How Customers Search

How Customers Search

How We Shop for Products and Services Has Evolved

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably noticed that the way that people search for products and services today is vastly different than it was even just a few short years ago. Since yesterday was Earth Day 2015, we want to dispose of the old way of shopping methods responsibly.

Align marketing to How Customers Search to Ensure Your Business Doesn't Take the Way of the Phone Book
Align marketing to How Customers Search to Ensure Your Business Avoids the Way of the Phone Book

Customers Turn to Search Engines First

The days of customers turning to the phone book and directory services first has long since faded. Print and radio has been losing advertising share to the Internet for over a decade now.

Today potential customers from around the world turn to the Internet first. Many have Internet access from virtually anywhere and search engines index almost anything and everything imaginable.

This ubiquitous nature of the Internet and ubiquitous access through smartphones  has impacted how customers search for the  goods and services they buy every day.

Just enough, just in time information is now taken for granted, as if we used to carry a phone book in our front pocket everywhere we went.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It

Check out these really telling results from a recent Chart of the Week form Marketing Sherpa. This chart is based on a study conducted this past January (2015)  where  the Local Search Association polled 2,147 consumers asking them

when you are searching for a local business, product or service, how likely would you be to consult the following information sources“.

The interesting, albeit unsurprising results are summarized below:

How Customers Search
How Customers Search


Search Engines Rule, But Websites Don’t Drool

65% of customers are likely to search for products and services on search engines which came in first place in the survey for the most popular information source used by consumers when searching for a local business.

Company websites are a relatively close 2nd place with 50% share. Company website and  search engines are often the last stop of consumers on their path to purchase from awareness to intent.

awareness consideration intent decision
The customer’s buying  journey begins with awareness and ends in a purchase decision

Search engines drive traffic to the company websites, with a percentage  leading to conversions. Having a website that is highly visible in the search engines  and focused on conversions is critical to driving revenue and ROI.

Mobile Search Shows a Distant 3rd

Mobile search is becoming more important. You may have seen recent statistics that 60% of searches are now conducted on a mobile device. Couple that with the recent (as in April 21st 2015 ) “mobilegeddan” update where Google penalizes non-mobile friendly websites in the mobile search results.

Here is some input and tools from Google to assess then address ensuring that your website is mobile friendly.

Rolling Out the Mobile-Friendly Update

Here is a great article from Google about how they will rolling out the mobile-friendly update as per Webmaster Central.

April 21st’s mobile-friendly update boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.
April 21st’s mobile-friendly update boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.


Considering that Search Engines the number one destination for where customers are likely to search for products and services that they are shopping for, coupled with the fact that 60% of Internet searches are now conducted on mobile devices, having mobile friendly website is now table stakes.

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. If not already done so, we strongly recommend you do this TODAY!


How customers search for products and services has evolved greatly from print to digital, from desktop to mobile. Business that rely on market awareness need to ensure that they are visible in the places where potential customers are most likely to look in order to even make it to the awareness much less consideration stage. The most immediate action for new businesses is to get a website if you don’t have one. If you do have one, then make sure that it is mobile friendly.

Need Help Aligning Your Marketing with How Customers Search?

If you need help with your digital marketing strategy and how you can align that with how customers search, then fill out the simple form below and we contact you promptly to schedule some time to review your current search, website and mobile-friendly strategies. The call is free. The advice might just save your bacon!

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Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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