European consumers are abandoning brand name searches in favour of a more sophisticated approach to searching for goods and services online.
Bigmouthmedia has published statistics showing that despite online shoppers using the search box to access brand sites and browsers like Firefox and Chrome offering a single bar for both navigation and search, navigational keyword usage in Europe is down this year.
Conducted by bigmouthmedia’s international offices in Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, France and the Nordics region, the research simultaneously reveals a growing tendency amongst users to employ increasingly complex search terms when looking for information online. It looked at 75,000 unique visits (by IP address) for each country (total sample size 600,000) across Google, Yahoo and Live Search.
According to the survey, the steady increase in numbers of consumers using the web for entertainment has seen the percentage of keywords accounted for by navigational search fall, while the vast majority of European consumers now use two and three word search phrases to deliver more targeted results when surfing.
“Over the past few years consumers have become far more savvy about search, and as the recession drives people to hunt for the very best available deals, we’re seeing them adopt a sophisticated approach with the majority now employing more complicated phrases to find their way around the web,” said Andrew Girdwood, head of search at bigmouthmedia.
The research demonstrates a range of differing approaches from country to country. Web users in Italy, Great Britain and Germany were found to demonstrate the most complex search behaviour, topping the table for four-word phrases, while almost a quarter of consumers in France and Spain still rely on a single keyword when tracking down information, goods and services on the internet.
Girdwood added: “Clearly, the way that users approach the search landscape is changing. As consumers continue to become more comfortable with the technology and the sheer volume of online information proliferates it will be interesting to see how this trend develops over the next few years and how it may force many big brand companies to reassess their digital marketing strategies.”
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