Last week, the Seafoam team conducted a brief survey on the various ways our audience utilizes search engines – namely Google – in order to improve the way they interact with and understand the world around them.*
In this article, we will be discussing the poll results, as well as an analysis of how these findings can impact your brand's marketing strategy.
Let’s get started!
Without further ado, here are the results of our Google use-cases survey:
While most of the results revealed an even comparison between search interests, two categories ultimately reigned supreme: “Online Shopping” and the ambiguous “Other” category.
Further breaking down the “Other” responses, one half of participants used Google to search for general information, such as medical questions, politics, etc; one quarter of participants searched for entertainment, such as movies, TV shows and music; the final quarter of participants searched for “how to” articles and videos pertaining to various subject matters.
Search engines, by nature, are extremely versatile platforms. They can be utilized to find all different types of information; the results above are a testament to that. As a result, your brand’s online presence can be tailored to fit whatever search interests meet your goals, as long as your message is consistent.
Let’s break down each result for a better understanding of how your brand can cater to each participant’s needs.
When it comes to your brand’s public image and online presence, all publicity isn’t always a good thing; no leader wants to see a negative headline associated with their business. On the flipside, a positive news story about your brand’s ambitions, mission, accomplishments or philanthropy is a great way to stay in the good graces of the public eye.
Has your brand recently done anything worthy of public notoriety? Submit your story to local newspapers so that they can share your good news with their audience; your positive impact may just inspire their usual readers – or the 11.8% of the general public that uses Google primarily for tracking down news headlines – to invest in your products and/or services.
This is a big one! With the help of modern technology, potential customers no longer flip open the Yellow Pages or a paper map to find the phone number or address of the places they’re looking for. They go straight to their favorite search engine! If your business’ location isn’t easily searchable online – meaning if it’s not on services like Google Maps, Apple Maps, Facebook, Yelp, etc. – you’re missing out on every person who carries a smartphone in their pocket, especially the 20.6% of our participants who rely on search engines the most for finding directions.
Another important reason your brand should be easily discoverable on search engines: 20.6% of our participants mostly rely on Google to find information pertaining to business’ locations, open/close hours and online reviews submitted by their peers regarding products, services and the experiences they have with brands just like yours. In the digital age, “if you build it, they will come” no longer applies; “they” can’t come to your business if they can’t find it on the web or in the real world.
Does your brand’s website have an ecommerce section to sell its products? It should! Not only can your customers use standard Google Search to scout out your catalog’s prices and availability, – both local and online – your products can even be listed in Google’s Shopping platform for increased visibility.
As an added benefit to having a Google-friendly ecommerce offering, search engines are a great way for customers to read reviews of your products from their peers – a benefit that oftentimes encourages customers to buy.
Platforms like YouTube, Facebook and even your blog are a great place to showcase your brand’s knowledge and expertise through how-to tutorials that help customers satisfy their needs quickly and efficiently. For example, if your business sells automotive parts, you could further earn your customers’ trust and loyalty by publishing information that shows the customer how to install the part he/she purchased for his/her vehicle, thus saving your customer a trip to the mechanic.
Entertainment queries really only relate to a niche subset of businesses. However, if your business happens to be a movie theater, video store or similar venture, you may be able to leverage entertainment queries to provide unique previews or reviews of the latest movies, TV shows, music, videogames, etc.
General information is an important need that search engines help users satisfy. From a business perspective, let’s take the automotive store analogy from above:
Maybe your customer doesn’t know what part he/she needs to repair on his/her vehicle, yet, so he/she consults Google first to identify the cause of the squeak coming from the front brakes. Once the cause has been discovered, your customer will most likely consult Google again to shop for the part he/she needs; if your store shows up in search results, the possibility of the customer purchasing the part from your store online – or even driving to your store’s location to pick up the part – is probable.
The brief survey our team conducted, and the results we gathered, only scratch the surface of what search engines can do for consumers and your business. There are an infinite number of queries any of the 323.1 million Americans can type into their browser, and your products/services have the opportunity be listed as a solution each prospective customer is looking for. Is your marketing strategy optimized to ensure those who need your brand can see your brand online?
If you enjoyed participating in our survey and reading our analysis of the results, please hit the “heart” in the top right corner of this article.
To know when future surveys are posted, as well as their results, follow Seafoam on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We look forward to connecting with you!
* This survey was distributed through our social media channels and shared with our current clients. Participants were only allowed to vote once. Answers could not be changed after submissions were finalized. All data and information transmitted through this survey was completely anonymous.