What I'm about to tell you will totally revolutionize your PPC campaigns and make you A LOT more money.  It's simple, but not well known and not widely practiced.  Most of your competition isn't doing it.  This is why you should be.  Really, I should not be telling you this.  I should really keep it to myself.  Maybe I'll just write about organizing your campaigns or how you shouldn't run search and content ads in the same campaign.  Been there, done that.  Shoot.  Then again, it should be ok.  Most of you will follow the principle anyway, so I should have nothing to worry about. :)

First, you've been duped into believing that when you place your ads on search engine results pages for your targeted keywords, you are taking part in the activity of advertising. After all, we call it "ppc advertising," the links on the pages are called "ads" and we call the people running the campaigns "advertisers."

But Google and other search engines are not in the business of advertising. Search engines don't go out and interrupt web users going about their business by trying to garner interest in the message they're screaming at them.  That's advertising.  They wait for the searcher's to come to them and then they serve them results based upon an input.  That's customer service.  That's right, search engines are in the business of customer service, not advertising.

Customer Service Comic.png

Of course, this totally changes the way you should think about what you're delivering to the searcher.  In advertising, you try and get the attention of a non-engaged person while communicating how being interested in your product or service might change their life. In customer service, you give the person your attention and deliver what you hear them asking for.  Lots of "advertisers" get this backwards.  They write ads that try and sell the searcher on the product or service.  Instead, they should be listening to the searcher and then serving them with the information they're looking for.

Now that you understand that, there is something you need to know about your target audience.  They're lazy.  We're all lazy. Most shoppers/searchers follow what is called "The Principle of Least Effort."  Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia...

This principle states that an information seeking client will tend to use the most convenient search method, in the least exacting mode available. Information seeking behavior stops as soon as minimally acceptable results are found.

That's right, people searching for something don't naturally conduct thorough research to find the best solution to their specific problem.  They naturally look for the easiest way to get satisfactory results.  That's why people rarely go beyond page 1 on search results.  That extra click is too much effort if they find a satisfactory result on page 1!  They do just enough to get a decent result.

This knowledge should have a dramatic effect on how you conduct your PPC campaigns.  But, it likely won't because YOU are very likely to follow this principle in the way you run your campaigns.  Stayed tuned for how this principle SHOULD affect the way you run campaigns (even though it won't). :)

July 5, 2011

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > Paid Search is Customer Service, Not Advertising