Save Money on PPC: Right Message at the Right Time

Get Results: right message right time
Get Results: right message right time

I thought I’d cover a subject that isn’t discussed openly and honestly much, but which needs careful consideration when working out a marketing strategy particularly with regards to Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing where getting it wrong is going to cost you big time, and that’s the subject of matching visitor intent with your sales funnel. We’re talking here about delivering the right message at the right time.

When I first got started with running an internet business I found it difficult to script a focused message, mainly because I didn’t consider the visitor’s journey. What I mean by journey is the state of mind the visitor is in when they arrive on a website. Are they just browsing,  researching, or looking to make a purchase? I figured if I could understand where the visitor was psychologically at that very moment, I could fashion a message just for them, and encourage them through the sales funnel without them needing to leave my site. I identified a number of stages, which I found very useful in building a marketing strategy around, and I still use it to this day. These stages include

#1 – Goal orientated search – better to optimise for SEO rather than driving traffic via PPC for this type of search

#2- Category orientated search – better to optimise for SEO rather than driving traffic via PPC for this type of search

#3- Product orientated search – perfect for PPC campaigns

#4- Brand orientated search – perfect for PPC campaigns

#5- Browsing – better to optimise for SEO rather than driving traffic via PPC for this type of search

Lets look at each of these stages in more detail:

#1 – Goal orientated search

An example of a goal orientated search would be “losing weight”, or “Getting fit”, or “making money online”

This is the broadest type of search and is designed to get general knowledge about a particular subject. For instance losing weight could be achieved by going on a diet or exercising, so “losing weight” is a more general search type then a “diet” based search would be.

A person that already knows what they would have to do to lose weight wouldn’t need to carry out a goal search in this instance, instead moving to #2 category search. So although each stage is sequential, not everyone needs to go through every stage, it all depends on their existing knowledge about the subject.

However as a marketer, it might be advisable to cater for each and every one of the stages so that you capture all knowledge levels and potential searches, and move them through the learning process. This will help position you to appear as an expert in the subject and allow the visitor to get to know your brand and build some trust in you because you are providing helpful information.

At this point I’d like to talk about “seeker behaviour” (seeker in this instance is the person carrying out the search)” and promiser behaviour”, which refers to you, the marketer.

Seeker behaviour

The seeker/searcher is researching all possible broad options, with little prior knowledge going into this phase and acting on the data gathered to focus on preferred options thereafter. It is the first stage of their research and data gathering and can vary in length depending on complexity of the subject.

Promiser behaviour

Content

In your role as promiser’s (marketer) you should look to show them a path they can follow (at least 4 steps) and take them through the steps to succeed in their goal.

You should show them the end result and make it believable, so make sure it’s not too fantastic and unbelievable. If the visitor doesn’t believe they can achieve it they will likely leave without trying.

Monetising

You can look to offer them a shortcut alternative that will save them time or effort either through an affiliate product or your own solution.

Traffic source

When acquiring traffic for this type of search you should look to optimise for SEO rather than driving traffic via PPC because this is an early search and is unlikely to yield a paying customer, until they have gathered more information.

#2 – Category orientated search

An example of a category search (if we stay with the “losing weight” example used previously) would be say “diets” or “exercise”. This is a deeper level of research than the “goal search” and uses the findings from that search as its basis.

Seeker behaviour

The seeker performs a broad category search focused on preferred course of action. Has knowledge of other options outside of the category but is more interested in this option i.e. diet preferred to exercise.

Promiser behaviour

Content

Offer the visitor a review article showing them the options and alternatives within category i.e. different types of diet available to the seeker.

Monetise

Have affiliate links to each of the options websites

Traffic source

When acquiring traffic for this type of search you should look to optimise for SEO rather than driving traffic via PPC because this is an early search and is unlikely to yield a paying customer, until they have gathered more information.

#3 – Product orientated search

For example this would be a particular diet such as X plan diet (I made the name up, I think!), or in the case of an exercise, yoga (specific products/actions to carry out the plan)

Seeker behaviour

Very focused search to find more about a single product i.e. X plan diet, and wants reassurance this is best for them

Promiser behaviour

Content

You can provide:

  • In-depth single product review
  • how to product guide
  • demo of products
  • opening the box demo video or inner workings demos

Show them why they should listen to what you have to say. Why you’re qualified (you have used and benefited from it, or you’re experienced in that field)

Give them the other options and alternatives open to them and why your solution is better than them. Include free or cheap alternative etc

Monetise

Have affiliate links within the articles taking them to sales page

Traffic source

Using PPC for this type of search is likely to provide a better return on investment than the previous two, simply because the initial research has been carried out and the visitor is closer to making a buying decision.

#4 – brand orientated search

For example with would be the actual product search

Seeker behaviour

The seeker has done enough research and is ready to buy a particular product of their choosing.

Promiser behaviour

Content and monetise

Use a direct link to products sales page. Make the sales process as easy as possible and remove friction and risk.

Traffic source

PPC is a good source of traffic for this type of search simply because there is likely to be less resistance at this point of the buying cycle, get in while the irons hots. You could have a jump page in between the advert the final sales page, but think about reducing the amount of friction (obsticles) you put in front of the visitor, as this will only act to discourage them.

#5 – Browsers

Seeker behaviour

The browsing stage isn’t really a final stage, it’s more likely a first stage in reality but in my mind I see it as separated from the other four stages which is why I’ve put it at the end. The seeker is not searching for anything, just killing time or being entertained moving aimlessly through the web.

Promiser behaviour

For this type of search you as a marketer need to grab attention, distract the seeker from there aimless time-wasting, and pull them into your sales funnel. The other 4 stages are about supplying a demand, however this stage is about creating one, so you have to align your message accordingly. Assuming you need to start from the basics, conveying a “lose weight live longer” message over a “enjoy the X plan diet” is more likely to capture their interest.

Final thoughts

Hopefully reading this article has helped you appreciate the value of understanding how aligning your message and content with that of the visitors journey and communicating the right message at the right time to add structure to your marketing strategy.  Always look to help the visitor not manipulate them, add value and make the internet a better place for us all.

P.S. Make sure you do your own research before embarking on any paid traffic activities. If you found the content useful and interesting please sign up for our newsletter and get notification of all our latest posts, as well as exclusive content.

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