Data Tracker: Top search terms driving traffic

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At BoatTrader.com we spend time tracking how people search online — you may have seen our earlier articles ranking the searches by brand within our website. This month we thought we’d share a snapshot of actual search terms leading people to our websites and to others that are similar.

Top Search Terms Leading to “Sports - Yachting and Boating” (four-week period ending May 22, 2011) 1. boat trader 2. boats for sale 3. yachtworld 4. boattrader.com 5. boats 6. used boats 7. used boats for sale 8. jessica watson 9. pontoon boats 10. fishing boats 11. lund boats 12. mercury outboards 13. tracker boats 14. crestliner boats 15. boats.com 16. mercury marine 17. yachtworld.com 18. iboats 19. triton boats 20. jon boats 21. starcraft boats 22. lowe boats 23. mako boats 24. ranger boats 25. galati yacht sales

For this research, we work with a company called Hitwise. The Hitwise research looks for people who search on sites such as Google and then find sites that Hitwise calls “Sports — Yachting and Boating” sites. The data in the list below are drawn from a four-week period that ended May 22.

Although the top search terms include well-known sites such as BoatTrader and YachtWorld, we also find several popular boat styles, such as pontoon boats and fishing boats. And just out of the top 10 are top boat and engine brands such as Mercury, Tracker and Crestliner.

Some of these companies use paid search to increase their visibility on search engines, and that’s another reference point Hitwise provides. However, most of the search data we look at — and most of what is referenced in this article — is based on organic (unpaid) searches.

There’s only one thing puzzling us. We don’t see any cruising sailboat brands in the top 25, and we’re wondering which will be first to win an endorsement for a new line of around-the-world boats from record-setter Jessica Watson. At No. 8, she could be well on her way to being a top-selling brand.

This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue.

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