Consumer search behavior revealed: 7 ways to act on it today

 In Consumer Behavior, Consumer Search Trends, Featured, Search Marketing, SEO

Did you know that clickstream data can unlock a trove of consumer search insights? To prove it, we teamed with Rand Fishkin and Russ Jones at Moz to share 22 actionable facts about consumer search behavior, all based on Jumpshot’s clickstream-based search data from the U.S.

The data allowed us to shine a light on Google Search like never before. We estimated the volume of search queries Google Search handles in one month, the average duration of a Google Search session, the percent of web users who are heavy search users, the percent of queries resulting in one or more clicks, the search features garnering the most clicks, and much more.

You’ll get the most value from these insights by acting on them. Here’s 7 ways that you can adjust your search marketing strategy to the realities of consumer search behavior.

1. Invest more in search engine optimization (SEO) talent and processes

Most marketers are probably underinvesting in SEO. In Google Search, organic results lead to 30x more clicks than paid results.  So, the traffic potential of SEO is huge, but you can’t buy your way into it like you can with paid search. Instead, you need the talent and processes in place that are capable of producing and promoting great content that aligns with your target search terms.

Percent of Queries Outcome
57.1% Click on an organic result
2.6% Click on a paid Adwords ad


2. Focus your SEO and SEM efforts on Google properties

Just three years ago, cross-engine bidding was a thing because Google had a 68 percent market share and it was important to be on the sites that represented the remaining 32 percent of the search market. Today, Google handles over 92 percent of all web searches. Its closest competitors are Yahoo at 2.47 percent and Bing at 2.25 percent. So, focus your search efforts on Google’s properties, especially, Google Images, PLAs/Google Shopping, and YouTube.


3. Produce images and videos for search terms you care about

Consumers seek out visual content on the web and reward it with their clicks. Consider these facts: 26.8 percent of search queries take place on Google Images and 3.71 percent take place on YouTube. Within Google Search, 3 percent of all search queries result in a click on an image and another 1.8 percent result in a click on a video. These facts remind us that the web is a visual medium, which search marketers can succeed in by producing the best visual content for their target keywords.


4. Make the end-to-end search experience better

Perhaps the most shocking discovery within our analysis of clickstream data was the fact that 40 percent of Google Search queries don’t lead to a click. For 16 percent of queries, searchers enter a different query. And for 24 percent of queries, searchers end their search session. These unsuccessful search queries could go down with better headlines as well as optimized ad copy and meta descriptions. Clicks are there for the taking for marketers who follow these best practices at the core of SEO.

40 percent of Google Search queries don’t lead to a click
Percent of Queries Outcome
24.0% No click, search session ends
16.0% No click, searcher enters a different query


5. Find out where people go after searching for your keywords, but not clicking

If 40 percent of Google Search queries don’t lead to a click, then these users must be going somewhere else. Maybe a searcher on realizes they’re looking for a video and leave for YouTube. Or, maybe they’re looking for a product and leave for Amazon. If you can identify a common next step after a failed search, then you can look for opportunities to gain visibility there, too. Clickstream data lets you do this.


6. Find out where people go after searching for your keywords, and then clicking

You can also use clickstream data to know which of your competitors are getting clicks from the search terms that you care about. You may think your search traffic is great for a term, only to find out that a competitor gets 10x what you’re getting. If you can know this, you can investigate what makes searchers gravitate to their content and begin improving your search presence and website content to do better.


7. Find out where people were before searching for your keywords

Finally, is there a common online trigger that’s getting people to search for your target search terms? Clickstream data can help you answer this question. Perhaps a niche publication is inspiring people to search for your target keywords. If so, you can advertise there.

Bottom line: Every marketer can act on our new insights into consumer search behavior by investing more in SEO, focusing on Google Search, and producing better assets for the search terms that they are targeting. Then, to get to the next level, marketers should use Jumpshot’s search data to get custom insights into the consumer search behavior that’s relevant to their business. For example, marketers can use Jumpshot’s Search Feeds – Clicks to investigate specific search queries that do not lead to clicks, or to calculate the share of clicks by keyword going to them versus to competitors. This data informs things like where to focus your online presence outside of Google Search and how to compete effectively for clicks.

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