Why Intent Is Critical for Effective PPC

Why Intent Is Critical for Effective PPCAn effective PPC campaign begins with a clear understanding of who your customers are.

Without knowing what they’re looking for, what stage of the buying cycle they are in, and how they behave, it may prove difficult if not possible to nail down a winning PPC strategy.

You must be aware of user intent. Users are merely researching their options. Some have narrowed down their search to a few items. Some are ready to buy. It is possible to cater to each of these types of users, but if you’re running paid campaigns, it’s probably because you’re looking for a return on investment. This means you must tailor your approach to those who are ready to buy.

Here are three key reasons understanding user intent is critical for effective PPC campaigns.

Keyword Research

Gaining a clear understanding of user intent will require some keyword research. Many marketers merely look up a keyword, find all related keywords, save them to a spreadsheet, and then target those keywords with their campaigns.

This is essentially a shotgun approach. It may produce some results, but it’s far from being optimized. The intent is not a consideration in the bigger picture. It’s not effective PPC strategy.

For instance, let’s say you’re a bed manufacturer. Someone searching for “affordable beds” may have started the research process but is probably still gathering information. Someone searching for “the best beds” or “bed reviews” may indicate someone that’s further down the funnel – someone that has a better idea of what they’re looking for. Finally, someone that types in “purchase a bed” or “buy a bed” is probably ready to buy.

This is a crude example to be sure, but it should give you an idea of what to look for when it comes to intent.

After clicking on your ad, your visitors will land on your website. User intent is just as important as crafting your ad as it is in building your…

Landing Pages

Optimizing your ad is all well and good, but if the page your prospects visit doesn’t reflect their intent, then what chance is that they’re going to stick around and convert to a customer?

Your messaging needs to be consistent, from your ad to your website. Your landing page should merely be an extension of the ad copy you put together. Failing to set things up this way could mean losing the prospects you paid good money to attract in the first place. Not effective PPC.

Without knowing user intent, it’s impossible to craft an effective landing page, let alone create effective…

Calls To Action

Virtually, every piece of content you create should have a call to action. Your landing page certainly needs one, because the point of driving visitors to your site in the first place is to convert them into paying customers.

Again, your call to action should reflect user intent. If there’s a disconnect between the message that attracted the visitor and the message they land on, converting them may prove to be an uphill battle. The call to action should be clear and have a direct connection to the ad copy your prospects clicked on, to begin with.

Final Thoughts on Effective PPC

If you want to generate a return on investment for your effective PPC campaigns, you must understand user intent. You can create content that educates your visitors but realize that this may not lead to an immediate sale. Content marketing is useful, but it takes time to work. When running ad campaigns, your best bet is to keep optimizing to generate the highest volume possible.

Have you been running PPC ad campaigns? Are you clear on what your target customer’s intent is?

Let us know in the comments below.

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