Statistics show that 90% of Internet users which reported search activity visited an online retail site or store, of which 74% purchased a product online. E-commerce is booming, and despite the re-opening of malls and physical stores, consumers still prefer shopping online.
Your customers are visiting your site and you can optimize this opportunity to monetize their search. This article shows you how.
What Users Search: Do. Know. Go
When users search the Internet, they want to perform one of three major action categories: Do, Know and Go.
“Do” searches are also known as transactional queries. Users look to perform a specific action, such as purchasing a product or booking a service. These are the kind of queries that e-commerce sites look for.
“Know” searches are informational queries. Users want to learn about a specific subject. This kind of queries can sometimes lead to “do” queries. For example, if a user wants to select their next holiday destination, they may start with a generic query [summer holidays south Europe] and then filter until they select where they want to go. At this point they can make inquiries with buying intention.
“Go” queries occur when a user searches for a specific brand or product name. For example, if a customer is looking for Gucci, giving them Chanel will not do.
Customer Journey and Intent
The journey of a customer that is doing a transactional query goes through a series of stages, from knowing about the product until the actual purchase. Which each step, the chances of finalizing the purchase increase:
- Awareness – when the customer discovers the product. At this stage the purchasing intent is weak.
- Interest – when the customer finds out relevant details about the product. This stage may prompt the decision for buying.
- Intent – this is when the customer decides to buy the product.
- Consideration – at this stage, the customer evaluates where to buy the product.
- Purchase – the moment of purchase.
While it seems straightforward, many customers fail to complete the journey, because they don’t buy the product or because they purchase from a competitor.
How to Identify Users Intent
Shopping platforms such as Google or Bing identify the users by analyzing the keywords used by them when searching. Although it is not an exact science, customer intent can be inferred and classified according to the keywords used.
The more specific the keywords used, the higher the buying intent. For example, a search term “skirts” has a very buying intent, although “navy pencil skirt ¾ length” is more specific and shows a higher intent to buy. The higher buying intent is in exact product names as search terms, for example, “Aroma Electronic Drum Set S-15”
To make the most of the visitors’ intent, apply search monetization strategies for your site.
Search Monetization Tips
There are a few tips you can implement to help monetize your site’s traffic. The first thing to do is ensure your site receives enough traffic. To achieve this, you can apply a couple of site optimization techniques:
- Optimize your page loading time – slow sites not only have higher bounce rates but also figure lower in search engine rankings. You can optimize the loading time by reducing the file size of the images in your site.
- Ensure the design is responsive – mobile searches and purchases amount to nearly half of online purchases.
- Ensure your site provides true value – you do this by analyzing which keywords people search for and check that your content, including the ads, match those keywords.
Once you get a decent amount of traffic, you can start earning revenue. Common monetization strategies include:
- Sponsored posts
- Affiliate marketing
The name of the game is to give value to your customers at every step of the customer journey. The easier the searcher can find what they are looking for, the earliest they will make a purchase decision. One way to give your visitors more value by serving shopping ads to searchers.
Boost Conversions by Using Shopping Ads
Product Ads are online ads that feature products matching a search query. They include the essential details of the product: image, name, price, name of the seller and copy.
Serving shopping ads to your customers presents a few advantages:
- High-positioning: Product Shopping Ads are always at the top of search engine pages, responding to an organic search made by a potential buyer. Therefore, your product will draw attention of high intent buyers.
- Boost conversions: people are less likely to abandon a search if they click on an ad featuring an image, making product ads more effective than text ads.
- Save on bidding: when you use product ads you need not bid on different keywords, since products ads show for several related keywords.
You can display the product ads in a search results page, or on your website. One example of a versatile solution is Shopping Fuel. Based on Bing Ads, it allows you to serve products by different sellers and affiliates. This saves you on having to bid independently by keyword, and you can manage your shopping campaigns more effectively.
Attracting visitors and keeping their attention is not an easy feat. The average person will stay less than a few seconds on a website if they don’t find what they are looking for. When you are looking to boost conversions, there are a few tips you can implement:
- Identify your customers intent: analyze the keywords so you can target the higher intent buyers
- Provide value that matches that intent: not only in your content or product. All of your website should provide the customer with as close as possible to what is looking for.
- Optimize your website: your website should be easy to navigate, responsive, and fast to load to keep customers interested.
- Use product shopping ads: the ads are a useful solution that can draw customers to your site. They target exactly according to your customer search and can boost conversions.