The 5 W’s of Customer Search Habits and What They Can Tell You

Customer behavior

Just like businesses, customers are ever-changing. Their likes, dislikes, pain points, and current problems can change in the blink of an eye. But one thing that doesn’t change is how they find information that corresponds to all of these: they search. There is a wealth of information about customer behavior that can be uncovered just by looking at their search habits. Examining information like the time of day they search, what device they use and more can help you fine-tune your strategy so you can move them through the sales funnel faster. We’ve compiled a list of five of the most important questions to ask when looking at search habits, starting with:

Who are your customers?

One of the first steps in any business plan is discovering who your customers are. For some, this means creating customer personas, which are fictionalized versions of your ideal customer. While useful, this can also be limiting. Instead, you should be focusing on the driving force behind customer behaviors: what they value. By knowing what they value, you can connect them with the products or services that you offer that fit the profile of what they seek.

What are your customers looking for?

When your customers search, it’s for a reason. Most of what they look for centers around pain points that they are experiencing or problems they are looking to solve, so paying close attention to the things they are searching and the way they are forming questions can provide insight into how you can position your business to help them. Over time, you may see a pattern emerge in regards to certain keywords and phrases continuously popping up. When your customer finally makes a choice, look at what services/products they finally selected. This may lead to discovering which search phrases lead them to complete the sales cycle.

When are your customers searching?

One of the myths swirling around the internet is that the best day to search for airline tickets is on a Tuesday. If it’s actually true or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that airline companies can expect a surge in web traffic on Tuesday’s. When your customers choose to search can be just as telling as what they are searching. If you experience a surge in web traffic in the evening, you should consider having resources like chat boxes, or after-hours phone lines for people to utilize. Those middle of the night perusers is the perfect excuse to create a robust FAQ page. 

Where are your customers searching?

Before the age of the mobile phone, this one used to be pretty cut and dry. Now people can search from smartphones, laptops, and desktops. Where your target audience is searching will help you decide where to allocate marketing funds. Listen to which types of content customers are searching on their laptops vs. their smartphones.  Smartphones provide instant answers to any question, so a strong mobile strategy complete with mobile-formatted ads is a must. If your customer is on their phone searching for a specific product, you can offer autofill suggestions, discounted products, and similar products. All of these strategies contribute to your overall goal: being discoverable and providing a seamless multi-channel experience. 

Why are they searching?

First and foremost we already know that customers are searching for the solution to a problem or for the answer to a question. We want to dig deeper and find the answer to why they are searching in a specific way. Are they using their mobile phone for a quick solution, or are they using their laptop to research a variety of solutions? The emergence of in-home artificial intelligence systems like Amazon’s Alexa or Google home brings another search method to the table: voice search. For this new wave of technology, natural language search is best as it allows you to better understand the customer’s intent so you can guide them in the right direction. 

If you would like to learn how to better understand your customers through their search habits, click on the banner below to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with us today.

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