Today’s savvy shopper continues to use Google to conduct their online searches. Google dominates as the most popular search engine globally. However, we are seeing changes in consumer behaviour and search, specifically when it comes to how the searches are being conducted and the keywords and phrases being included — or not included. Let’s take a look at how consumers are changing their search habits.


How are consumers searching?

Searching on the go

Mobile search is growing and it’s easy to see why — consumers want to discover, explore and research brands, products and services so they can make the right decision anytime, anywhere. With search capabilities at their fingertips consumers are using mobile to inform purchases regardless of category or price.

Consumers are experiencing double the interactions with brands on mobile in comparison to other channels including TV, in-store and more. What does this mean for brands? Making a positive impression on mobile is more important now than ever before. Research from Google shows that people are 60% less likely to purchase from a brand if they have negative brand experiences on mobile. Alternatively, 9 in 10 smartphone owners would purchase from the brand again if the experience is helpful or relevant.


Searching with voice

Voice assistants — whether mobile devices, automobiles or in-home devices — are increasingly popular with consumers to conduct searches. Assistants make it much easier and faster for a consumer to search through speech in comparison to typing.

What does this mean for search? Consumers have adjusted the way they search on web — short phrases with notable keywords. For voice search, consumers phrase searches similar to conversational questions. Google revealed that almost 70% of requests to the Google Assistant are expressed in natural language, not the typical keywords people type in a web search.

Consumers with voice activated speakers, like Google Home or Amazon Echo, are welcoming brands to be a part of the experience with 52% wanting information about deals, sales and promotions and 48% wanted personalized tips and information.


What are consumers searching?


Search on mobile has been surpassing desktop search since 2016 and with that growth comes changes in on-the-go search trends for consumers. Consumers are looking to fellow shopper reviews and ratings to ensure they are making the right decision. Search trends show high growth in searches for the “best” products and services or ones they want “to avoid”. Mobile is also being used to search “Where to buy” a product — this phrase saw a growth of over 85% over the past two years.


Location Based Searches

Consumer searches using terms such as “near me” or “nearby” saw exponential growth since 2013, however, consumers now expect for results to be local regardless of using the terms or not. In fact, Google has seen that over the past two years, there has been a growth of 150% for comparable searches without the phrase "near me".

Local searches are heavily connected to mobile search with nearly one-third of all mobile searches being related to location. When looking at voice-related searches, they are three-time more likely to be local-basd in comparison to text searches on mobile.

Video Reviews

Previously we mentioned the growth of searches for reviews and ratings. Alongside that growth comes the desire to see reviews, rather than just read them. Over the past year, 40% of YouTube users have turned to videos to learn more about a product before they make their purchase. Why is this important to brands? Consumers want to learn the good and bad about products and services before they purchase.They also want to experience, even though they may not be able to touch them until they own them.


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