Using Keywords to Increase Conversion Rates for Sponsored Search Ads

Understanding the fraught consumer psychology behind keyword search queries would help make your paid advertising strategy more effective. The paper, "Consumer Click Behavior at a Search Engine: The Role of Keyword Popularity," which appeared in an issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, presents the following findings that are of great use to online marketers looking for ways to enhance their sponsored search advertising.

1) Consumers, who are more involved and more product aware, put in less popular keyword terms into search engines. These online users are more susceptible targets for paid search ads. Let’s say you are a shoe store, your sponsored search ads are likely to convert into a sale if they are geared toward people who type the keyword "Nike Tanjun Women's Running Shoes Size 8" into a search engine than those who enter keyword search terms like "shoes" or "Nike" for example. Another instance is a liquor store. Instead of paying for search ads to consumers that type in “wine”, they should pay for search ads where they type in “Joseph Phelps Insignia 750ml bottle”.

2) In terms of click activity, heavily used and more popular keywords result in lower click activity. Conversely, higher click activity is seen among consumers who use less popular keyword search terms. Naturally, higher click activity is what any online marketer would want for his ads. It follows that you are going to make more bang for your buck if you use your limited marketing budget on paid search ads specifically targeting this segment of the consumer base.

3) When it comes to click activity generated by organic or paid search advertising, it does not matter whether the user is browsing the web on a harried Monday or a lazy Sunday. The likelihood that a person is going to click an ad is not affected by the day of the week that person has been exposed to the clickable ad.

In short, the most sensible direction for deploying paid search ads is toward a small, highly specific consumer base. This particular segment of online users enters less popular keyword terms in search engines and their clicks on sponsored search ads are more likely to convert into a sale.