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How do people find your website?

David Beharall
After 11 years in professional football David retired in 2006 to set up CandidSky. He currently holds the position of Managing Director.

January 11, 2010

3 minute read

As the Internet develops so do people and their interaction with it. There have been some key changes in the way we are using the Internet these days. Businesses should be looking into not only how Google and other search engines find their website but also how people find it.

Psychology of Internet Search

Quite a big part of marketing is how people react and interact to things and this all boils down to psychology a lot of the time. For example when people view a website they expect certain things in certain places. They expect the navigation at the top and left hand side of the page and they expect the content to be in the middle. It’s an important part of Internet Marketing to understand how people are reacting to what you are doing.

Google Triangle of Attention

There have been a few eye tracker studies recently using a heat map. A heat map indicates where people are viewing a web page the majority of the time. The higher viewed areas show up red and the less viewed blue. The studies conducted with the popular Google search engine have uncovered some very interesting results surrounding what they call a ‘triangle of attention’.

What this basically means is when people search for something via Google they will tend to look at the first few results in greater detail but as they move down the page they read less and less. Meaning their attention is drawn wider at the top of the page and it narrows as they move down the page. Below the page brake (which is the area at which you must scroll down the page) studies have shown most people won’t even get this far.

The way we search has changed

We used to search for something in a search engine, read the first few pages of results and then switch over to a another search engine and do the same search. Things have completely changed now as we will run a search in a search engine and only look at the first page of results. If what we want is not there we will change our search term, refine our search and try again.

The impact of this new way of searching is very important because people now tend to stick with one search engine a lot more and also do not look beyond the first page of results. Meaning it has become more and more important to try and get onto the first page, which is becoming harder as there are more people trying to do this.

Long Tail Search

Due to the difficulty of getting on to the first page people are now looking at ‘long tail’. This is the idea that much longer and specific search terms do get searched for. You can concentrate on converting those searches into traffic to your website as there are less people competing for them.


p>More than 30% of people will search on 3 words or more. So for example if I were to search for Internet Marketing I wouldn’t just type into a search engine ‘Internet Marketing’ I would type in ‘Internet Marketing Oldham’ or even ‘Internet Marketing Specialists Oldham’. You might not get as much traffic this way, but you will get traffic that will convert into business as it’s much more targeted and relevant.

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