Search used when marks are unknown, but direct navigation for existing customers

It is well established that consumers use multiple channels and digital tools for searching and discovering purchases. Among them, Google, Amazon and social media (to a lesser extent) tend to be the leading sites for SEO websites, 48% of visits from websites from sites with direct traffic

. Direct traffic to these sites indicates that familiarity with the brand or intention to purchase probably already exists. These customers are more likely to trust the content of the brand's website compared to third-party platforms, according to a recent survey of more than 500 US adults from Yext and Forbes:

: 48% of current customers cite a brand as a website. Among their most trusted sources of information, 47% say they are more likely to trust third-party sites, including search engine results, directories, and social media, when they discover a brand. for the first timeOnly 20% of current and new customers trust social media sites delivery of brand information

This reflects directionally the findings of a previous BrightLocal poll on trusted websites and small businesses (SMEs). In this survey, 56% of respondents expected the SMB site to be more accurate than Google My Business content (32%).

Source: Yext, Forbes Insights Survey (2019)

The Yext survey revealed that people were looking for distinct products or services when they were visiting brand sites in relation to research or directories. Consumers consult search and third-party directories for "objective information", to compare providers, explore reviews, search for offers, know the location and contact the contacts. When they visit brand sites, they more often search for specific information or content.

This corresponds, to a certain extent, to the "customer's funnel" and naturally has a meaning. But Yext is using this conclusion to argue, justifiably, that brands must ensure that their content is accurate and complete on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and other third-party directories, as much as on their own sites.

The mark is to blame, not to the phone book. Multi-site companies are sometimes not quite able to populate content or post reviews on third-party platforms. But when the information on these sites is false, brands can be blamed and damage the reputation of the brand.

According to the investigation of Yext, "After a negative online experience with a brand, including the search for inaccurate information, 28% of consumers tend not to buy the product or the service of this brand at that time and 26% can share their bad experience with others. "Similarly, the BrightLocal survey found that 68% of consumers were in agreement with the following statement:" prevents me from doing business with a local company.

[19459002Whyshouldwecare? At the highest level, there are two main audiences: those who know the brand and those who do not know it. Known consumer brands (known to be positive) are in a much better position – and will pay less for traffic and customer acquisition – than those that compete anonymously on the SERP pages.

A An essential part of the broader outreach process, particularly for brands with physical sites, is to establish complete and accurate profiles on key local third-party platforms and to pay attention to critical and to respond to it in due course.

About the Author

Greg Sterling is a collaborative editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the links between digital commerce and offline commerce. Previously, he held senior positions at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.

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