A new Search Engine User Attitudes Survey perfermed by iProspect confirms that knowing the characteristics of your target audience plays a significant role in a successful online marketing campaign.
Looking at the gender survey participants, the results clearly show that women find paid search advertisements to be more relevant to their online queries than men. Looking at the four largest search engines, according to market share (Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN), 43.1 percent of female respondents chose a paid search advertisement as the most relevant result to a sample query, compared to just 34.6 percent of men who selected a paid search ad.
However, despite this finding, the results unmistakably indicate that marketers who target a predominantly female audience must focus on both paid search results and natural search results or they will neglect 40-60 percent of potential online customers. Sites that target women include the highly competitive cosmetic, home fashion, personal care and online toy markets; examples range from Avon.com to Linens ‘n Things to PotteryBarn.com.
The survey results also show that search engine users who are employed full-time find natural search results to be more relevant than users who are employed part-time or not at all. Nearly 65% of fully-employed respondents chose a natural search result as the most relevant result to a sample query, compared to users who are employed part-time at 60.8 percent and just 55.1 percent of unemployed users. For employment companies whose websites target partially employed and unemployed users; such as Robert Half International, Manpower.com, Administaff.com and Monster.com; it is more important that they incorporate paid search advertising as opposed to sites in other niche markets, but it’s still critical to employ both paid search and natural search opportunities to be certain to reach their entire audience.
Other key findings in the survey illustrate how education plays a role in search result click-through behavior. Results show that 64.8 percent of college graduates found natural search results more relevant, compared to 56.2 percent of non-college graduates.
Looking at how often a user gets online and how long they have been using the Internet overall are key findings as well. Over 65 percent of respondents who said they use the Internet four or more times a day selected a natural search result as more relevant, compared to 56.3 percent of users who identified their Internet use as being less than four times a day.
Focusing on how many years a respondent has been using the Internet, survey results showed 63.2 percent of users who have been online for more than six years indicated a natural search result as more relevant. For respondents who have been online four to six years, 60.6 percent chose natural search results as being more significant as well. Only 54 percent of users who had less than three years of online experience chose a natural search result over a paid search advertisement. More info on the Search Engine User Attitudes Survey from iProspect.