August 3, 2006, 12:00 AM

Assist clicks play a large role in conversions, study finds

Consumers who clicked more than one of a marketer’s listings—whether paid or natural—were responsible for 37.3% of conversions, says a new study from 360i and SearchIgnite. Multi-click transactions accounted for 66% of total clicks.

Consumers who clicked more than one of a marketer’s listings-whether paid or natural-were responsible for 37.3% of conversions, according to a new study from 360i and SearchIgnite. Multi-click transactions accounted for 66% of total clicks.

For the study, 360i and SearchIgnite tracked more than 250,000 unique conversions from as many consumers, and monitored nearly 500,000 clicks that led to conversions during the second quarter.

Most (63.5%) of the first clicks in the study resulted from searches on brand terms, and the majority of brand terms entered led to clicks on natural results, the study found. However, the distribution of brand/non-brand first clicks was heavily dependent on the overall level of brand strength of the individual marketers.

Consumers who first searched for a brand term and clicked a natural listing completed the transaction through a natural-brand click more than 80% of the time, the report said. For multi-click consumers who started the process by entering a non-brand term and clicking a natural result, 57.6% completed the transaction through a similar term, although about one-third of them converted on a natural-brand term. Only about 10% of the time did the consumer switch over to complete a transaction through a paid listing.

Overall, only 8.5% of all searchers and 22.9% of multi-click searchers switch between paid and natural results, the study found. Among searchers who switch, far more start with a paid listing and convert on a natural listing (12.6%) than migrate the other way (5.3%).

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