Other pages within this series:
PART 1: PIPELINE OVERVIEW
PART 2: AWARENESS
5 Minute Read

To provide a comprehensive analysis of the middle of the sales pipeline, the following guide will:

  1. Explain what Search Intent is & how to use it
  2. Identify tools to capture intent (SEO & PPC)
  3. Highlight why you should use PPC to drive user intent through your Sales Pipeline
  4. Explain how To Use PPC Within Your Sales Pipeline
  5. Overview of long term effects

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline

UNDERSTANDING INTEREST & INTENT

Before we delve into the lucrative realm of Pay Per Click (PPC) & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), we must first explore why your audience might require information, and how they search for it.

It is well known that search engines provide infinite solutions to limitless queries, and that if their query has some relevance to your brand or product, providing an answer or solution means you have satisfied their intent for the time being. The principle is to satisfy their intent as much as possible by providing the right solution.

Providing a solution by first understanding customer intent builds trust, and trust = sales.

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline

The words your customer types into the search bar are keywords. Search engines want to provide the best experience for the customer, so they will rank websites based on their ability to provide the best solution that feature these keywords.

To answer your audience’s questions, you must do more than just research these keywords, identify low competition words and write your answer. You must look at the context and what the customer is really asking. By understanding what the customer is trying to express, you will move closer to providing the right solution.

For example: When someone goes to Google and types in “house painting”, what are they most likely to be looking for? Their house to be painted by a company, instructions on how to paint their house, a painting of a house, or a painting for their house.

Below are the 3 types of search intent & how to understand them in a way that clears up ‘contextual’ search obscurity.

Types of Search Intent

Informational:

Where audiences are looking to gain knowledge. Question words such as ‘how to’ & ‘why’ are used (e.g. ‘instructions on how to paint their house’)

Navigational:

Queries involving a specific website (e.g. ‘housepainting.com’)

Transactional:

Customers are looking to purchase a product or undertake an interaction. Keywords such as ‘buy’, ‘shipping’, ‘online’ or specific models are used (‘company painting services’, ‘buy a painting’)

Informational & transactional searches make up the bulk of that you’re actually bidding on within your Adwords campaigns.

To understand interest & intent for your business you must:

1. Examine existing Search Engine Result Pages for the queries that you wish to be involved with. Type in a query to Google that would involve your product/brand keywords and look at the results. Pay attention to: Ads, Organic Listings & Knowledge Results (KR). KRs are based on customer’s search need; to find comparisons, store locations, top-selling goods, e-commerce, reviews.

2. Use Adwords (paid ads) to determine the price of the keyword. This is a good indication of how hard/how much competition there is for a keyword.

3. Analyse your analytics. Tweak existing content, look at your best performing pages & use Google analytics to test responses to different page layouts etc.

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline

Now that you know the various reasons, methods and types of content that are searched, it is vital that you either seize the top page ranking through PPC, or build your site’s ranking through SEO. It is advised that you use both in certain instances.

WHAT ARE PPC AND SEO?

Pay Per Click Marketing

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_PPC

Usurp your competition and cement your position at the top of keyword-related search result pages by paying per visit to your site. Your brand is automatically positioned at the top of the results for keywords you bid on. This is a great way to capitalise on customer intent and lack of patience – as users will mainly focus on the top 5 results especially when they are making a navigational or transactional search.

An effective campaign from us, can bring your brand to the forefront of your industry, with a bold website heading and description that instils confidence. Even if the customer doesn’t choose to click your link (in which case you don’t have to pay anyway), they will have seen your brand at the top of the results, thus creating an effective impression.

Click here to dive into PPC (Search Engine Marketing) and find out more about how & why you should be using it.

Search Engine Optimisation

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_SEO

Your rank in SEO is earned & even though it is free, the investment of your time to ensure a top ranking is usually too much for many smaller businesses. But not you. Because, when someone searches for a solution they aren’t just going to type in your name or even the product – they will type in a general enquiry. And while PPC is great for when they do type in your name, product or industry, it can’t target long tail keywords without stretching your budget too thin (e.g. how do you target intent in the marketing pipeline).

SEO rankings are nearly always improved by blogging, regularly updating content and providing Information-based solutions within your industry. The better your SEO score (find out with WordPress plugins like YOAST) the more likely they will come to you for information. So keep your bases covered by using SEO best practice when updating all content on your site.

Pinning down exactly what customers are searching for before you create your content will produce the best results.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE PPC & SEO TO DRIVE USER INTENT THROUGH YOUR SALES PIPELINE

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_SEO

The underlying testing involved in both processes, leads to a continuous ‘cause and effect’ method that can be laborious for any business to take on themselves. However, In-House content production involves an authentic voice directly from you.

However, given the magnitude of content needed and quality required, business leaders and marketing managers are usually short of time to produce content that truely engages the reader and holds their attention. SEO content produced by those without the time to do it properly is often rushed usually lacks focus. Focus required to get the message right and hold the audience’s attention.

This is where Sydney Digital Marketing’s industry writers and creative team will use their experience to research your brand’s voice, identify your industry’s customers & research avenues of future content production.

The path to purchase is paved with keywords.

Too many businesses opt for broad keywords and tertiary terms, with little indication or inclination of purchase imminent. Landing pages with slight variance in copy should also be efficient – blending seamlessly with your Adwords campaigns – not duplicating them.

While continuity between ad copy and landing page copy (AKA Message Match) is a frequently addressed topic by agencies across the board, what often goes unchecked is the synergy between Adwords and the sales funnel.

How To Use PPC Within Your Sales Pipeline

We will build your Adwords account parallel to your sales funnel as a sure-fire way to improve your lead quality and volume.

Our Message Match capabilities extend beyond aligning website copy with ad copy; and are the pillar of your paid search efforts. Its disproportionate impact on quality score means that the intent section of your sales funnel will revolve around the right highlighted squares below.

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_PPC

Keyword Relevance
How closely related your keyword is to the search query entered by a prospect.

Ad Relevance
Whether or not the search query is present in your ad copy

Landing Page Relevance
Whether or not the search query is present in your landing page copy.

By aligning your keywords and ad copy, we will improve your click-through rate. And by extension your website’s Google-regulated Quality Score – to save you money and reduce your cost-per-click.

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_quality_score

Below are 4 main steps Sydney Digital Marketing take to ensure that your intent-driven Adwords campaign generates conversions.

1. Reflect the stages of your sales funnel in your campaigns

Adwords are the perfect place to start weaving Message Match into your paid search efforts. While many agencies will use campaigns to group similar keywords (i.e. ‘sneakers’ and ‘boots’ in two different campaigns) these are not enough.

Though product and service properties vary greatly, the SDM system for reaching prospects effectively is as follows:

In the top of funnel campaign, you’re introducing your product to people conducting pre-purchase research that often involves descriptive words (i.e. best, popular etc.)

In the middle of the funnel, your goal of Adwords is to solidify your product or service and brand as the authority within your industry.

The bottom of the funnel campaign, we will bid on long-tail keywords that convert intent AKA readiness to buy (searches synonymous with ‘buy’).

We then leverage the power of Dynamic Remarketing to garner loyalty, refresh and remind customer’s of their previous inclination to buy.

2. Use Single-Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG)

To convert leads to sales, your content needs to be relevant, and to increase relevancy you need granularity within your keywords. This granularity is achieved through a single keyword with multiple match types.

Think back to the factors that impact Quality Score and Keyword Relevance. As mentioned, synergy between search query and ad copy is unachievable if you have too many keywords. Google’s advice to lump 10-20 keywords together is not the best way to produce the granularity needed for saving money and delivering sales.

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_quality_score

SKAGs should actually contain three keywords (one term, three match types). And account for adjustments for broad term, phrase and exact match keywords for each SKAG. This will give you the ability to work keywords into your ad copy with ease. And implement a tiered bidding strategy (broad = lowest, exact match = highest). Just make sure your broad matches don’t overlap with the other two.

3. Omit Superfluous, Non-Converting Traffic

Now that your campaign has ingrained the power of Message Match at every possible level, we ensure that you aren’t wasting valuable spend on queries that have no chance of converting.

Leveraging negative keywords is the best way to eliminate the impact of queries that stand no chance of converting. These negative keywords can be implemented at three levels: Account, Campaign and Ad Group.

Account level
If you’re a retailer negating words such as ‘free’ is an excellent way to reduce queries with little to no commercial intent. You may wish to add other words that are irrelevant or anti-ethical to your brand.

Campaign level
Structure your campaigns with Message Match in mind. Doing so will remove negative keyword terms that you’re bidding on in similar campaigns at different stages of the sales funnel. This stops the broader terms from overlapping the long tail, high commercial intent terms.

Ad Group Level
This is where you add your weekly negative keywords: individual search queries your keywords actually match with.

By building out negative keywords at each level, you will trim fruitless keywords and serve your ads to those that are most likely to click.

4. Leverage Advanced Targeting Features

real_world_guide_to_digital_marketing_sales_pipeline_location

There are an estimated 200 million Google searches a day within Australia alone. But no matter how fantastic your product or service is, unless it turns gravel into gold, it’s unlikely that everyone overseas will want it. This is why we use geo targeting.

Targeting on search networks can extend beyond choosing a city or area to advertise in. Google gives the opportunity to target prospects using demographics and control exactly who your audience is based on your product sales campaign.

These are a few tricks we use to ensure your brand dominates the local Search Engine Results Page (SERP):

Income-Based Targeting

If you have a model of your ideal customer, odds are that you have already considered their purchasing ability. Measuring this against the nature of your product, whether it be a mass-market, or luxury item – you will need to market accordingly.

Demographics for Search

These allow you to create bid adjustments for certain audiences based on gender, age or parental status. So you can completely omit entire groups using these bid adjustments, then build parallel campaigns (18-24 & grandparents) simultaneously.

How Does Matching Your Adwords to Your Sales Pipeline Help?

It ensures that every search query is met with compelling ad copy and a perfect landing page offering.

By considering who to target, you strengthen the effectiveness of your newfound structural advantage, optimising your budget and reducing wasted spend.

This advantage will extend into other sections of the marketing funnel. An Intelligent PPC campaign and a judicious SEO presence will generate awareness and resonate with the customer after their purchase.


Liked the post? Interested to learn more?

Start a conversation with our content and analytics teams below. And see how you can boost your Search Engine Optimisation and accelerate your Adwords campaigns. Having a discussion with our managing director today could save you time and money. Further boosting your lead generation across search engines, social media and email marketing.

So build streamlined intent-driven marketing campaigns through your free consultation below.