Analyzing online search behavior
Search is one of the main entrances to the Internet. Understanding what consumers search for on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines is vital.
Knowledge of search behavior provides valuable insights that companies need to improve the targeting of search marketing. Understanding of consumers’ search behavior also is a vital feedback channel for determining marketing strategy.
The Wakoopa Search Module provides insights into many pressing questions concerning search behavior:
- What is the market share of various search engines? Where do people search other than on Google?
- What is the search volume of specific search terms? Which keywords are the most popular in a specific search market?
- Which keywords are related to certain topics? What are the conversations concerning important subjects?
- Which search terms are popular – or not – amongst certain audiences?
- Who is searching for your brand? Who is searching for your competitors?
- What search terms are popular at what time? And how do they influence general web traffic?
- Which search terms drive traffic to my site? And which lead to actual transactions?
- Which respondents to include in a survey?
This example provides inspiration by going through the above questions one by one and showing how the Wakoopa Search Module can answer them on the basis of an illustrative example.
What is the market share of various search engines? Where do people search other than on Google?
Organizations want to know the market share of search engines, either in general or within specific target audiences, to fine tune their SEO efforts and maximize their marketing budgets.
Based on thousands of search queries executed by panel members, the Wakoopa Search Module can show popularity of search engines. Using the Wakoopa Search Module we can for example see that Google commands a large share of all search queries, but also that vinden.nl is still used frequently in the Netherlands.
Using the advanced query and filtering options of the dashboard, the Wakoopa Search Module can also answer questions about search engine popularity among specific audiences or within certain date ranges, and show the results using various metrics:
What is the volume of specific search terms? Which keywords are the most popular in a specific search market?
Knowing the relevance of search keywords is very valuable as analytics teams bid on these keywords to appear higher on sponsored search results and brand managers use them to determine positioning and rollout of future products.
The Wakoopa Search Module provides insights into specific search markets, allowing marketing teams to compare popularity of any specific terms amongst different audiences for any given time frame. The search term cloud below shows the relative volume of searches for brands of mobile phones.
To generate a search term cloud such as this one, select an existing Search Channel from the Channels page and click the Compare button in the bottom of the screen. From there, open the Cloud tab to see the search term cloud.
Note: keep in mind that the global dashboard filter is used to filter the source data. To change the filter, visit the Profile page, click the Filter button and save your new filter.
Which keywords are related to certain topics? What are the conversations concerning important subjects?
When marketing a product or service, the marketing manager needs to know what topics are currently being part of the conversation. The search queries used by consumer in relation to that topic can be a powerful indicator.
The Wakoopa Search Module can show word clouds of related search terms. For example we can see what’s on the mind of Blackberry users by looking at the words used when researching blackberry related question. The word cloud shows blackberry models, apps and problems people encounter.
These word clouds are based on the search terms in an existing Search Channel and can be viewed by opening the Cloud tab in a Channel comparison.
Which search terms are popular – or not – amongst certain audiences?
Popularity and hence importance of search terms varies greatly amongst different audiences. Knowing which search terms are popular, or not, is crucial for determining marketing priorities.
Using the Wakoopa Search Module we can look at popularity of search terms within a certain audience and compare that to the general public or other groups. The table below shows the top 20 search terms in the Netherlands and compares their popularity to that amongst Vodafone and T-Mobile visitors. We can see how “telegraaf” is significantly less popular amongst Vodafone visitors , “you tube” lags amongst T-Mobile visitors, and “telegraaf”, “buienradar” and “nu” score poorly for both of those groups.
The Wakoopa Search Module can also provide insights into which search terms are particularly popular amongst specific audiences. The tables below shows terms that score higher amongst Vodafone or T-Mobile visitors than the general public. These terms produce higher than expected search traffic. The results can be intuitive like Vodafone visitors searching for the term “vodafone” or both groups favoring game sites. But they can also be surprising such as “babybytes” being more popular than expected amongst Vodafone visitors, or both “upc webmail” and “yahoo mail” generating lots of traffic amongst T-Mobile visitors.
Note: to extract the above information from the Wakoopa dashboard, we’ve created a new Search Channel with the most popular search terms. From the Comparison page, under Map, we’ve exported this data to a CSV file, choosing the visits metric. We repeated these steps twice: first we filtered out Vodafone visitors, then we filtered out T-Mobile visitors. We then compared the visit volumes in Excel to see what search terms are more popular in which group.
Who is searching for your brand? Who is searching for your competitors?
Search can provide valuable insight into how your brand is positioned against main competitors in the market. The Wakoopa Search Module shows the background variables of all participants having searched for your brand, your competitors and other relevant search terms. You can compare socio-demographics, online variables and other data.
What search terms are popular at what time? And how do they influence general web traffic?
Popularity of search terms can vary greatly depending on the time frame. Higher or lower frequency, caused by seasonality or specific events such as product launches or interruptions of service can greatly influence the search behavior of consumers. This information is vital, especially for important events or high impact shopping days.
The Wakoopa Search Module allows to drill down into specific periods and analyze traffic during that period, or compare it to other periods, search terms, or even site visits.
T-Mobile NL had a large network outage on 28 March 2011 (http://tweakers.net/nieuws/73500/t-mobile-kampt-met-grote-storing-update.html). The outage began in the afternoon and was solved just before midnight the same day. The chart in the dashboard shows how traffic for the search term “storing” (outage) spikes as well as visits to the service and support sections of T-Mobile. You can also see how it takes about one week before both return to pre outage levels.
Which search terms drive traffic to my site? And which lead to actual transactions?
Popular search terms might not be the most profitable for your brand if they do not drive traffic to your site, or do drive traffic that does not lead to purchases. The Wakoopa Search Module can relate search terms to web site visits and answer questions about which search terms drive traffic to which sites or which pages on a site.
The table shows the most popular search terms around mobile phone plans, and which percentage of searches was done by people who have shopped online in the T-Mobile store. General terms like “telefoon” or “mobiel” are used frequently in searches, but score below average amongst shoppers. More specific terms like “prepaid”, “mobiel internet” or “sim only” are used by a significantly higher percentage of shoppers.
Note: to extract the above information from the Wakoopa dashboard, we’ve created a new Search Channel with the most popular search terms. From the Comparison page, under Map, we’ve exported this data to a CSV file, choosing the visits metric. We repeated these steps to filter out T-Mobile visitors. We then compared the visit volumes in Excel to see what search terms are more popular in which group.
Dynamic sampling: Which respondents to include in a survey?
Sample selection is an important success factor for conducting research. Next to demographics and other known background variable, you can use search behavior to determine which respondents to include in a survey.
Using the Wakoopa Search Module you can easily filter all participants by search behavior, for example certain topics like “Blackberry” or specific companies like “KPN”. You can then export these respondents and approach them with a questionnaire or invitation for a focus group.