Seeing Between theLines…of the Searchand the ClickWhat you will gain from this report Search marketing is an intense and competitive battlefield, and for those of us in the trenches it can feel like being dropped in an unknown location without a map or GPS to guide us. To date, the ability to track actual consumer behavior from a search to a click has been virtually non-existent. Because search engine results pages (SERPs) are different for every consumer based on past search behavior, location and social connections, capturing competitive intelligence is increasingly difficult. For search marketers, this means little to no visibility into what is happening on the SERP such as who is listed first or what words were used to perform the search. Using Compete Search Engine Results Page Analyzer (SERPA) data, this report provides insight into the potential impact of increasing search marketing ROI by analyzing real, consumer engagement by exploring paid vs organic listings, illustrating the importance of position on the page, and understanding the importance of ranking first.
The basics…Search marketers have two approaches they can Spidering attempts to mimic real search activity bytake in order to help drive traffic to their site: (1) having a computer scrape the text of SERPs based onoptimize their site for search through a combination a pre-loaded list of search terms. The shortcomingsof relevant content, tags, and links to and from their with this approach are that it is limited to the quality ofsite to leading sites in the industry (Search Engine the inputs (i.e., search terms) that were pre-populatedOptimization, or SEO), and (2) pay for ads on into the computer by the programmer and does notsearch engines by bidding on search terms reflect actual search behavior performed by the(Search Engine Marketing, or SEM). internet browsing population.One downside of SEO is that your site is at the Compete’s approach to understanding consumermercy of search engines to define how relevant behavior in the search space leverages the actualyour site is to a particular search term as defined search behavior of its panel of consumers in orderby a ‘quality score’. Your quality score could be to capture the full breadth of terms people usemade better or worse based on the variables when searching. This report answers questionsthe search engine is using in its algorithm, and such as:unfortunately, marketers have limited control over • What share of SERPs have ads?where their site appears in the results. • What share of listings are organic?Through SEM, search marketers manage a portfolio • Where do the majority of people click on the SERP?of terms, both branded and non-branded, in orderto help drive leads through search. Because mostbidding is blind, marketers have little visibility intowho their competitors are and how they stack up.The traditional approaches to measuring yourbrand’s search marketing effectiveness has beenthrough collecting information about the referrals toyour site through internal tools, and if one wantedsecondary research, to purchase data collectedthrough ‘spidering’.1
More than half of all SERPs have at least one adCompete analyzed 10s of millions of search engine The takeaway is that most searches performed byresults pages generated by actual consumers in people online are an opportunity for you or aour U.S. panel in Q4 2011. We found that more competing brand to influence consumer behavior.than half of all search engine result pages contained Search is a highly competitive market and if yourat least one paid ad somewhere on the SERP. brand is not aware of its standing in the market, you may be missing out on thousands of potential new customers to the competition. Share of SERPs With and Without Ads 55% 45% SERPs with at least 1 ad SERPs with no ads2
Organic is a fiercely competitive place to playLooking at all of the listings displayed with the 10s A good organic search strategy should:of millions of SERPs generated by Compete’s panel • i nvolve good on-page SEO so search engineswe found the overwhelming majority of listings are can find youorganic (85%). The remaining 15% constituted • i nclude a blog that is updated often with insightspaid listings. If your brand is competing within pertinent to your industry (in order to increaseorganic listings alone, you are going to be in fierce inbound links and the number of pages crawledcompetition with the competing firms, publishers, by search engines)blogs, and the long tail of web content. Since thevast majority of listings on a SERP are organic, • u tilize site links and micro-sites to win more real estate on SERPsand the majority of clicks are on the first listing,it’s imperative that brands strategy including A better strategy will use paid to complementconstantly monitoring results due to the ongoing organic to ensure coverage on the SERP andevolution of search engine algorithms. to improve opportunities for clicks. Share of Listing Types and Share of Clicks Share of Listings by Type Share of Organic Clicks by Rank 1 53% 15% first link paid 2 15% 3 9% 85% organic 4 6% 5 4%3
