Why Buyer Intent Matters For Search Advertising

A common mistake I see business owners make when "DIY-ing" search ads (e.g. Google Ads) is overlooking buyer intent, and taking the approach that all searches that are on-topic are created equal.

However, this isn't true.

For example, if you sell golf clubs, a person who searches for "buy golf clubs online" is probably more likely to buy than someone who searches for "what are the different types of golf clubs".

There is strong buyer intent with the first search. Someone is looking to buy golf clubs, and buy them online (hey, that's exactly what you offer ... a perfect fit).

The second search indicates an interest in golf, but the person is not necessarily looking to buy. Maybe you can convince them to purchase clubs after they've learned what the different clubs all do (this is where having good content that segues into upselling your products/services is key) but it's going to be a harder task.

I see this overlooking of intent frequently when reviewing ad accounts that have been set up in-house by business owners or marketing teams new to paid search advertising.

Part of the blame has to rest with the platforms like Google Ads, which do a great job at "nudging" you towards adding more and more keywords, at the expense of maintaining a high level of commercial intent. 

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In the first instance (and provided you are actively trying to sell a product/service via your PPC activity) you are better off trying to focus on searches with higher buyer intent.

You might not get so much in the way of impressions or clicks, but you *should* get more leads/sales.

Focus on getting in front of buyers (who have qualified themselves via the searches they make) first! 

Once you are doing well here, you can look to expand your targeting to more info-driven searches - but this might require an adjustment to your strategy and some more advanced tactics.

If you want to self-manage Google Ads/PPC advertising, then paying attention to the intent of the keywords you are targeting will help you to manage more effectively and generate better sales performance.

Using a smaller selection of higher buyer intent keywords will also make self-management easier.

I have more content coming on this topic, so keep an eye out for it.

In the interim, feel free to message me or email info@samfrost.co.nz if you need any specific advice. We can schedule an initial call to review your search advertising and identify whether you are putting too much of your budget towards low-intent terms.