September 30, 2010, 3:57 PM

E-retailers should serve up plenty of product information to attract shoppers via search engines

More than 75% of shoppers use search engines to research products and services.

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 Promotions and pretty sites are important, but retailers should also be sure to include ample information on e-commerce sites if they want to attract shoppers via search engines. More than two-thirds of online shoppers in a recent poll say they search online to learn more about a product or service after seeing an ad elsewhere. 

 The study was sponsored by search marketing firm Performics, a division of Publicis Groupe, and conducted by ROI Research 

 The survey polled 500 regular users of Google, Yahoo or Bing in June. Respondents must have used a search engine one or more times in the past week. Respondents were recruited and screened to be representative of the online U.S. population. 




The poll also shows shoppers like a little eye candy with their search results. 53% of online shoppers say they are more likely to click on search results with images than those without images.  Another finding: searchers are tenacious about getting what they want—89% of users will modify their search or try a different engine if they don’t find the results they want on their first try.

Searchers are also fairly well versed in the features and functions of search engines. For example, nearly two-thirds know the difference between natural and sponsored search results, with those between 18 and 29 years old most likely to be aware of the difference. And a high of 92% click on sponsored results, the study finds. A significant amount also use new technology added by search engines in recent years. 56% at least occasionally click on real-time results and 43% percent at least occasionally view or click on sponsored video ads.

Another interesting fact is that search newbies gravitate towards Yahoo. Those who are new to using search are more likely than advanced searchers to use Yahoo as their primary search engine. Yahoo searchers also are most likely to look at natural and sponsored results first, before other parts and features of the search results page such as sponsored links or maps. When it comes to Bing and Google, 30% of Bing users utilize the engine’s rollover/pop- up previews, and, while Google users are more loyal than Bing or Yahoo users, even they will at least occasionally use an alternate search engine.

A broad presence in search results is also key to marketers. The more result listings the better, the study finds, as roughly half of respondents will more likely click on a search result if a company or brand appears multiple times.

”The evolving search engine results page continues to reflect a brand’s image, not only as determined by that brand, but also by the general public through social and user-generated content,” says Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research.

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