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Google – The Preferred Search Engine by Women

I came across some interesting facts about women and SEO this week while doing research for an upcoming training that I was going to give my team. The training was going to focus on two of my favourite topics at the moment, SEO and Social Media. SEO and Social Media are actually very similar when it comes to the question “why bother?”, they are also part of our strategy of how to target the female demographic online.  But mainly, both are also fairly cheap ways to get attention online and can be seen as highly relevant parts of the marketing mix,  if used in relevant ways.  

Looking at user patterns and trends in Social Media and internet usage following the rise of the social networks, women are getting online in larger masses all the time. Nowadays there are actually more women than men online, and they are  shaping the online user behaviour to match their likings.  

One of the facts that took me by surprise was that according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK and Lightspeed Research (2008), 81% of women use Google, with only 19% relying on any other form of search engine. I hadn’t realised that such a large chunk of women  rely on Google as their preferred search engine. So what is it Google has that makes it so popular with the ladies? And how do women actually respond to any SEO efforts? How do they search online?

According to the study, the majority of these women (95%) say that ‘natural search’ results were for them the most relevant ones – while only 5% would consider the sponsored links being so. If ever you need an argument for why you should invest in SEO and consider it while creating content for your site, then this is it.

34% of women would actually also click through three pages of search results in their quest for a relevant site. Digging deeper, 52% of women will actually change their search terms and try again until they find relevant results on the first results page. This is interesting, especially when basing the value of your SEO on how high up you are ranking in the search results. It might not be the end of the world if you are not number one for Bingo or Poker, but it is much more worrying if you do not rank for the more specific search terms and make use of the “long tail of SEO”.

Women in general seem to rely on search engines as their portals to the internet. They are actually more likely to use a search engine to find a company they know the name of (85%) than to simply guess the website address (15%). This loyalty to search engines by women internet users and their great interest in social media makes Google’s plans to move into Social Search an obvious one.

No wonder Google is favoured by women, they are pushing many of the right buttons and developing themselves to meet the needs and wants of their users.

The idea behind MariaBingo is somewhat similar. The community and the social  networking surrounding the entertainment element that bingo brings to the picture is highly relevant when it comes to appealing to women.  Linking your players to each other as well as linking with them off site, in other areas of their virtual life, will prove highly relevant for loyalty as well as for maximising the potentials that new developments such as Google Social Search provides.

The obvious question now becomes, what are you doing to target this user demographic? Are you as in tune with your feminine side as Google is?

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