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When searching for products and services online, appearance matters: 48% of search engine users say they are more likely to click on a search result if it includes an image and 53% are more likely to click if a company name or brand appears multiple times on the search engine results page, according to a survey from Performics.

Still, 88% of surveyed search engine users say they're more likely to click on a result that contains the exact words or phrases they've searched for; 26% are more likely to click on a result that contains a video.

Such searchers say they are most influenced by a search result's description (75%), followed by the title (73%) and URL (60%).

Below, other findings from Performics' 2010 Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Insights Study, conducted by ROI Research Inc.

Search engine users are persistent. If at first they don't succeed, they try a different approach:

  • 89% modify their search keyword terms and try again.
  • 89% try a different search engine.
  • 79% scroll through multiple search results pages if necessary.
  • 19% abandon their online search effort—and take it offline.

Overall, 75% of searchers use Google, 19% use Yahoo, and 7% use Bing. Those who are new to using search (36%), or relative beginners (31%), are more likely than advanced searchers (16%) to use Yahoo as their primary search engine.

Google users are the most loyal: 66% say they occasionally or frequently use another search engine, compared with 72% of Yahoo users and 82% of Bing users.

Nearly two-thirds of searchers (63%) say they know the difference between natural and sponsored search results; 80% of searchers age 18-29 are aware of the difference.

Looking for solid, substantiated information about search engine marketing from the industry's best resources? The 84-page Search Engine Marketing Factbook featuring 55 charts provides data on who is using search engines and how, as well as data on keywords, clicks, and paid search metrics. This search-related factbook consists of chapters 1 & 3 from the larger Digital Marketing Factbook?a 144-page compilation of data and 110 charts that also covers email marketing and social media.

One in five searchers (20%) always or frequently click on sponsored search ads and another 43% occasionally do.

Searchers rely heavily on search results when researching and making purchase decisions:

  • 83% find specific manufacturers or product websites.
  • 80% gather information via search before making online purchases.
  • 78% learn more about a products or services after seeing an ad elsewhere.
  • 63% find special discounts and coupons.

Other findings:

  • Yahoo users are most likely to look at natural and sponsored results first, before other features of the search engine performance page.
  • 43% of Bing searchers frequently or occasionally use the engine's rollover/pop-up previews.
  • 43% of all searchers frequently or occasionally or click on sponsored video ads.

About the data: Findings are from the 2010 Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Insights Study, conducted in June 2010 among 500 US consumers from the Greenfield Online panel. Respondents must have used a search engine one or more times in the past week, and be a regular user of Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

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