From your SEO efforts to your direct mail campaign – companies are getting too caught up in the wrong analytics and metrics.
- how many hits did my website get?
- where do I rank on Google for “xyz keyword”
- how many plays did my sweet new video get?
Don’t get me wrong. Those things are important to track. But you don’t get paid for website visitors or for ranking #1.
You only get paid when the right person finds you at the right time with the right intent (to buy).
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you make dog food.
(I know you don’t make dog food. But just bare with me so I can use a picture of a cute puppy in this post.)
Let’s say you make dog food…
And let’s say rank #1 for the search term “dog food”. Oh, and you get 750 hits to your website every single day (which is a pretty accurate number by the way, based on Google search volume data and average click-through rates).
Those are amazing numbers!
So you rank #1. It gets a lot of searches every single day. And you get a bunch of clicks to your site every day.
How much money did you make?
Well, it depends…
How many of those clicks converted into buyers?
“Dog food” is a pretty generic term. Someone searching for “Dog food” could be looking for pictures to use on their blog, ideas for dog food so that they can go buy it at Kroger (and not from you), or maybe they’re even looking for recipes to make their own. Who knows? The intent behind this search is very unclear and very top-of-funnel.
Now, let’s say you rank #1 for the search term, “red dog collar with blue bow size medium”.
You don’t get 750 hits to your website like you would for ‘dog food’ because the search query is so specific, but you do get 5 hits per day.
And guess what?
90% of them type in their credit card number and purchase from you because their intent was to purchase and they found what they were looking for on your website.
Intent beats identity.
Immediacy trumps loyalty.
Time and time again, it’s been proven that brands can earn a customer’s businessjust by being there.
When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help—whether it’s a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or a mom looking for the best deal on a pair of sneakers. When a need arises, people turn to online search and to YouTube to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions.
A person may have loyalty to a specific brand, but then they turn to search for a specific answer about a product or service and other brands steal away their business just by being there.
So do me a favor and start focusing on the intent of your website visitors and customers and creating content to match that intent – not content that you just think they will want.
(Side note: You may argue that since ‘dog food’ gets such a substantial amount more of search volume, it’s still quite valuable. And I agree. But you’ll never rank #1 for that competitive of a keyword, and also 70% of search volume is made up of long-tail keywords. It’s way easier and cost-effective to rank for a handful of long-tail keywords that convert at a much higher rate than to spend a ton of time and money chasing a super competitive keyword that doesn’t covert very well.)
Here is another great example:
Translation: Relying on demographics is limiting.
While demographics will always have a place in the marketing playbook, the brands that understand and respond to intent are better positioned to be there and be useful for all of their potential customers, not just those that fit an age and gender profile.
Consider video games. You might think video game shoppers are mostly young men hunched over a bag of chips in their parents’ basement. But the data shows only 31% of mobile searchers for video games are men ages 18 to 34.2 Target demographically and you’d miss out on the other 69% of mobile users who are explicitly expressing interest in buying the next big game.
And if you’re a video game marketer looking to reach those in your category with video ads aimed at men ages 18 to 34, you’d miss out on 71% of the potential shoppers who are engaging with relevant YouTube content.3 That’s because on YouTube, which is fast becoming the new buyer’s guide and owner’s manual for games, mobile users are watching video to learn how to do things and explore their passions. But these people aren’t all the same. They’re arriving with various intentions. Some want advice, others seek inspiration, and others want product reviews.
The same can be said about baby products:
If you run a Facebook ad, for example, targeted at parents – you are leaving a huge chunk of potential customers on the table.
So, what does this mean for me?
Ok, so you don’t sell dog food or video games. Maybe you’re a local restaurant owner, real estate agent, attorney, retail shop owner, etc. – it doesn’t matter.
Knowing your consumer’s intent means you can meet them in the moments that matter and deliver helpful content.
When your potential customers turn to Google and YouTube in their moments of need, make sure you are there.
Use Google Trends to explore search trends and queries in your category to understand what consumers are looking for. Make sure you are there and useful in these moments of intent.
Sources: * Mobile search & video behavior analysis, Millward Brown Digital, U.S., January-June 2015 // ** Mobile Purchasers & Influencers Report. Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Ipsos Online Omnibus, August 2015, N=5025 Online smartphone users 18+, skin & body care influencers in past 6 months // Think With Google // Mobile search & video behavior analysis, Millward Brown Digital, U.S., January-June 2015, base = mobile video game searchers