Your Business Case For Search – Aussie Trends & Statistics

Social Networking Trends

Whether you are starting out in search, have an existing strategy you want to expand or are trying to sell search marketing to your clients, a good business case is essential. Australian statistics and trends to do this are essential but often difficult and very time consuming to come by.

I know that scouring the internet to find this information is not effective use of your time so I have done it for you. In this latest post I have also included some commentary on what impact these statistics have on your search strategy.

Search Market Share in Australia

1) Google – 91%
2) Ninemsn / Live – 3.9%
3) Yahoo – 3.15%
(Source: Hitwise Australia, April 09)

What does this mean? It is obvious that your SEO efforts should concentrate on ranking in Google, however do not discount Ninemsn & Yahoo for PPC as they can be a good low cost/competition channel for PPC advertising.

Searches Per Month
ComScore data released in September 2008 demonstrates how Australians search volume compares to our AsiaPacific counterparts. Every month nearly 10,000,000 Australian searches are conducted, which is 115 searches per user – the highest in the entire Asia Pacific region. This demonstrates the dependence Australians have on search engines as a gateway to the internet.

Search Growth
Many brands have still been slow to adopt Digital and continue to plough marketing expenditure into offline activities. Australians increasing reliance on search engines to research purchase decisions is evident in the growth in search volume overall and across key sectors.

Key Statistics Overall

Australian research by Outrider Australia released in December 2009 showed 80% of consumers use online research to inform their purchase decision.

Whilst Google announced January 2008 to January 2009 experienced a 20% growth in overall search traffic in Australia.

Sectors in Detail

Travel PlanningFinancial Services
Online Research Dependence;
45% of insurance purchases, and 44% of finance decisions are researched online.
12 month increase in Search Volume;
– 74% increase in banks and financial services (Nov 07 – Nov 08)
– 24% rise in credit card searches (Dec 07 – Dec 08)

Travel
Online Research Dependence;
Of those researching a travel decision 79% used online channels to do so.
12 month increase in Search Volume; 37% increase in travel related searches (Dec 07 – Dec 08)

Retail
Online Research Dependence;
Monash’s Australian Centre for Retail Studies has found that 50 per cent of Australian shoppers research their retail purchases online before they get to the store to buy.

Automotive
Online Research Dependence;
46% of potential car buyers head to the internet to conduct research related to their purchase decisions.
12 month increase in Search Volume “Automotive deals” achieved a 24% increase in search traffic (Dec 07 – Dec 08)

Real Estate
Online Research Dependence;
Nielsen online research in 2008 demonstrated just under 9 in 10 property buyers head to the internet for research & 85% for renters.
12 month increase in Search Volume: 41% increase in real estate related search volumes (Dec 07 – Dec 08)

Keyword Searches

At what stage of the purchase cycle are users searching;
Outrider Australia research showed overall search engines are used throughout the consumer research process with 27% conducting keyword searches midway through, and 9% search just prior to purchase.

In addition, research also found that the majority of those using a search engine first conducted a generic (or unbranded) keyword search.

What does this mean? It demonstrates the need to be within the users decision set early on, as searches diminish closer to purchase. It is important to rank for the 2 and 3 phrase terms not just those in the long tail – as longer tail terms are usually within the latter phases of the search cycle. The research also demonstrates the need for big brands to ensure that they are within the decision set – as relying on awareness alone will not guarantee a sale.

Click Share In Australia it is believed that approximately 18% of clicks go to paid search, whilst 82% goes to natural search. Enough said about why both PPC & SEO are important to be used in combination.

It’s in the long-tail Identifying Australian statistics for growth in search length has been difficult thus US statistics are detailed below. Industry experts have indicated that Australia is following the global trend of users adopting longer search terms to source the information they are looking for.

What does this mean? The long tail growth demonstrates the need for an integrated PPC & SEO program. Some organisations adopt an either/or approach however the 2 strategies should work in combination. It is too costly to optimise your site for all long tail search terms thus it is important to adopt a comprehensive PPC strategy.

Browser Searching

Browser SearchWeb users are adopting the Google search box as a browser and this is evident in the top global searches for 2008, all of which were brand names.

The top global search terms for the year of 2008 were;
myspace
craigslist
ebay
youtube and
myspace.com

What does this mean? As users become lazier it is important that you are bidding on your own brand to ensure you are not losing traffic to competitors. Whilst organisations can not bid on trademark brand names, they can bid on non trademarked brand names and other brand related terms.

Search Types

Local Searches Are Now 12% of All Searches,
According to a study by ComScore, local searches are growing at a faster pace than regular Web searches. Year over year, local search volume grew by 58% (vs. 21% for regular search) for a total of 15.7 billion searches. This represents 12% of all searches at the top 5 search portals.”

What does this mean? Is your site optimised for local search? Is your site submitted to the Google Local business centre. Local search will continue to increase as the adoption of mobile internet grows. Google is heavily investing in serving users with local results – demonstrated by its latest change in local maps which serves users information based on IPs so it is important that you understand local search and adapt your site/content accordingly.

If you have any other market information to share please do so by commenting below.

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