Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Geographical Search Patterns: "Flowers" verses "Florist"

I have a number of real-florist clients that I do SEO work for related to geographical ranking in their area. The one thing I’ve noticed in that regard is that search patterns differ greatly between tying city names to either “flowers” or “florist;” and whether or not the State abbreviation is included in the search.

For example, according to Google’s Traffic Estimator for searches related to the San Francisco area we have:

San Francisco flowers”: 618 to 693 searches per day (about 19,500 searches a month)

San Francisco, ca flowers": less than 1 search a day on average.

San Francisco florist”: 14 to 17 searches per day (about 450 searches a month)

San Francisco, ca florist”: 1 to 2 searches per day (about 30 searches a month)

The difference in search volume is vast. Ranking 1st for “San Francisco florist” is not even in the same category as ranking for “San Francisco flowers.” If a florist is ranking for the former and not the latter then that florist really has no idea of the missed search volume.  

Some of the major order-gatherers have keyed into these search patterns and have planned their SEO strategies accordingly. 

2 comments:

Cathy R said...

Mark,

While I agree that 'flowers' is a more popular term than 'florist', it's difficult to tell whether the people searching 'San Francisco flowers' are looking to learn about flowers native to the area, locations of botanical gardens, places to stop in and pick up a bunch, or to make an online purchase for local delivery. Some might even be inquiring about which variety to wear in their hair since it is SF. ;)

Though smaller, the 'florist' traffic would be much more on target to local flower shops.

What I've found interesting is how many variations of "city, state, flower/florist" we see being used every day via our logs.

John said...

Cathy,
It is interesting how the volume can be so diggerent. And I had the same thought about the relvancey and intent of the searcher. The question is about the comercial value of the keyword. Measuring conversions is the best way to know if it is paying. Microsoft also has a nifty tool for Online Commercial Intent at http://adlab.microsoft.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/

John