Smarter Searchers Use Longer Queries

Everyday I preach the benefits of using natural text within your site’s pages. Aside from the fact that most shop owners will inevitably spam if they dwell to deeply on keywords, it really works. I can give you tons of examples why, but we will cover just a few metrics today.

First and foremost, using natural text helps to grab customers more and high school report researchers less. For example, I was speaking with a customer today who sells engraved silver and pewter gifts. We were making a plan of attack for next year. The primary concern for this plan is to better target his Jefferson cups. While he is on page one for Jefferson cups, he is number 10.

So if you search Google for Jefferson cups, you will see that these very historical cups have many informational pages indexed and presented for this query. My point is, that the search rank for Jefferson cups matters little as these are not shoppers…. So if I was looking to buy one of these I would and most other searchers would use longer and more targeted queries.

  • Buy Jefferson Cup
  • Engraved Jefferson Cup
  • Jefferson cups for gifts
  • Pewter Jefferson cup

These are just a few examples of how one may search when the target is a purchase and not just information searching.

These longtail searches are more easily converted and easily targeted by using the naturally related words associated with the products and services in the product’s page copy. Not spam, just high usability and proper search-ability.

Traffic is traffic you may say…. But it doesn’t make it true. Fact is that ecommerce stores are designed to sell, therefore attracting customers is clearly the first order of business. Most information seekers will not be converted in to a sale… They just found the wrong site for the information they were seeking… Additionally, the likelihood that they will return someday to purchase because they remembered the site is store address is slim to none.

Why do you suppose users are searching with longer queries than say 5 years ago?

It’s really not that complicated. The many millions of unsuccessful searches have trained searchers to use longer queries to better target their search results. This isn’t the only thing searchers have been trained to do either. Another huge change is that searchers will read scan the text at the top of the page’s main content container for about 15 seconds upon arriving on a site. Not images… Not videos…. TEXT.

Searchers do this for a very clear and understandable reason… They are trying to very quickly determine if this page is relative to their search. Makes perfect sense… who wants to spend 10 minutes on a page that isn’t what we were searching for?

If I told you that less than 48% of all Google US searches were 2 words or less, would you believe me?

It’s true, fact is that the majority of Google searchers use 3 words or more in their query. In fact I would bet anyone that repeat searches are double and about 80% or better.

Longer Search Query User Data
Longer Search Query User Data

Source: Experian Hitwise

The need for helpful, descriptive and natural text on your store’s page cannot be understated. Your shoppers need this text to help them find you, identify your page as a good result and better navigate your site.