Elaine Fogel

Of all the ways you thought your prospects could find your business or nonprofit organization online, which of the following do you think is number one?

  • Social networks
  • Links in e-mails
  • Search engines
  • QR codes in print media

So, which one did you choose?

Well, according to Forrester Research and MarketingCharts, “online adults in the U.S. are more likely to discover websites via natural search engine results than any other means.” Surprised?

Respondents were asked how they typically found websites they had visited in the prior month, with 54% pointing to search, up from 50% the prior year. Notably, social networking sites moved up a couple of notches to the second spot in the website discovery rankings, typically used by 32% in 2012, up from 25% in 2011.”

One important takeaway from this study.

Don’t give up on e-mail marketing. In 2012, 26% of respondents said that they typically found websites as a result of emails from companies or brands, up from 15% the year before.

Other findings:

  • Paid search results were cited by 18% of respondents, a big increase from 8% the year before.
  • Offline sources had a role too: newspapers/magazine articles (18%) and TV shows or news stories (15%) were used by some.

Which method do YOU use to find Web sites? 


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