How do users search in Google? What type of searcher are you? UPDATED FOR 2021

authorSam Keillor dateNovember 09, 2016


Updated for 2021

Let's face it.  When it comes to researching for a product or service you might have an interest in, the first place the majority of us go to is Google.

If you are a business owner or in charge of a company's marketing, are you taking advantage of this to showcase your own business? Whether you are a newcomer to leveraging Google or Google is already a big part of your marketing strategy especially if you already have visitors organically visiting your website.

Before you get started, you should be considering the types of searches users make daily. For any newcomers to this, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process to improving your website's ranking in Google.  For more information on what SEO is, this article maybe helpful: What is SEO.

Within this article, we are going to look deeper into the types of searches you should be targeting and what are the latest search trends you need to be aware of.

When putting your SEO strategy together, you need to consider the different Google searching characteristics out there and the ones you want to target for your business. There are 3 main types of characteristics that we see in regular searching patterns.

Which one are you when you search? Do you change your way of searching to your readiness to buy or make a call about a service?

Searching for a nursery in Google

For the below search characteristic type, let’s use the example of a parent searching for which Nursery they should enroll their child in Dubai.

Search Characteristic 1: Keyword Kelly

Kelly uses generic keywords about nurseries in Dubai. For example ‘Nurseries in Dubai’ or ‘Best Nursery in Dubai’. These are the types of searches that for many first come to mind when at the early stage of researching. Kelly is trying to create a shortlist by eliminating the nurseries she wouldn’t want her children to attend, at this stage of her decision. She is also trying to find out who are the main players in the market that will perhaps make her shortlist.

This type of SEO targeting is a highly competitive space. The rankings change regularly as lots of nurseries compete for the top spots. For new websites it can be hard to move to the top rank because Google is more aware of their competitors as their websites have been around longer and therefore have higher credibility in Google's eyes.  The age of your website can also have a major effect on your positioning in Google’s rankings.

Search Characteristic 2: Specific Susan

Susan is more specific about her searching and therefore types longer questions into the search engine.  Because of this, Google will have fewer results that match for the answer to her questions and will generally provide more specific search results.  A good example of this is the search ‘Nurseries teaching the British curriculum in Downtown Dubai’.  In this scenario, Susan knows the type of nursery she is looking for and the results Google will provide will specifically match her needs during the decision making process. Susan is more likely to visit a nursery from these search results.

Reaching Susan should be at the top of your SEO strategy. The content on your website may not always answer the questions that she is asking in Google so to ensure your website is highly ranked, you should be producing new regular content through your blog to address her questions. By answering Susan’s questions online you will be giving yourself a high chance of enrolling her children when they come to visit.

Search Characteristic 3: Brand Name Brian

Brian could be a lazy searcher who overly relies on Google (the type of person that accesses Facebook by searching for it in Google rather than directly typing into his browser)  or perhaps he already knows exactly what/who he is searching for.  He knows the nursery name already and wants to check out their website directly and he therefore types the brand name of the nursery directly in to Google. It may seem simple, and Brian may have researched previously about nursery or alternatively, he may have been referred the name by a friend or maybe his children already attend the nursery.

It is always important to remember searchers like Brian. Hopefully your brand name is the same as your domain name so Google will recognise that your business is the one that Brian is looking for.  

If you are not doing SEO for your brand name then you are opening the opportunity for your competitors to target search results that really should be taken up by references to your business.  A common Google AdWords strategy employed by many businesses is to have your website rank in the paid search of a competitor. Although Google is savvy to this and will charge you a higher rate per click, it still goes on because the opportunity to pull Brian away from being a loyal customer is still worth the investment for many businesses.

For these same reasons, I hope you checked the availability of domain names before naming your business. If your brand name is already taken you will have to get an alternative domain which makes brand name SEO all the more important.

Which Search Character are you?

The answer for most of us is that we are a combination of all 3 search characteristics. The type of searching you do is reflected in the stage of your decision making process you are in and it is really important that you understand your customer and how they interact online.

At Nexa, we are keen to understand you customers and help you be the answer to their needs, if you want to find out more. Fill in the contact form and I'll be happy to talk to you about this in more detail.

Sam Keillor