7 Quick Points About Purchase Intent & Paid Search (PPC)

Capturing users at different stages in the purchase funnel requires varying strategies to be effective at each consumer touch point. To drive quality leads and sales, an advertiser needs to have a firm grasp of the best strategies to use at each stage. The following seven points will describe what purchase intent is, why it’s important, and techniques on how to drive Paid Search campaign performance by using purchase intent.

1. What Is Purchase Intent?

Here at Aronson Advertising, “purchase intent” means to adopt a targeting strategy whereby the advertiser aims to capture users that are more likely to purchase your product or service than users that are simply browsing or looking for information in relation to your business.

2. Why Is Purchase Intent Important For Paid Search?

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More than any other digital marketing channel, Paid Search (PPC) has the most direct connection between expense and performance. Each click costs a discrete dollar amount and provides a specific performance value. This means you want every cent of your Paid Search budget to contribute effectively towards your sales goals. You can accomplish just that by not wasting ad spend on users that are high in the purchase funnel or, worse yet, not in the purchase funnel at all.

3. An Example Of Purchase Intent

If you run a car dealership, hypothetical user Jane might type “2018 Honda CR-V” into her Google search bar and see your Paid Search ad. But what does she actually intend to do once she clicks on your ad? A bad use case is that she has no intention of buying a new CR-V; she just needs a picture of one for a graphic design project she’s working on. A better case is Jane’s friend at work just bought one and Jane is now considering buying one in the future, but just wants to get the basic rundown on the car for now. The best case is that Jane actually intends to purchase a new CR-V in the very near term and is comparison-shopping dealerships.

That last case is exactly the kind of user we want to target with our Paid Search campaigns here at Aronson Advertising. But how does one effectively capture users that are on the verge of purchasing?

4. Capture Purchase Intent With Proper Account Structure

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Just like you wouldn’t start to build a house without a proper structural plan in place, it would be poor planning to start a PPC campaign without a solid campaign structure that will target users based on purchase funnel stage.

Segment your ad groups and keywords by purchase funnel position so you can bid more aggressively on users that are further down the funnel. Using the car dealership example, keywords that include body-type phrases like “sedan”, “SUV”, and “pickup truck” indicate the user is not yet aware of a brand’s specific models. They likely haven’t settled on a brand yet and are still high in the funnel. We would want to bid lower on these ad groups as they signify less purchase intent than keywords that include specific model names.

5. Keywords Help Signify Purchase Intent

Occasionally, search queries might include your product or service but won’t offer a chance for your business to make a sale. For example, several aftermarket products are available for Jeep brand vehicles, but if your dealership doesn’t carry these product lines, you don’t want to waste your Paid Search budget on users shopping for these products. Tools like Keyword Tool Dominator and KeywordTool.io are great ways to discover common search queries which may not necessarily be relevant to your business.

Another great place to mine negative keyword ideas is from your own AdWords data. While your search terms reports won’t offer quite as many ideas as an Autocomplete Tool does, it has the advantage of showing exactly what real-world searches you’ve spent money on and keywords you will possibly want to exclude. What you’re looking for are search queries that are informational-based. For example, “who is the CEO of Ford?” indicates that the user is simply looking for an answer to their question – they are almost certainly not in the market to purchase a Ford. In this case, excluding the phrase “who is” and the keyword “CEO” will likely improve your campaign performance.

6. KPI’s To Measure Purchase Intent

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Now that you’ve implemented a funnel-based account structure and created a keyword structure that focuses on purchase intent, how do you tell if your changes are working? Take a look below at some of the key performance indicators for purchase intent.

Click Through Rate:

  Cost Per Acquisition / Cost Per Lead:

7. Drive Success Through Digital Synergy

While driving the right kind of traffic is an important goal of a Paid Search campaign, it only performs at its best when working in tandem with on-page SEO best practices. Once the users are in the door, it’s important to keep the ad relevance resonating with them as they browse your website. If you’d like to read more about how the various digital channels perform at different stages of the overall purchase journey, click here to read an overview by one of the Senior SEO Strategists here at Aronson Advertising.

These techniques are just a portion of the myriad approaches an advertiser can take towards effectively capturing purchase intent with Paid Search. By doing so, however, the opportunity to drive quality leads at the bottom of the purchase funnel is very high. To improve your dealers search visibility and capture leads through Paid Search, contact the team at Aronson Advertising today. 

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