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Psychology 101: Beyond the Keyword

Consumer behaviours and technological innovations are pushing search engines into new directions. It used to be all about a group of keywords from SEO tools like SERanking. But search keywords are not the final goal, they're just the means to achieve the final goal of your SEO campaign.

As a search marketer, you have to connect customers with your brand and at the most relevant points, present ads which compel them to take action. The search engines people use, the ad units they engage with all change as they move through the buying process. As an example, a shopper looks for inspiration on Instagram months before they ever make a purchase. She then uses a generic category on search engines in the middle of her journey, perhaps extending to Amazon. A Facebook ad could keep nudging her along paths to purchase lower down the click funnel using cookies and various CRM software most agency's use now. Finally, search ads tied to keywords the buyer used will help close the deal...usually back on Amazon!


New platforms as well as ad types allow brands to engage with their potential customers throughout the buying journer. When you're there every step of the way, you have the opportunity to engage, influence decisions and eventually sell!

  • Connect with interested shoppers using the new Amazon Marketing   Services platform
  • Reach a broad audience to raise awareness or retarget  interested prospects on Publisher Ad networks
  • Deliver visual impact for broad, upper funnel searches with  Showcase Shopping Ads, Pinterest Promoted Pins, camerabased searches, and visual sitelinks.       

One message doesn’t work for all – even in the same demographic. Going beyond demographics to

interests, behaviors, and your own CRM data allows you to tailor your message to be more relevant.



Combining CRM data with logged in users on  native publishers enables you to: 

Market to real people, not cookies  Use robust data – demographics, interests, and behaviour – to target audiences and reach people across screens.


Syncing your CRM data is usually a pain to do at first, however, what you get in return is monumental not just in terms of saving time tracking clients etc, but also targeting your database. You can eliminate the "ad stalking" for a customer who has already purchased or created more timely offers and provide customers with a superior experience to your competitors. You can do all of this without the ongoing maintenance unless your segments/lists change.


Experience of your end-user is key and so building relationships must be a large part of your teams day. What audience successes and failures have they seen? Can you use their same audiences in search to save time? Do you have a holistic view of your audiences so that you can share insights?


Use your data from Social Media to expand your reach. Oath Native, HARO and other publishing networks allow you to be omnipresent through more of the customers buying process to re-engage and drive incremental revenue.


Engage across the web. Synchronize your messaging and creative across channels to engage your audience across their buying journey, no matter which screen or device they're using.


Fortunately, there are other options than before to engage people with search ads. Visual ads can provide a better user experience if done correctly. Use of images accompanied by words can speed up the message being sent. Usage data demonstrates that consumers are seeing and engaging with visual search and advertisers' impressions are that clicks have increased. CPC's however, have gone down, making this an increasingly popular format due to how cost effective it's proving to be.

Showcase Ads and Visual Sitelinks have proven to be some of the best to go with as they focus on selling and the upper funnel queries on mobile devices - a key in 2018. Visual sitelinks, with a carousel of images, enable you to stand out in search results and encourage click-through.

Consumers on Amazon & Pinterest are as discussed earlier, in the shopping mindset. Pinterest users are often planning stages of the buying process, looking for inspiration and open to discovering new brands & products.

Promoted Pins are a further great way to engage with customers with an attention-grabbing format at this stage. Amazon's marketing services enables everyone to get their products in front of interested buyers offering a variety of ads to support terms as well as up-sell opportunities.

Creative management tools allow you to quickly and easily prepare images for your campaigns. Image overlays and resizing capabilities allow you to apply brand messaging consistently over creative assets at the same time and automatically standardize for any ad format. These tools then save you both time and allow the scaling of the creative more quickly.

Search engines are evolving more to meet the needs of today's multi-screen consumers. This results in search moving far beyond the keywords to product advertising, audience targeting and visual search too. For search advertisers they will need perspectives, skills, capabilities and organizational collaboration. Marketers whom succeed will also achieve their desired business outcomes for the people they engage with will have better experiences.

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