The Effectiveness of Search Box Optimization (SBO)

InLocal Marketing has been actively promoting its white-hat search box optimization services.

You might be wondering, “Is search box optimization truly effective?”

We will give you the insights you seek on how effective SBO is, but first, let’s quickly go over the fundamentals of search box optimization.

Understanding Search Box Optimization

You’ll notice auto-suggestions when you type a query into search engines like Google or Bing. These can save you time by allowing you to click on a “suggestion” and be directed to a page with relevant results.

Imagine if your business could show up in these auto-suggestions when potential customers search for their offerings BEFORE they even hit ENTER.

For example, if someone in Boston searches for “personal injury lawyer Boston” they might see auto-suggestions like “best personal injury lawyer Boston” or “personal injury attorneys Boston reviews.” With SBO, your business could be featured in these suggestions.

Consider attorney Michael O. Smith in Boston. Despite the competition, he stands out in search suggestions thanks to SBO.

This is advantageous because it’s as if Google recommends Michael O. Smith over others. And it gets better—if users select the suggestion “personal injury attorney Boston Michael O. Smith,” they’re taken to a page exclusively featuring him. It’s essentially a monopoly of the search results.

The screenshot below illustrates this.

The Potency of Search Box Optimization

It sounds promising for capturing traffic before competitors’ links are even viewed. But how potent is search box optimization?

Its effectiveness hinges on the frequency of clicks on auto-suggestions by users. Focusing on Google, which commands over 90% of search queries, we see that Google’s Autocomplete feature is designed to expedite search completion.

Autocomplete reduces typing by roughly 25%, and it’s widely used—saving over 200 years of typing daily. It’s especially useful on mobile devices, where typing is more cumbersome.

Influencing Customer Behavior Through Search Box Optimization

Search box auto-suggestions significantly influence customer behavior by steering them toward popular or pertinent queries.

A study shows that 23% of Google searches utilize auto-suggestions. Furthermore, 59% of Google searchers only visit one page per session. If they choose your company from the auto-suggestions, the SERP result will focus exclusively on your company. Users also tend to trust these suggestions as if endorsed by the search engine, which can increase trust in your company.

A Search Engine Journal survey found that 63% of participants trust and find auto-suggestions helpful. People even trust Google more than other media for news.

Autocomplete is Universal

Autocomplete is available in most search boxes, whether on Google or Bing, and is supported by major browsers like Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It’s also accessible on the Google app for Android and iOS, the Android quick search box, and the Chrome search box.

Does SBO replace SEO or SEM?

Search box optimization differs from SEO (organic search results) and SEM (paid search results).

SEO and SEM are both traffic drivers for your business website. However, with SBO, once users click on an auto-suggestion, they’re directed to a page exclusively featuring your business’s website and listings.

Typically, SBO should be an additional tool in your marketing arsenal. It’s not advisable to abandon all SEO and SEM initiatives immediately. Yet, implementing SBO for your business could lead to a significant traffic increase, potentially allowing for a reduction in SEO and SEM efforts.

Implementing Search Box Optimization

Now that you understand the efficacy of search box optimization, you’ll likely want to adopt it immediately. Contact INLocal Marketing for a complimentary consultation on white-hat search box optimization services. Our specialists are ready to assist you in launching an SBO strategy promptly.