Performics' 2010 Search Engine Results Page Insights Study indicates consumers research products online, but they prefer organic answers to their product queries.

Performics recently released its 2010 Search Engine Results Page Insights Study, conducted by ROI Research, and the findings reveal that valuable content is key to catching clicks from online shoppers. The study indicates consumers research products online, but they prefer organic answers to their product queries.

Search engines are a top resource for American shoppers; more than three-quarters of SERP Insights Study respondents say they turn to search to learn more about merchandise or services advertised elsewhere. Moreover, these searchers are relentless in their quests for information. If they don't succeed in learning what they want to know in their first search attempt, 89 percent modify their searches and another 89 percent will try a different search engine.

With this in mind, marketers can't ignore the value of optimizing their sites. Careful keyword monitoring can ensure business websites cater to consumers' needs on their first query attempts, and providing valuable information may boost result page rankings and convert these tenacious searchers into customers.

Notably, the study found that two-thirds of searchers understand the differences between natural and sponsored results, with the desirable 18-29 demographic demonstrating an even keener awareness of organic versus paid results. It seems companies that come up multiple times in organic results – whether results are direct from a brand or mentioned in consumers' online posts – are consumers' most-trusted sources of insight.

"The study found that roughly half of respondents will more likely click on a search result if a company/brand appears multiple times on the SERP," said Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research. "The evolving SERP continues to reflect a brand's image, not only as determined by that brand, but also by the general public through social and user-generated content."

With fifty-six percent of respondents indicating they click on real-time results, businesses should focus on both creating quality content to boost their sites' organic search rankings and delivering this information to consumers via social channels in order to get mentions in social results.

Industry news content may be the best way to catch social users' interests and garner multiple mentions in real-time results. According to Chitika, news drives the majority of traffic to both Facebook and Twitter. 

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.