Knowing what customers want is the key to success for any business but do you apply this when it comes to the content on your website? Too often, businesses get caught up sharing their own business news or sales messages and ultimately miss out on capturing potential customers through the topics they genuinely care about.
Here at React & Share, we asked 2,000 UK consumers about their online habits. Our research, carried out by YouGov, discovered the most searched topics over the last year and how search habits have been affected due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since the pandemic hit last year and we were sent into our first lockdown back in March 2020, consumers turned to their online devices to keep themselves informed and entertained during the restrictions. Over the last year, 88% of UK consumers have searched online at least once a day, with 79% admitting they search more than once.
Easy access to online search engines, such as Google, has allowed consumers to rely on online searches to provide them with everything they need on a daily basis, including updates on COVID-19 as well as online shopping and video tutorials.
‘Latest news’ became the most searched topic over the 2020/2021 year, as 75% of UK consumers confessed to regularly searching for information related to this topic. Out of the UK consumers, the age group of 55+ were the most concerned with being kept up to date on the latest news online, with 77% of them doing so regularly.
Business owners don’t have to strive to compete with the BBC. Instead, think about how you can share the news that helps your customers and relates to your business. Companies that do this well include solicitors, who help to breakdown the latest changes to government guidance in blog posts. These blog posts then rank highly and give a noticeable boost to a site’s SEO credentials.
The topic of ‘e-commerce and retail’ became the second most searched topic during the many lockdowns, with 61% of UK consumers searching for their latest online order. E-commerce businesses should be tailoring their online content in the knowledge that 66% of searches were made by women (compared to 55% of males). This doesn’t mean throwing a few stereotypes here and there, but rather, recognising their habits and behaviours – such as busy mums looking for children’s clothing or knowing that women tend to make most purchasing decisions when it comes to gifts and special occasions.
Both ‘medical’ and ‘food & drink’ were placed as the third topics searched for most online over the last year, with a very large and clear split between genders. 57% of females were regularly searching within the medical and health topic, searching with keywords such as symptoms, illnesses, or health eating. A similar correlation was shown within the ‘food & drink’ topic, as 52% of females have been searching recipes and places to eat out in line with Covid-19 restrictions. This is a large separation to the male gender, as only 35% were interested in searching within the medical topic, and 41% looking for the same information within food & drink.
Despite ‘sport’ not being within the top 3 of topics searched online overall (placing 7th) it was in fact one of the main topics searched for by the male gender alone. 46% of males were regularly searching for their fill of the sports sector online, compared to only 14% of females. The topic of sport within the male gender was favoured most by the age group of 35-44 with a total of 56% of the age group regularly searching the sector.
The number of daily searches that search engines, such as Google, are receiving on a daily basis is constantly increasing with 3.5 billion on average per day. Despite this huge number, we discovered that in fact, only 1% of UK consumers believe everything that they read online.
With some of the most searched topics falling into large industries such as news, e-commerce, medical, and many more, it has never been so important for businesses to provide trust within their content that targets their target audiences that have come to light.
Businesses can adapt and improve their content strategies by implementing the following:
- Ask the experts – pull in voices from respected communities or industry members
- Don’t ignore the data – pay attention to what the numbers are telling you about your content
- Be authentic – employ a consistent and authentic tone of voice across all channels
- Prioritise clarity – ensure that all information is clear and accurate
- Let your audience talk to you – ask your readers what they need and use tools that allow them to provide feedback
The coronavirus pandemic has brought some of the most difficult roadblocks for companies across many different sectors and industries but by understanding the consumers that are searching for you the most and tailoring your content to build trust within them, businesses can improve their online growth and retain consumers.
Article written by Timo Virtanen, CEO & Co-founder, React & Share