Brand queries: the AdWords performance illusion
If your AdWords optimization efforts are focused toward terms and ads you credit with last-click conversions, you're not alone. But columnist Tim Mayer contends you're being shortsighted.
Experienced marketers know that where high-consideration purchases are concerned, it’s normal for customer journeys and purchase cycles to take weeks, or even months.
But many AdWords practitioners still look at each search session as the entire relationship with a user when looking at performance reporting.
These sessions are then analyzed and translated into bidding strategies and also influence campaign budget allocations. As a result, the sessions that are most highly valued are the ones that typically start with a brand query and are closer to the conversion event than shopper discovery sessions that are typically initiated with a generic category or generic product query.
To grow a healthy sales pipeline, it is essential for marketers to work the top of the funnel and spur introduction to the brand. This is how wise marketers feed volume to the bottom of the funnel, where the conversion events happen.
Targeting shoppers in the research phase involves testing generic keywords and category term keywords to discover which ones provide assists to the conversions that happen later on in the customer journey.
As an industry, we have become myopic with our AdWords strategies and are focused on optimizing a single event — typically last click — for a positive outcome instead of optimizing the customer relationship across multiple touch points for more sales and revenue over the longer term.
Conduct an AdWords audit
Are your own AdWords campaigns falling into the brand comfort zone? Your first step in figuring this out is to audit your campaigns.