How Consumers Search for Social Network Services
Improving Website Performance
By Understanding Human 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Observation – 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:
- The term Networking appears in only 20 keyword phrases, but account for 3.026 million searches a month.
- 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.
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.
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
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
Mark Sprague, CEO
580 Lowell Street
Lexington, MA 02420