Imagine this: you have a nasty toothache, and you’re looking for a local dentist who can see you ASAP.

You open your computer, go to Google, and type in “emergency dentist Sydney”.

Now what if the ads that were returned were something like this:

Dentist Sydney
State of the art equipment.
Range of dental services.

Do you care about their state of the art equipment?

Are you interested in booking an appointment today?

Likely not.

Instead you probably want to see phrases like ‘For immediate care, call us’, ‘Seen within an hour’, and ‘Dental emergency?’.

This is an obvious example of the importance of matching an AdWords campaign to buyer intent.

Online Buying Cycle

In order to understand buyer intent, it’s first important to talk about the online buying cycle.

There are many ways to break down the online buying cycle; however one of the most popular is a 3 step approach: awareness, consideration, and decision.

During the awareness stage, searchers are likely to be searching for solutions to a particular problem or need.

Their search queries will tend to be quite general, and may include terms like ‘How to…’, or ‘What is…’. The queries are unlikely to include specifics like brand or company names, as they are not even close to wanting to make a purchase or fill in a contact form.

During the consideration stage, searchers have already been able to pinpoint possible solutions to their problem, and are comparing these solutions. They may be weighing out the pros and cons of these solutions, and are looking for research or reviews to help guide them.

During the final stage, the purchase or decision stage, they have already decided what they want to buy. They are likely to be looking for a specific product; beyond that, they may be looking for the best price, cheapest shipping option, or the widest selection of products.

Search queries may include ‘buy’, ‘get’, ‘purchase’, or model or ISBN numbers.

What This Means for Your AdWords Campaigns

As you structure your AdWords campaigns, it’s important to keep in mind where your potential customers are at in the buying cycle.

Are they just doing some basic research, weighing out their options, or do they have their wallets out ready to buy?

Depending on the answer, your ads will look very different.

Try segmenting or categorising your keywords by each stage of the buying cycle. Everything from keyword selection, to negative keywords, to ad copy, to landing page may be different depending on buyer intent.

By targeting your ads and keywords to the appropriate stage in the buying cycle, you are able to build stronger relationships with your website visitors, and will likely see an increase in your click through rates and conversions.

Does buyer intent factor into your AdWords campaigns? How do you structure your campaigns to accommodate this?

Image courtesy of bplanet

By Philip Shaw

Learn about our Adwords Training & Management Solutions.


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