Search engine marketing gives you the unique chance to find customers in every phase of their purchasing cycle (the search, the price comparison and finally the purchase).

Make sure that you provide relevant and detailed information about your products and services in your website.  Internet users have a high opinion of vendors that offer detailed background information about their products.  If you can offer them, in addition, a low price you’ll win, with the utmost probability, a new customer.

Much research has already been done on various aspects of web usage and many more studies track the use of search engines and how users find information.  It’s been proven that search engines are an important contact point for Internet users in every stage of the purchase decision process.  More than half of Internet users prefer normal search result lists (algorithmic index) instead of paid text announcements or so-called sponsored links.  Whether they click through would most likely depend on the content of their search enquiry.

Almost two third of Internet users say they exploit search engines at the beginning of their search to receive an overview of offers on the Internet and one third use them mainly at the beginning of their search as well as shortly before their final purchase.

Another interesting finding is that one third of the search engine users are convinced that suppliers who appear with several search enquiries of a product over and over again at the top of search results, are leading suppliers in this area.  Unfortunately, another third assumes that these suppliers are rather expensive as they spend a lot of money for search engine advertisements.

If a supplier, whom a search engine user would have expected to find after a search enquiry, isn’t listed in the result, one third of the users take for granted that this supplier doesn’t have the article in stock.  Some believe that this supplier is obviously not a leading supplier in this area, and others believe that the supplier has financial problems and therefore can’t run search engine advertisements.

What this means for online vendors is that their products and services must be found.  Be it by the use of generic search enquiries (e.g. mobiles), used mostly at the beginning of the search process, or by the use of specific search enquiries (e.g. iPhone 4), used quite often shortly before the final purchase.  Hence, even well-known brands must make sure that they are found through search engine marketing and in fact not only under their branding keywords, but also under general search words to leave no potential buyer to their competitors.

Almost all search engine marketing studies emphasize how important it is for online vendors to be found by search engines in the index as well as in the text announcements.  Depending on the contents of the search enquiry, the search engine user selects results from the index or from the sponsored links.  It’s that simple, those who can’t be found in the results list don’t exist for potential online buyers.  This applies to well-known brands as well, because if the user doesn’t find the vendor with his initial product search, he assumes that the supplier does not lead this product at all - even if it isn’t the case. So do consider well the advice given above!

By Daniela La Marca