Consumer Search Behavior Linked to Age, Engine Used

BY Kathy Crosett
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How are your clients’ paid search campaigns working out? If you think the results could be better, you may be surprised to learn that the consumer’s age plays a role in whether they click on a paid search ad. That’s one of the findings from Clutch’s most recent survey on consumers who use search.

Clutch analysts surveyed over 500 consumers who engaged with a paid search ad in the past month. Not surprisingly, the top reason consumers click on these ads (33%) is because they believe they’ll be going to a site that provides what they’re looking for. Consumers also click on links that are higher up on the search engine results pages.

To get a higher position on these pages, you need to help your clients use the right keywords. To determine which keywords have been most successful for them in the past, check out the Digital Audit. This report, available from AdMall at SalesFuel​.com, lists which keywords your client has purchased in the past 12 months and the CPC. The report also displays the top organic search phrases used in the past year and the percentage of searchers who landed on your client 's site.

Paid Search and Consumer Age

You may have been trained to believe that consumers click on one of the first few links on the SERP. That’s not always true. Baby boomers, 34%, have the highest rate of clicking on the link that answers their query. These consumers (38%) are also far more likely to click a link that mentions a familiar brand. Only 24% of millennials do this. 

Millennials and Gen Xers, both at 21%, are far more likely to click on links at the top of the list. Only 13% of baby boomers do the same. Analysts believe that younger consumers, as digital natives, want to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

Paid Search Behavior and Search Provider

Consumers don’t interact with search results consistently across service providers. When consumers use Google, 36% click on search ads that appear to answer their query. These searches are often about finding service providers or local stores. But when consumers use the search utility on Amazon, 33% click on links that mention a familiar brand. These searches typically involve seeking out a specific product or brand. When you're helping clients develop a PPC keyword list, keep these differences in behavior in mind.

Up to 77% of surveyed adults say they know the difference between paid and organic search results. Make sure your clients use consistent brand messaging across SEO and SEM channels.  Doing so, ‘will create brand recognition.’ For SEO, they should be developing quality content that includes text and video components. Complement this content with PPC campaigns that are driven by quality keywords that will lead shoppers to an easy-​to-​use website.