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Search Engine Demographics – Why it matters to your business

Its commonplace in today’s internet age to for people to assume that all search engines, portals and internet directories essentially all do the same thing. While all of these services are designed to gather and present information to the end user the way the deliver results and how the get them are different. After all, all newspapers essentially report the news, but they all report it differently. This is why demographics are so important when considering the search engines you want to target for online advertising as the target audience can be widely diverse.

Search Engines are the most popular way of finding things on the web and on any given day over 60% of those online use a search engine to find what they are looking for. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN have strong brand visibility and loyalty but you will be surprised at how diverse the demographics are for the people using them.

So what do I mean when I refer to demographics? I’m talking about key factors like age, sex, education level, and proficiency on the web. This factors change depending on the person who uses MSN versus Yahoo versus Google, and then there are the other smaller search engines that are designed to a more targeted audience. These niche search engines drill down even further in segmenting the user demographics.

Gender Breakdown

If we talk about one of the key factors in this advertising mix then gender breakdown is a biggie. Why? Well if your business is targeting women because you sell women s clothing or have a product or service that women are looking for then you may not want spend more of your marketing dollar an the search engine that can deliver those people. Yes, it actually breaks down this way. While many business’s are focused on advertising on Google because of the market share they don’t always consider that they can get more bang for their buck if they simply spend wisely and target the places there customers are looking.

A study carried out recently by Hitwise showed that 55% of Google users are male whereas 58% of MSN users were female. and AOL are also more geared towards women with Yahoo! being roughly split between the middle between men and women. The percentages may seem small but when you consider the volume of internet users and searchers this is a significant number. Softline Solutions has been helping customers take advantage of these trends for Paid Search and SEO for years with great success (Shameless Plug!).

Furthermore, there is a gender breakdown between Organic vs Paid Search Ads. In fact, women and those who spend less time on the internet tend to have a higher percentage when it comes to clicking on Paid Ads vs Men who generally click on Organic or Natural results.

Age Breakdown

Again we have significant differences in search trends here as well. While Google and Yahoo! tend to be more popular with those under the age of 34, MSN trends are for those over the age of 55. You can start to understand how working with a professional company to really target your online marketing campaigns can make sense.

The All Might Dollar!

The latest survey results are in and here is one of the most important factors when it comes to demographics and your online marketing budget. While those visiting Google where 45% more likely to buy goods and services online, versus Yahoo! and MSN who had a lower purchasing rate. So what does this mean for you. Well it actually means that if your targeting the right audience in the right place your chances to sell services online a greatly increased. If your a local business and want to drive business to your door then this helps as well as you can target you demographic customer base more efficiently. Softline offers and ePowerPackage solution by the way that is affordable and is great for local business.

So to recap, marketing your business online is crucial in this internet age and its something you should not consider and expense but rather in investment into your business for the long run. If your targeting your customer base effeciently you can maximize online results, bring local customers to your door, increase sales, and grow your business. That said, its not something everyone has time to do and thats why you should leave it to the pros!. Remember, you know your business better than anyone and thats why your customers keep coming back. You should find a good online marketing company and let them talk to you about solutions to help your business grow.