User Intent: A View Through Paid Search (Part 2)

Welcome to our new blog series on the importance of user intent. It’s the buzzword in digital marketing today, and with good reason: it’s the source of all relevant and timely digital marketing best practices today.

This blog series aims to help you understand what user intent is all about, and why it matters in today’s digital marketing world. You’ll learn from our experts how key service areas inside digital marketing, such as display advertising and SEO, are being directly affected by our current, and ever-evolving, understanding of user intent. Today we have part 2 of our look into paid search (also known as Pay-Per-Click, or PPC) with three of Point It’s search marketing experts: Maddie Cary, Lisa Sanner, and Evelyn Baek.

Last week, our search team shared how user intent is the “guiding star” of digital marketing, a lens through which searchers’ actions can be translated into insights and truly impactful tactics. They also shared how marketers can leverage user intent to understand what they’re truly looking for, where on the path to purchase they are, and how to craft the right message to drive results.

Here’s their take on

…The future of user intent and paid search:

Lisa: Paid search isn’t about buying keywords; at its traditional roots, it’s about people who enter questions in a search engine to get answers. What we try to predict and understand is the “why” prompting their question, and whether we can put a compelling message in front of the user. Testing and exploring options in activities like keyword development, ad copy testing, audience segmentation, ad extensions, landing page and conversion path optimization allow us to try to give users the right information, at the right time, in the right place to fulfill the reason they are searching for information.

Maddie: Voice search is going to change the way we analyze keyword intent. Context will become much more important as people use a step process to voice search for what they’re really looking to learn. For example, the questions “What is the tallest mountain in the world?” (Everest), “How about in the United States?” (Denali) and “Where is Denali?” (Alaska) are considered “step” searches. Voice search will also change the way searches are framed, as it leads people to use questions in their searches, instead of the short phrases normally typed into search engines. Voice search will give us a different lens to comprehend what people are searching for, and paid search marketers will have to adapt their keyword strategy accordingly.

Lisa: There are increasingly more and more ways to understand users, their intent and signals to have better predictions on what motivates them. The evolution and sophistication of multi-event conversion tracking, post click analytics, and data management platforms are giving paid search professionals more and more tools to provide better experiences for users with our clients’ advertising messages. From retargeting, to more ad format options, to audience development and retargeting, to omnichannel and cross device attribution, there’s a bright future in better understanding user intent for paid search. And it’s really fun too.

Evelyn: As a digital marketer, being able to segment audience data to identify or predict certain elements of a user’s intent is becoming a necessity to run a successful marketing strategy in an increasingly saturated market. The digital world has a lot of data – it’s a matter of using this to begin anticipating a user’s intent. I hope that’s where the future of user intent takes us.


Want to learn more about our paid search services? See how we can help you today!


Missed part 1? Read it here.

Tim Mohler About the author

Tim Mohler is a cross-channel marketer, developing digital, social, and content marketing campaigns for Point It Digital Marketing. He believes brands should engage consumers in unexpected ways, adding value while creating measurable results. He has an MBA in marketing and finance, and a decade of experience promoting Fortune 500 brands across industries including travel, technology, retail, media, banking, and QSR's. He also serves as VP of Partnerships for the Puget Sound American Marketing Association.

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