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Understanding Searcher Needs and Intent – Notes from SMX London 2007

When I went along to [tag]Understanding Searcher Needs and Intent[/tag] at [tag]SMX London[/tag] I wasn’t to sure what to expect, but I came away really impressed with the knowledge that the presenters shared. It was one of my favourite sessions from the two days.

I’m a big fan of [tag]Gord Hotchkiss[/tag]’ work already, [tag]Jonty Kelt[/tag] is a great well polished presenter plus [tag]Tom Albie[/tag] and [tag]Sara Anderson[/tag] had lots of value to add.

Gord Hotchkiss from Enquiro talked about the concept of working memory, which means most people can only deal with a few ideas at the time, whether that’s products that fit their need or brands, which would suit them.

Gord said from his research users go through the following stages.
• Awareness
• Set criteria – also known as satisficing
• General Search – Leads to Ideas
• Specific Requests – leads to brands

Gord also showed some research that showed search marketing and advertising does help with branding, as companies which didn’t appear on their searches makes people 16 % less likely to purchase from the brand they know.

Gord covered some great info and if I can get hold of his presentation I’ll try and cover it in the full detail it deserves.

Jonty Kelt from Double Click

According to some figures from hitwise found by Jonty 15% of branded searches go to competitors which presents a pretty good case for online reputation management.

Talking about paid advertising Jonty clarified that though branded terms might perform better than generic terms, if you aren’t present on the generic terms the chances of receiving branded searches drops.

He also suggested seeing movement from one stage of the buying cycle to another should be considered as a conversion in it’s own right.

Jonty also gave some good stats on the travel industry including that on average people booked four weeks after their first click, real proof of latent conversions.

Sara Anderson from Global Strategies talked about the different way different countries search. She encouraged PPC advertisers to structure their campaigns around intent.

She gave some good examples of English words having high search volume in countries where it’s not the main language.

Tom Albie from Ask had some great stats on average users, but unfortunately my battery on my laptop died half way through. I’ll track them down them from the my note pad and add them soon.

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