The Power of Situational Search Marketing

Over the years, PPC Marketing has evolved quite expeditiously in pretty much every aspect of it’s existence. We have witnessed changes in algorithms, matching options, targeting, social influence, etc… which have literally forced all PPC Marketers to be more vigilant when it comes to getting the best bang for their client’s BUCK. However, one of the oldest and most basic elements of PPC has not changed and that is identifying with how people are searching for things online. In this post, I will discuss the importance of Situational Searching and how marketers and well as their clients need to gain from these searching behaviors.

It’s About Finding the Total Audience

Lets face it. Everyone has different searching behaviors and it’s the PPC Marketers job to not only figure out what they are, but to also ensure the ROI is positive due to relevant messaging and strong “after the click” usability. However, identifying all of the different audiences based on a singular business or service can be challenging, as many advertisers often cling to the “Occam’s Razor” theory where “…the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected“. In this case, it’s NOT that simple and if the rest of the audience is ignored, there’s a good chance $$$ is being left at the door.

Bigger is not always Better

One of the biggest fallacies in PPC Marketing is when advertisers think they have to rank #1 for a specific keyword or keyword phrase that is both “high volume +high cost” because it will give them the advantage over their competitors. In some cases it works (based on the size of the advertisers budget) and in others it can be a disastrous strategy not just from a cost perspective but also consumer perspective. Let’s use the example of “Wealth Management“. According to Google’s Keyword Planner Tool in Adwords, “Wealth Management” is a highly competitive term which averages around $20 CPC.

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Now, lets consider the value of this term when it comes to an actual conversion. In a perfect situation, a consumer that is familiar with “Wealth Management” is seriously in search of a Wealth Management Firm to manage their wealth. However, there are other people who may not be as familiar with the term and simply just looking to learn more about it. Bottomline:  This term could be costing the advertiser a ton of Ad Dollars with very little ROI.

Leveraging the “Real-Time” Searching Situation:

Consumers have become more comfortable using search engines such as Google and they are typing in pretty much anything to find what they are looking for. In this case, someone who would qualify for Wealth Management, may search for things such as:

  • “how do I manage my 401k?”
  • “what is an inheritance tax …”
  • “I just sold my business…”
  • “How do I leave money for my kids”

With the example I have provided, we can come up with many more scenarios of how people are searching for things that are indirectly related and also have a higher level of specific interest and/or Intent. In many instances, these searching behaviors (terms/phrases) are often forgotten in the original keyword strategy and sometimes not even on the radar of the top keyword research tools.

In Conclusion:

In order to get the most out of PPC Marketing, the keyword strategy needs to go “above and beyond” the keyword research tool. Anyone can bid on the obvious, but the obvious is always expensive, saturated and increases your bottomline. Remember, search engine algorithms are constantly being updated in order to give the consumer the best results based on what they are searching. So when you create your next keyword strategy, remind yourself that people also search for things based on their situations and it’s these situations which often lead to higher ROI and a better story to tell the client.