In Web Search, The Sweet Spot Is Four Words - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

In Web Search, The Sweet Spot Is Four Words

Internet users who use four-word searches are more likely to purchase goods or services or receive items of value than those using fewer words.

Internet users who employ four-word keywords in search engines are more likely to purchase goods or services or receive items of value--such as white papers--than those using one, two, or three words, according to a new report.

For Web-site operators, that means they should create three- and four-word phrases as metadata and keywords to attract visitors.

Oneupweb, a consulting firm specializing in optimizing Web searches, issued a report Tuesday that contends conversion rates peak at four-word keyword phrases or strings, but drop off when longer phrases are used. The one exception: when a single keyword is a corporate name. "People searching for a particular company's name are predisposed to making a purchase or conversion specifically from that company," the 10-page study says.

Researchers define conversion rate as the percentage of unique visitors who purchase or receive items of value or fill out forms at a Web site.

Using aggregate data collected by a proprietary search analytics conversion tool, Oneupweb gathered traffic and conversion data related to search-engine keyword searches during July, October, and December. Oneupweb maintains a database of hundreds of corporate customers including online retailers.

In its analysis of December data, Oneupweb says 38% of users who typed in four words converted their search to an item of value. That compares with 6% for one word; 15%, two; 33%, three; 10%, five; and 9%, six or more.

However, a single keyword representing a corporate name had a 33% conversion rate, while a corporate name coupled with one other keyword dropped the conversion rate to 7%. Findings for July and October were similar to December's results.

Researchers admit they were surprised of the sharp falloff after four words. They suspect searchers using longer strings may be asking specific questions, suggesting they're investigating a product or service and may use a shorter string later when they're ready to take action. Also, search engines might not be effective interpreting five-word searches, returning less relevant results and discouraging conversions.

Oneupweb says companies shouldn't snub single keywords, but they should add relevant multiword keyword strings of up to five words.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Slideshows
9 Steps Toward Ethical AI
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/15/2019
Commentary
How to Assess Digital Transformation Efforts
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  5/14/2019
Commentary
Is AutoML the Answer to the Data Science Skills Shortage?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/10/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll