Practical Ecommerce

PeC Traffic Report: Searches for “Saving” Words Slowing in 2009

Google search queries for “saving” words like “coupon” and “discount” were relatively flat in the first half of 2009. This is in spite of a U.S. national unemployment rate that has risen 69.6 percent in a year and the remaining effects of widespread recession.

Relative data from Google’s search logs showed that global query volume for the terms, “discount”, “sale”, “coupon”, and “free shipping” collectively slowed some 12.5 percent in the first six months of 2009.

Searches for the term “discount” slid one point on Google’s relative scale. Search volume for the term “sale” moved down three points, and search inquires for “coupon” and “free shipping” dropped 10 points and one point respectively on the relative scale.

The only exception to this slowing trend was for the keyword “coupon”, which posted a rise in search queries in late April and early May 2009 before returning to a slow but steady decline.

In spite of this slowing trend, there was still good evidence that aiming ecommerce marketing at “saving” keyword phrases could be very effective.

Coupon Still the Leading “Saving” Word

The keyword, “coupon” seemingly dominated “saving” word search queries in the first half of 2009 as they related to online shopping. The term’s search volume more than doubled the typical search query volume for the term “sale” and regularly earned eight times as many inquiries as the keyword phrase “free shipping” in the Google search engine.

U.S. searchers were more likely to search for the term than their counterparts elsewhere around the globe. New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts residents lead the domestic “coupon” search crowd.

Coupon Categories, Growth Relative to Shopping in General

Google categorizes search terms and, in the case of the keyword “coupon”, estimated that 50 to 75 percent of searches were shopping related. Other “coupon” searches focused on home and garden, food and beverages, and travel.

Overall Google Insights for Search showed that total U.S. shopping-related queries have been declining in 2009, perhaps leading the trend that has pulled down search volumes for the term “coupon.” But relative to all shopping-related Google searches, “coupon” is perhaps even more potent as a keyword for search engine optimization and marketing.

Relative to the category, “coupon” searches were up 24 percent in the week of July 2, 2009 while the shopping category was down some 5 percent for the same period. So while the overall volume of shopping-related queries has fallen, searches for “coupon” now command a greater share of all shopping queries in the Google search engine.

Fall Peak

Google search queries for the keyword “coupon”—and the other “saving” terms researched—peaked in the holiday season of 2008, when Google search volume for the terms were nearly double present levels.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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