Increased site visits to educational content pages across both the U.K. and Germany is no coincidence. Search trends across both markets have shifted toward higher search volumes for educational keywords to the detriment of product-related keywords according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic.

In Germany, the 3% growth in educational keyword search volume across all categories is led by Over-the-Counter (OTC) symptom-related keywords while, in the U.K., home care related keywords have seen a resurgence over the last 12 months. Indeed, in the U.K., the search volume for content-related dishwashing keywords has risen over eight times. Dishwashing brands have reaped the benefits, as traffic to dishwashing sites has doubled over the year. In a more isolated case, within the surface cleaning category, searches for “how to clean toilet” have risen 36% over the last year, which is evidence of consumers increasingly moving online to find answers.

Tracked brands have reacted to this trend by focusing their Google search investments on text ads against content-related nonbranded keywords while their content increases its visibility organically. This has reduced their efforts toward product keywords in an attempt to diversify their strategy from that of retailers by bidding on terms that are less suited to retailer sites, given their comparative lack of SEO-boosting content. This is even the case when customers are browsing brand sites. Across both countries, educational page views have increased to the detriment of product pages. While product pages still garner more total views in the U.K., German shoppers are spending more time browsing educational pages. Index brands are even starting to adapt their sites, building out more content to help customers fulfill their educational needs while increasing their top-of-mind product recall when they eventually shop.

As searches increasingly lean toward educational terms, brands should play to their strengths and ensure that their site content is optimized for search engines to ensure visibility on nonbranded searches. These activities should also complement a paid text ad strategy to redirect shoppers to the branded, educational environment of the site if organic SEO efforts are not sufficient.

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