Adapting to Changes in Search Marketing in 2011

How Do Changes In Internet Usage Affect Australian Businesses in 2011

Two days ago we looked at the latest trends in internet use in Australia. The data presented no huge surprises and put into hard figures what most of us already knew – social media and mobile internet are experiencing massive growth.

What might have been the biggest surprise is the search engine market share stats and Australia’s overwhelming preference for Google. While stats from the US suggest that Yahoo and Bing are making (small) inroads into Google’s dominance with a combined share of 17%, in Australia Google’s popularity now sits at almost 95% (90% is the global average) of all search engine use with Bing and Yahoo accounting for the majority of the other 5 per cent.

What Does All This Change In Online Behaviour Mean For Australian Businesses?

This reliance on Google is an interesting metric – it proves that getting to the top of the first page of Google holds greater importance in Australia than in most other countries, so expect search engine optimisation (SEO) competition to stiffen somewhat. Perhaps the percentages of 95% Google, 3.5% Bing and 1.5% Yahoo is a good ratio for apportioning marketing spend given that’s the ratio of use amongst Australians?

We have already seen a surge in social media use in Australia and the latest market trends suggest that social media and mobile internet devices such as smart phones and tablets will be an increasingly important driver of business growth in Australia in 2011 and beyond.

The need to compete online and engage in social media is increasingly important and it’s not just about setting up a Twitter and Facebook account. There is a need to acknowledge the sheer size of social media’s influence on Australian business – 73% of Australians use the internet to evaluate products or services, 43% contribute to discussions and reviews and 46% of internet users have liked a business or brand on Facebook.

Interaction is everywhere on the web – forums, discussion boards, Google Places reviews, onsite comments, videos, likes, +1’s and more. Making use of these to make your website visible is of vital importance to enhancing the longevity of your business. Here are our recommendations for adapting to the social media surge:

1.    Critically evaluate your website. Or better yet get a selection of customers to do so. Is it modern, fresh, relevant?

2.    Engage in social media. Get beyond Facebook and Twitter. Try StumbleUpon, maybe create a YouTube channel, definitely get Google Places and visit, and interact in, relevant industry forums and blogs.

3.    Promote interaction in social media sites. If you have faith in your products and services, promote interaction amongst internet users and customers. If you are delivering what you claim to deliver, the effect of positive reviews will be significant.

4.    Get to the right audience fast. Internet users are impatient so it’s important to give them what they are after quickly, or risk losing their business. Optimise your website to get to your target market faster through the use of long-tail keywords and clever use of link anchor text linking to the right internal product page.

5.    Think Mobile. Is your website enabled for mobile web? 50% of Aussie web users access the internet through phones or tablet devices at some stage. That’s potentially 9 million people you are ignoring.

6.    Think short, medium and long-term. What is a realistic long-term goal and the path to achieving that goal? Where are the quickest wins? What medium term strategy will build towards your long-term goal.

If you want to get the most from Google, social media and mobile internet in 2011, contact us We help over 1000 Australian businesses to succeed online!

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