How Consumers Search for Social Network Services

Improving Website Performance

By Understanding Human Search Behavior


Understanding Search Behavior

In this analysis I take a look at how a business consumer go about searching for information and services for “Social Networks.” When you examine each query in the AdWords data set for human intent you end up with eight distinct search behavior patterns. In descending order of importance these categories are:


  1. Information – Informational queries account for 5.28 million searches, and these tend to be vague and broad in intent.  They are modifying the primary phrase social network with a third term such as List, Web and Online.
  2. Source – In this group the searchers are looking for a source for a social network. The terms are vague, and without much context.  This accounts for 359K searches a month.
  3. Tools – The third largest category reflects users trying to find social networking tools. You find more context in the terms being used, such as Software, Analysis, Platform and Hosted. This accounts for 202K searches a month.
  4. Business – The fourth category reflects interest in business solutions. You see terms such as Marketing, Advertising, Mobile and Corporate. This accounts for 79K searches a month.
  5. Value – This group has consumers using terms that specify quality and value. They are using terms such as Free, Top, Best and Popular. These phrases account for 67K searches a month.
  6. Learning – The sixth category is informational, but clearly focused upon learning to use social media tools. They use terms like How To, Creating and Start. This accounts for 22.8K searches a month – not a ton of traffic, but these people are most likely ready to transact, and are valuable traffic.
  7. Type – In the seventh category you find consumers looking for a particular type of social network. They are looking for social networks for Kids, Christians, and Music / Photo buffs. This accounts for only 9K searches a month, but it is valuable traffic because they have clearly indicated their intent.
  8. Location– Not a lot of traffic here (3.5K searches), consumers are looking for a social network by country, using proper names such as UK and American.

Call now for free consultationObservation – This data set of 150 keyword phrases generates a little over 6 million searches a month. When you look for word patterns you find an interesting one when comparing the terms Networks and Networking. For example:

  1. The term Networking appears in only 20 keyword phrases, but account for 3.026 million searches a month.
  2. The term Networks appear in 130 keyword phrases, and comes in at 3.027 million searches a month.

This distribution pattern would give me pause…I would have to figure out which term would be the better performer. When I look at the terms within the context of each category, I see that the term Networking is more prominent in Business, Source and Tools. The term Network is associated with the Information, Learning, Type and Value Categories.

Advanced Keyword Research by Mark Sprague

Top 25 Secondary Terms

When you strip away the primary keyword phrase Social Networks, and look at the secondary terms that consumers are using, you end up with a list that provides you with terms that should be used in your website copy. For example, Social Networking Software would be an excellent phrase to work into ad copy.  This would also be a good content topic. The important thing to take away from this analysis is that when you are trying to figure out what your keyword strategy is going to be, make sure that you dig into the data to see how consumer behavior comes into play, and pay attention to how secondary terminology is being used.

Searching for social networking services

Find Out More

To find out more about advanced keyword research and human search behavior, send me an email at Mark@MSprague.com or call me now: 781-862-3126

Mark Sprague

Lexington eBusiness Consulting

About Lexington eBusiness Consulting

Providing comprehensive SEO services to the Boston community

Mark Sprague’s 25 years of product development experience which includes expertise Search Engines, Information Products, SEO platforms and Social Networking applications provide in-depth expertise to help you refine products and services, and improve your web sites performance by:

  • Developing a superior data-driven SEO strategy for your website.
  • Understanding your customers’ search behavior and normalizing it to your content strategy.
  • Understanding how search engine technology practically impacts SEO and content strategies.
  • Understanding how search technology impacts content in a social networking environment.
  • Developing a superior user experience based on sound information architecture, usability and coding standards.

Lexington eBusiness Consulting
LinkedIn Company Profile
LinkedIn Personal Profile

Lexington eBusiness Consulting

Lexington eBusiness Consulting
Mark Sprague,  CEO
580 Lowell Street
Lexington, MA 02420

List of Lexington eBusiness Clients

Lexington eBusiness Clients

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: