Demonstrating Americans' need for speed when it comes to online info, a new survey from Chitika reveals that consumers tend to search in less than five words.

Now that consumers have a wide array of information at their fingertips, they’re growing accustomed to quick searches that make knowledge instantly accessible. Demonstrating Americans’ need for speed when it comes to online info, a new survey from Chitika reveals that consumers tend to search in less than five words.

The study examined searches across the five major search engines, and it found that queries were under five words on average. There was some variation in search phrase length across different engines, with Ask.com searchers proving “the most verbose,” averaging 4.74 words per query.

Meanwhile, Bing and Google users kept their searches more concise, averaging 4.18 and 4.29 words per query, respectively.

This data might encourage marketers to consider quick and easily typed key phrases when planning content marketing and SEO campaigns. Of course, it’s necessary to add appropriate context around head keywords to make the information offered standout on potentially cluttered results pages. (And Google has notoriously advised marketers to focus on site content when planning search engine optimization.)

Nonetheless, there’s something to be said for using long tail keywords to catch clicks from searchers looking for more specific information. As Brafton has reported, using long tail key phrases maximizes chances of catching clicks, with Optify.net demonstrating that any long tail result on the first page earns a high volume of clicks, as opposed to head terms, where just the top few results are clicked. Plus, long tail keywords are often more likely to bring highly engaged, convertible audiences.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.