Thursday, March 04, 2010

Search and Direct Navigation Strategy

Most people think search marketing is only about paid advertisements (PPC) and organic listings (SEO) in search engines like Google. While search engines generate tens of billions of referrals across the web each month, there is still a huge amount of traffic that comes from direct navigation or browser type-ins. Direct navigation is largely ignored by search marketers, but some experts estimate that it makes us roughly 30% of all web traffic. In many cases, these users are indeed searching for something--they just don't use a search engine because they assume they will find it more quickly by typing a domain name or generic word into the browser's address bar. Companies that can capture customers that use direct navigation as their searching method can acquire huge amounts of qualified traffic at low cost.

Generic head terms face stiff competition in the Google auction so the advantage of owning a generic domain like or becomes obvious. These domain names can be acquired in after-market auctions like Moniker or Sedo.
The Direct Navigation Strategy of Big Advertisers
Many companies employ a simple transfer that takes the searcher from the generic type-in URL to their main website. Here are some examples of companies that employ a 301 redirect as the technical solution to this strategy:
Other employ a more subtle domaining strategy and drive direct navigators to either an informational site or a generic-inspired branded site: