By Jeff Julian on February 17, 2014
Search is one of the only marketing mediums in which the consumer is actively seeking out a solution (e.g. a product or an answer). Because of this, marketers have a unique opportunity to see what customers are searching for and what is popular based on search terms. SEM (that is, paid search) updates in real time and allows for more customization than in SEO, so it is the best way to understand what customers want. The relationship between searchers and search results can yield a lot of information about products, search terms, and marketing campaigns. The smart SEM marketer will use this information as a testing tool, and here are three ways you can too.
1. Determine the Most Effective Product Names
Using SEM as a variation of A/B testing, you can show customers different names in your SEM ads and then use search data to see which of the names sparked the most customer interest. SEM is cheaper than using focus groups and more dynamic than using social media, plus SEM data can show you what search terms are most popular with searchers and which of these terms customers are most likely to click.
If, for example, you sell mobile phones, you may want to know what type of phrasing is most interesting to customers. You can run one SEM ad that advertises “mobile phones,” another that features the phrase “smartphones,” and a third that mentions “cell phones”. Using these variations in your search ads, you can see which terms cultivate the most customer interest, i.e. click-throughs, and searches. You might also consider the cost-per-click in relation to the popularity of some terms over others.