Research using Spannerworks’ new search marketing tracking tool Aperture shows that 68% of online UK purchases were made by shoppers using 2-3 word terms when searching for products.

The findings are a result of a six-week analysis of the terms delivering most value to a range of Spannerworks’ eCommerce clients. The study was conducted using Aperture, a tool Spannerworks has developed to measure the key search marketing metrics.

The study confirms something experienced search marketers have long claimed - it is worth concentrating on more specific terms as these offer a better chance of conversion. In addition to the 68% of total sales originating from 2-3 word search terms, the study surprisingly highlighted that people are more likely to buy with 4-word queries (12%) than they are with single words (11%).

Marketing managers often put a lot of effort into single-term generic names, whether it be ‘camera’, ‘mortgages’ or ‘flights’. Spannerworks’ research reinforces the idea that rather than going after the heavily popular generic terms, it is better to concentrate on longer specific terms – this is where you will find the value.

Aperture reports on search engine visibility, the number of visits to a site and the sales value from natural search. For instance, with Aperture you can analyse the terms that are delivering value but not ranking highly. By targeting these terms through a search marketing campaign, it is possible to increase the value these terms provide, so increasing the ROI.

However, the search marketing agency also stress that the shorter, more generic terms should not be ignored completely. It is these terms that will lead a customer to your site in the first place, triggering them to return using more specific search terms once they are ready to make a purchase – the ‘research’ phase of the buying cycle.

Daryl Pereira, communications manager at Spannerworks states,
“Measuring the behaviour of your most valuable customers is a crucial part of a successful search marketing campaign. Aperture enables Spannerworks clients to make more informed choices and ensure they are spending money wisely.”


About the research
Our in-house research team analysed over 20,000 sales over a six-week period for a sample of Spannerworks' eCommerce clients. The study concentrated on product-related searches – site brand names were removed from the data.

About Aperture
Aperture allows Spannerworks’ clients to monitor the ROI of their search campaigns and easily pinpoint which search terms and engines are delivering the most value. Using Aperture, marketers can track:
- levels of traffic/sales coming from each search engine and search term
- the visibility of core and valuable search terms in the major search engines
- conversions up to 3 months after initial site visit

For more information see

About Spannerworks
Since 1997, Spannerworks has enabled businesses to attract new customers by increasing online visibility in Internet search engines including Google, MSN and Yahoo!. Our Natural Search and Paid Search services combine proven and best practice search marketing techniques for clients across a range of industry sectors.

Published on: 12:00AM on 24th October 2005