Nov 9, 2012

Googling Logistics – What Are People Searching For?

If you begin typing in a Google search box you get a handful of suggestions with each keystroke as Google tries to guess your intent. There are many instances where Google does a fabulous job of virtually reading a user’s mind, and other times when the failures are so comical they end up as screen captures bouncing around the world of social media. But for our purposes today, we decided to look deeper into what users actually do end up searching when they search for logistic related terms and see what we can take away from the results.


Utilizing Google’s keyword research tools and looking at exact match search queries (which limits Google’s tool to only exact instances of a keyword) we collected and parsed through hundreds of queries and assembled listings for only the most popular terms. The table below shows the estimated annual search volume on Google for these terms.

The more general the term the larger the larger the volume seems to be the rule of thumb when looking at the numbers from Google.  The most popular logistics related search is obviously the general term “logistics”. This, while not surprising, explains a truth that search marketing professionals have known for many years – volume of search does not necessarily equate to quality of visit.

For example, a logistics management company may see the volume for the term logistics and decide they should invest substantial time and resources into trying to rank out for the term “logistics” given the attractive volume. However, this term is likely very difficult to rank out for given the volume of content on the subject that already exists. Additionally, the term is so broad that it’s likely someone searching for the term “logistics” could well be doing research on the subject, seeking a definition for the term, or even looking for a job or a University with a logistics program. This is not only broad, but likely exploratory. Search professionals would look at the research above and look for opportunity that meets the criteria of 1) Likelihood to convert into a customer – and 2) Volume of search. Based on the particular company’s capabilities, the list above offers a multitude of high volume relevant options (“logistic companies”, “logistic(s) management”) as well as some high volume terms that likely will not lead to new business (“global logistics”, “what is logistics management”).

As logistics professionals, understanding how people search and the optimizing for those terms and offering content that aligns with their search intentions is vital for using the web as a tool to grow business. To do your own research, try Google’s free keyword tool here or use Bing’s comprehensive add on for Excel called Microsoft Advertising Intelligence which provides projected search volumes as well as demographic information for search terms.

About the Author
The author of this article is a contributor to viastore systems, a manufacturer of AS/RS systems, warehouse management software and conveyor systems.