We’ve talked a great deal on these pages about how, as an SEO copywriter, it’s crucial to be able to write for humans as well as search engines. In fact, if recent updates are anything to go by, it will soon become impossible to distinguish between writing for humans and search engines.

Part of any good SEO copywriting is being able to write for different types of reader. A recent report by Digital Equation into the ‘digital opinions of those aged 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70’ has revealed some interesting details about the distinctly different ways that different generations of web users search for information online and interact with websites.

When it comes to searching online, Google emerges as the overwhelming king (though not with 10 year-olds – something to watch out for in future?).  This finding is supported by the most recent Hitwise figures which show that over 90% of searches in the UK are done through the big G. But the specific way that each group of users searches differs greatly. Interestingly, 10 year-olds, “consider on site search to be of equal importance to search engines,” and are, “extremely susceptible to prompt initiated search from peers, ads or content.”

20 year-olds are particularly keen on ‘integrated media search’ and favour a wide variety of media and interactivity. That said, they also demand easy to understand navigation. And as they, “love shopping online,” you’d best give them what they want. 30 year-olds are also keen shoppers, but apparently, “mainly [use] text search due to a lack of awareness of multimedia search.”

Building trust is essential with the over-forties

The picture painted of 40 and 50 year-olds by the report is of a demographic less at ease with online shopping, but keen to ‘use [the internet] for product research’. And therein lies an opportunity. If you can work with your SEO copywriter to lure them in with the (sincere) promise of honest, high quality information about your products and services, you may be able to persuade them to go that extra step and make a purchase. The key is getting them to trust you. 50 year olds were found to be particularly fond of user-generated reviews.

60 and 70 year-olds were found to be, “unlikely to shop online,” except for small purchases. Once again, trust is essential, while jargon in web content is disliked immensely. These two age groups were found to be the most unlikely to click on advertising, so SEO takes on a new level of importance when trying to engage with them.

The key to success online is knowing your target audience, so get your SEO copywriter to take a look at the full report at http://digitalequation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Generation-Gap-Report.pdf.

Who do you want to visit your site, and are you doing the right things to please them?