October 5, 2010, 4:26 PM

Search becomes more important for consumer goods manufacturers

25% of the traffic to the largest consumer packaged goods sites stems from search.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

A new study finds that a quarter of traffic to 10 of the largest consumer packaged goods web sites came from search engines in April, up 15% from a year earlier. The sites receive more traffic from search than from other sources, the research finds. 

The study, conducted by research firm AdGooroo LLC and Experian Hitwise, looked at traffic in April to the web sites of Betty Crocker, Kraft Foods USA, Pillsbury, Pampers, M&Ms, Kellogg’s Special K, L’Oréal Paris USA, Cover Girl, Tylenol and Enfamil. It finds that 80% of the search traffic to those sites came from organic rather than paid search.

Though Tylenol.com and Enfamil.com are the smallest web sites in the study for overall traffic, search represented the highest percentage of traffic referrals to these sites, at 43% and 31% respectively, the study finds. Product recall-related searches helped drive more Tylenol searches in April. To capitalize on that trend, the study says Tylenol purchased paid listings to send searchers directly to its web site for information.

The best CPG search marketers do well in multiple areas such as keyword selection, coverage management, campaign structure and landing page design, and are able to generate a return on investment from all types of search marketing, says Heather Dougherty, director of research for Hitwise

The study also found that eight of the 10 web sites maintain at least 50% paid search keyword coverage on Google. Coverage is the percentage of the time that a particular advertiser appears in paid listings for their targeted keyword phrases. Additionally, all the companies maintain an average position of three or better on Google searches for their paid keywords.

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