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Searching for a Babysitter Online: Care.com and SitterCity Keywords Speak Volumes

Compete Blog April 18, 2012 Comments Off

Babysitting

Image from: Babysitter Image / Shutterstock

Babysitting might not be the first thing that jumps to mind when web 2.0 comes up in conversation.  However, the ability to share feedback across millions of consumers creates a perfect opportunity to research candidates before parents make a very important decision for their children.  Consumers are online researching every purchase from toothpaste to new homes, and sites like Care.com & Sittercity.com are capitalizing on consumers’ desire to get a little group validation before they trust their children to someone they may not know.

Unique Visitors to care.com and sittercity.com

More than doubling their traffic over the last 2 years, Care.com is changing the way parents find their next babysitter.  This is also causing a shift in babysitting, in general, as many parents are opting for seasoned professionals with many years of experience, over Annie from down the street.  Sitters can post their profiles on sites like Sittercity, complete with proficiencies, and parents can search for what they need.  Candidates can list skills like CPR and cooking, and parents can find sitters with exactly the right qualifications for their children.  Have a kid with ADD who needs a little help on his schoolwork?  There’s a sitter for that.

With all this competition for share of mind, and share of sitters, it’s interesting to take a look in Compete PRO at how these sites are driving traffic.  Running a comparison on shared search terms shows some opportunities for improvement for both Care.com & Sittercity.

Daily Search Referrals for care.com and sittercity

With more than 600,000 search referrals a month, its not surprising to see Care doing a great job capturing more volume on most of the top ten non-branded keywords.  However, Sittercity has a clear opportunity on terms like “babysitter” and “babysitters.”  While Care.com is capturing more of this traffic, Sittercity is doing a better job actually engaging the consumers who wind up on their site through those searches.  They’re winning half the battle, with a stickier site for these terms.  These would be ideal keywords to work on from a volume standpoint, and dedicate more of their search efforts towards.

That said, we can see Care.com is dedicating some search dollars to these terms, while Sittercity is relying strictly on SEO.

Search Referrals Share to care.com

Search Referral Share to sittercity.com

While neither site is relying heavily on these terms for their overall search traffic, there are plenty of opportunities to make small tweaks in either site optimization, or search spend, and do a better job grabbing, and keeping this traffic.

You can be sure the competition for all babysitting search terms will wage on, especially as these sites continue to grow.  If you were a search marketer in one of these departments, where would you spend your time?  Do you spend big on your branded terms like Care.com?  Or do you save your search dollars on more localized longtail keywords like “Newtown PA Nannies” as Sittercity seems to be doing?

I’d love to hear your strategies.  Shoot me an email at tkeene@compete.com, or hit me on twitter @tkeene6.

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