A recent post on the comScore blog indicates that when people wish to visit a particular brand’s website, they are likely to search using the site address rather than typing the URL in the browser’s address bar.
Users typically find it much easier to enter the site address directly into their search toolbar, and find the site at the first shot, rather than go about the task in a round and about manner, where they would have to make several attempts and receive many directions before they reach their target site.
Navigational searches are defined as search queries containing a website address. 15% of the total number of searches on the top 5 search engines in the United States were found to be navigational queries.
While it is certainly true, that queries (and hence websites) with the suffix .com are the most popular, other suffixes are also steadily gaining in popularity. In fact, of the approximately 1.9 billion navigational searches conducted across the 5 major search engines in the month of July, 83% of the addresses had the suffix .com. But, this figure is actually down from 85% in July 2009. Other suffixes are growing at a good rate. For instance, the domain extension .edu has gone up by over 80%, .org has increased by 12% and .tv has gone up by almost 85%.
These findings indicate that brands that are interested in reaching a large number of users, and want to corner a larger share of the market for themselves should invest in advertising on keywords containing website addresses, as this investment will certainly prove to be worthwhile in the long run.