Searching For What We Don't Know We Need To Know Through Intent

Thi-ThumasathitDetermining the underlying intent to a consumer's purchase, and acting on those signals, could make or break a paid-search ad campaign. Social media helps search marketers see the light by providing the underlying intent to an action, rather than serving up suggestions we may already know. Setting itself apart from Google, Microsoft's Bing began to focus more on connecting intent with action to assist in better targeting paid-search ads that can gain a higher return on investment.

Putting that strategy to work means search marketers need to predict every keyword that consumers might type in a search box to query information about a product. That list might reach tens of thousands of keywords for one product, such as the Apple iPad 2 -- but in reality, consumers searching on these words all want information on exactly the same thing. Thousands of words funnel into one specific product, but what are those related words that prompt intent?



Rather than focus on the keyword, Thi Thumasathit, VP of marketing and new business at Adchemy, suggests focusing on the underlying intent and grouping those words by intent to simplify campaigns. Instead of campaigns supporting hundreds of thousands of keywords, marketers can build targeted ads with hundreds of words that reflect intent.

A better way to create long-tail campaigns that can produce higher returns is to combine intent with interests. Take a word like skiing, for example, and add freestyle to target a specific audience. Find related words that produce fewer bids. During the Search Insider Summit earlier in December, The Search Monitor CEO Lori Weiman said a joint webinar eight months ago with comScore revealed that half of the online searches on keywords don't serve up paid-search ads.

Look at the interest version or the word and compare it with the ecommerce version of the word, such as camping vs. camping tents or hiking vs. hiking packs, Weiman said. The amount of searches that occur on interest-based keywords occurs about 55 times more.

Microsoft has spent millions of dollars positioning its Bing search engine to gain search query market share that comScore now estimates at 15% for November, up sequentially from 14.8%. The data research firm estimates that more than 17.8 billion explicit core searches were conducted in November. Google Sites ranked No. 1 with 11.7 billion, followed by Yahoo Sites with 2.7 billion, and Microsoft Sites with 2.7 billion.

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