marketplace leaders at the top of the results.

Reading Behavior on Websites

People Don’t Read on the Web!

Jacob Nielson’s Alertbox Shared this 2008 Data in How Little Do Users Read?

Use fragments instead of well crafted complete sentences.  Although this may seem grammatically inconceivable to a schooled individual, it is important to remember that web users only read about 18% of the content on a page.  So cut out the fluff and get to the point.

This report has much much more data in it too… worth checking out if you are a copywriter or want to get some good research about web usability.

Email Marketing Still Works

Emarketer’s E-Mail Marketing Still Works is chock-full of e-mail marketing data that paints a rosy picture for the future prospects of e-mail marketing.

Permission-based e-mail is great at getting consumers to buy.

  • Half of US adult e-mail users surveyed in April 2008 said they had made an online purchase in the previous year as a result of permission-based marketing.
  • E-mail was second only to customer reviews on Web sites for influencing online purchases
  • E-mail was roughly equal to search results in terms of influencing online purchases.
  • About one-third of respondents  said they had stopped doing business with at least one company as a result of poor e-mail marketing practices.