Q. What do we know about how  people search? Is it the same on a phone as a PC?


    A. A search session lasts an average of one minute. (And some last over an hour, pulling up that average.)

According to Jumpshot, a typical query is three words long – people have learned a query that is too short and general returns lots of useless search listings – and 20% of searchers will modify and refine a query. 66% of queries will generate at least one click, and 21% will generate more than one click. 

We know that total search from mobile devices roughly matches that of desktop computers. However, recent research indicates that search behavior is quite different from platform to platform. Desktop searches result in 55% more organic clicks and 40% more paid clicks than search on a smartphone or tablet. This is an indication that searching on mobile is vastly different from searching on a desktop computer.

The purpose of a mobile search can often be to find the location, hours or other specific information about a local business. This would indicate that businesses that get lots of mobile searches should invest in schema and rich snippets that return SERPs designed to give searchers a quick search snapshot of their business. Also, they shouldn’t get too fancy with homepage keywords – direct keywords that simply describe the business are critical (e.g., “Boston Vietnamese Restaurant”).

However, desktop searching can involve more in-depth research about a specific question (or product), requiring viewing multiple pages (hence the increased clicks on desktop searches). B2B businesses typically face a long decision cycle, with end users, evaluators and even purchasing agents looking for content to answer their specific concerns. A solid B2B SEO agency will work with your product marketers, web marketing team, sales reps and field application engineers to dig deep into the buyer psyche, and recommend a website information architecture and UX that anticipates these needs. An initial search can evolve into dozens of direct sessions, as the person who suggests your solution forwards links to his or her colleagues.

Businesses with lots of desktop search should use keywords in ways that describe every aspect of their product or service, and have those keywords lead to content that answers questions suggested by the query. Expect to work for some months on premium content which you discover is needed as you follow the prospect journey through your website.