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Researching or Ready to Buy: 7 Ways the Buying Cycle Impacts AdWords Advertisers
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Researching or Ready to Buy: 7 Ways the Buying Cycle Impacts AdWords Advertisers


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  • 1. ==== ====Get 7 FREE Training Videos That Show You How To Build A Profitable Online Business In Just 4to 6 Weeks. Check It Out Here:>>> ====Researching or Ready to Buy: 7 Ways the Buying Cycle Impacts AdWords AdvertisersAs any salesman will tell you, buyers typically move through stages of a predictable cycle whenthey make a purchase.That cycle starts with an initial enquiry and ends with the placement of an order.In marketing terminology, those stages are described as the research and engagement stage, theconsideration and comparison stage, and finally the purchase stage.The buying cycle has several important implications for anyone conducting pay per click (PPC)search marketing campaigns:1. Campaign ObjectivesYour campaign objective will influence which stage of the cycle you need to target.A manufacturer who distributes nationally via resellers should be interested in reaching consumersearly in the buying cycle. The same goes for a B2B marketer seeking to influence business buyersreseaching all the available options.A retailer on the other hand will usually prefer to connect with consumers later, when they areready to buy.2. Keyword Research and SelectionIn the context of online search, the buying cycle manifests itself as the keywords people use.Those at the beginning of the cycle tend to use a small number of general keywords and phrases,which are typically only 1 to 3 words in length and desrcibe the niche in generic terms.These often form the bulk of the most popular searches in any given niche through sheer volumeand attrition. Thats because there will always be more people populating the mouth of the salesfunnel than there are make it all the way to the end of the cycle.An offline analogy would be the average retail clothing store. There may be 10 or 20 people entera store for every 1 that buys.
  • 2. And therein lies one of the great ironies of keyword buys . . . advertisers bid up the cost of thesegeneral words and phrases because theyre easily discovered and individually represent the mostvolume, but they usually dont convert so well.Search users later in the cycle tend to use more specific terms and phrases. That means thequery might include a brand name, a model, even an SKU product number.These are the keywords that constitute the bulk of the now legendary long tail of marketing (andsearch).These terms often cost less and convert better. However they cost less for a reason . . . they taketime and effort to find and aggregate in sufficient numbers to make the volume worthwhile.3. Campaign StructureYou should separate early and late cycle keywords in your Ad Groups for Quality Scoreoptimization and reporting reasons. Depending on the size of your campaign (read number ofkeywords), it may even make sense to have completely separate campaigns.4. Ad CopySearch marketers should be deliberate in targeting different stages of the buying cycle with PPCad copy.Ads that offer a free report, a review, or specifications will attract people who are in the earlystages of the buying cycle, looking for information. Ad copy that mentions price, free shipping, or aspecial offer will attract those further along in the cycle.5. Landing PagesYour keywords, ad copy and landing pages should all reflect the same consistent message . . .and that message must be in sync not only with the subject of the query but also with the userscurrent position in the buying cycle.A user in the research stage of the cycle should land on an information page, while someone whospecifies a product model as the keyword should be delivered to a page where they can actuallybuy that product.So dont just send them to your home page.A 2004 report from Atlas OnePoint found the average conversion rate for lead generation sitesthat used the home page as a PPC destination was just 6.3%.The same Atlas study found that landing pages that match the theme of the keyword have a 9.3%conversion rate, and pages that match the keyword specifically have an 11.8% conversion rate.Thats 47% and 87% more conversions, respectively!
  • 3. 6. Bid StrategyDepending on your campaign objective, you may decide to use stage of cycle as a referencepoint in developing a bidding strategy. For example, a retailer may decide to bid lower on lesstargeted, early cycle keywords and higher on more targeted, later cycle keywords.7. Performance AnalysisYoull often see advice from commentators that you should analyse your PPC results down to thekeyword level. "Keep the keywords that convert and ditch those that dont. Youll save yourself afortune" goes the mantra.And theres no doubt about it . . . theres always savings to be made by deleting keywords thatnever convert, especially very general and irrelevant ones.But the buying cycle provides at least three reasons why you might not want be too literal in yourinterpretation of that advice:- First, analysis at the keyword level wont be appropriate for some business models.For example, B2B vendors selling high value products with a long sales cycle often only have afew conversions during the average month, so analysis at the keyword level would be overkill.Analysis at the AdGroup and campaign levels is usually more meaningful in those cases.- Until recently, the lack of click trail reporting meant that many valuable assist keywords - thosekeywords which introduce users to your brand but dont get any credit for subsequent conversions- were deleted unnecessarily.A 2006 SearchIgnite survey found that 37% of purchase transactions were completed with at leastone assist click . . . and these multi-click conversions accounted for two-thirds of all clicksmeasured in the study.One of the strengths of Yahoos new pay-per-click system is that it can correlate and report thistype of data. Sadly, this is not yet a feature of Google AdWords.- Early cycle assist keywords may also play a significant role in the well documented web-to-storeconversion trend. Consumers evidently often prefer to research products online, then go offline tocomplete any subsequent purchase at a local store.A 2005 benchmark survey The Dieringer Research Group estimated that 83 million people a yeardo that in the U.S. alone.So there you have it . . . seven ways the buying cycle impacts Google AdWords marketers.Happy advertising!
  • 4. ==== ====Get 7 FREE Training Videos That Show You How To Build A Profitable Online Business In Just 4to 6 Weeks. Check It Out Here:>>> ====