Are Internet Users Looking to BUY… or Just Doing Research?

In a previous post, I told you that the most important thing to do before developing a new product is to find out if there’s a market for it. By using Keyword Selector Tools, you’ll get a good idea of how many people are searching for your product (or something like it) online. A lot of searches means a lot of potential buyers.

“But,” you may be thinking, “I do all sorts of research online. Just because I type in ‘laptop computer’ doesn’t mean I actually want to buy one.”

That’s true. A huge percentage of the people who are searching online just want information – free information – not a product they have to pay for. If, for example, you type in the key phrase gift baskets in Overture’s Keyword Selector Tool, you’ll find that 154,100 people searched for that key phrase last month. But not all of them were looking to buy gift baskets. Many were just looking for instructions on how to make them.

A good guideline to help you figure out whether Internet surfers are simply doing research – not looking to buy – is the number of words they use in their search terms.

  • One or two words (“gift baskets”) means they’re probably doing research.
  • Three or more words (“corporate gift basket” or “gift basket supplies” or “Orange County gourmet gift basket”) means they’re probably looking to buy.

When an Internet surfer is serious about buying a particular type of product, he’ll use additional words to refine his search, instead of generic terms that may yield untargeted results. If you use these types of specific keywords on your website, in your e-newsletter, or in your sales letters, you’ll attract very motivated, highly targeted buyers.

[Ed. Note: Ready to step up to the plate and start your own Internet business? If so, online marketing expert Paul Smithson and ETR’s team of friendly experts are standing by to help you. We’ve partnered with Paul, creator of the XSitePro website-building program, so you’ll be able to come to ETR’s 5 Days in July conference with nothing – no product, no marketing skills, no technical know-how – and walk out 5 days later with your own online business. No experience required, and it only takes a few minutes to get started!]

Paul Smithson

Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool, and the soon to be released XHeaderPro. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe's leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.