With magazine engagement with their audiences increasingly dependent on canny use of the web, it may pay off to give some attention to research about how readers search for what they want. A proprietary study conducted by About.com (part of the New York Times) in collaboration with Latitude, looked at how users exhibit three distinct search behaviours.Though the research is pitched to advertisers and marketers, it may be particularly interesting to editors to see which topic areas align with which search mode:
- Answer Me (46% of all searches): People in an Answer Me search want exactly what they ask for, and no more, delivered in a way that allows them to get to it as directly as possible. The top categories in Answer Me search are Entertainment, Fashion and Beauty & Style.
- Educate Me (26% of all searches): People in an Educate Me search want 360 degrees of understanding, and multiple perspectives on critical topics. They will search until their goal is achieved, which may stretch over long periods of time and through related topics. The top categories in Educate Me search are Health and Finance.
- Inspire Me (28% of all searches): The fun, “browsy” type of search, where people are looking for surprises, have open minds and want to be led. The top categories in Inspire Me search are Travel and Home & Garden.