When it comes to paid...you want to be on topHow important is paid position (either Top, Right, The overwhelming majority of paid clicks occuror Bottom) for capturing clicks? The right hand side on top paid listings (85%) versus only 13% ofof the SERP is where the majority of paid listings paid clicks occurring on the right hand side.are served (61%) versus approximately 1 in 4 paid The majority of marketers are conceding the toplistings on the top of the page. However, despite the spot through less aggressive bidding and adright side owning the majority of paid listings, it is relevancy, but should be aware they are losing outthe top of the page that wins on clicks. on the most valuable SERP position (5x more clicks than the right and bottom combined). Distribution of Paid Listings vs Paid Clicks Where Advertisers Appear Where Consumers Click 24% top 85% top 61% right 13% right 15% bottom 2% bottom Share of paid listings Share of paid clicks4
Being first matters tooWhile being in the top position is vital for receiving 15% are on the second listing on the top. While it’sclicks, it’s also important to be ranked first regardless better to appear first on the right (4% of all paid clicks)of position on the page. Of all paid clicks, 59% occur versus second on the right (3%), the third listing in theon the first listing on the top of the page while only top position is better than any on the right (9%). Position and Rank Click Distribution Distribution of Paid Clicks by Position and Rank 1 59% first link Top 2 15% 3 9% 1 4% 3% 2 Right 3 2% 4 1% Bottom 1 1% 2 1%5
Looking aheadThere is a strategic battle going on in SERPs and every decision has a dramatic impact on results. Most, if notall, search marketing efforts need to prove a ROI as there is a very definite spend, whether it is SEO or SEM.Compete’s new Search Engine Page Results Analyzer (SERPA) allows an advertiser to better understand whothey are competing against and gives them a better idea of what their potential ROI would be on upping theirbids. This allows search marketers to come to the table with better competitive information and in turn makebetter decisions and tactical changes to their search strategies on an ongoing basis. You don’t have to wonderwhether your competitor is outperforming you, you’ll know. By capturing millions of individual search listingsper day including natural and paid listings across the major search engines to accurately represent consumersearch behavior, SERPA can help answer questions like:Competitive Intelligence: • Measure which advertisers own the greatest amount of SERP real estate • Understand which keywords your competitors are focused on • Understand whether your competitor is strong in SEM, SEO, or both • C ompare ad copies to see what differentiates your campaigns from others and the results competitors are getting from their campaigns • Q uantify the impact to your organization when you are not running a paid campaign or do not serve a paid ad on a keyword set and your competitors areBenchmark Performance: • View paid and natural performance and gain insight into the effectiveness of SEM and SEO • Analyze share of click-throughs across all SERP pages • Understand how % of SERP listings and # of listings affect clickthrough rate (CTR) • Benchmark your CTR vs. competitors • Contrast performance on Google vs. other search engines • Evaluate consumer engagementTrend Performance: • A bility to see how performance across key search performance indicators trends through seasonal high and low points, as well as what competitors may be doing to improve performance through troughs and capitalize on peaks in search activity6
About Kantar Media CompeteKantar Media Compete is passionate about understanding consumers to inspire great marketing. KantarMedia Compete helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millionsof consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Kantar Media Compete’s products andservices to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Kantar MediaCompete’s online panel-the largest in the industry-makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’slives. Kantar Media Compete is located in Boston, MA, with offices across the US, UK and France. For moreinformation, please visit http://www.compete.com/.Learn moreFor more information about Compete’s role in advancing the online marketing effectivenessin online services, please contact:Ranjan (RJ) Butaney David Weigner-LodahlSenior Director of Business Development, Senior Associate, Agency Publisher SolutionsAgency Publisher Solutions email@example.com@compete.com 617.933.5750617.933.5620Matt RedmondClient Services Director, Agency Publisher Solutionsmredmond@compete.com617.933.5675 Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn Subscribe to us on YouTube7