The intent of the people viewing your ads is the most important aspect in determining the effectiveness and subsequent success of your marketing campaigns.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand why PPC advertising is the best way to leverage the power of intent for your business.
Here’s What You Should Avoid
Mike owns a dog-grooming salon.
He loves his job. His customers say he’s the best dog groomer in the city, and the dogs couldn’t agree more.
However, he isn’t getting as many customers as he used to in the early days.
The initial excitement from family and friends bringing in their fluffy pets is dwindling, and it dawns on Mike that he can’t just rely on word of mouth to bring customers in.
He knows he needs to do something about this if he wants to pay his rent at the end of the month.
Time for Some Googling
After a bit of research, Mike arrived at an option that he felt was suitable: a large billboard in a mid-sized city which advertises his grooming salon.
It cost $4,000 for a month, and boy, was this billboard a stunner!
A sleek logo, bold colours, and a picture of an extremely cute (and clean) dog made for an eye-catcher of an advert.
Mike made sure his salon’s address, phone number, and website address was clearly displayed, then sat back and waited for the captivated dog-owners to come storming through the doors.
And the Results Are In…
In the weeks that followed, he saw the usual number of customers meandering in and out of his salon.
Nobody new called. Nobody new emailed.
The surge of excited dog owners he was expecting when he first invested in the billboard never showed up.
He looked at the $4,000 he spent on the billboard, then at his revenue for the month.
He barely broke even.
‘How could this be?’ lamented a frustrated Mike, ‘My ad ticked all the boxes!’
Feeling a bit helpless, he decided to take a walk by the billboard to make sure a rogue tornado hadn’t yanked it out of the ground.
But sure enough, there it proudly stood. At least for another few days before the month was up.
Out of the corner of his eye, Mike noticed a woman walking directly past the billboard.
Taking a chance, Mike cleared his throat and asked “Excuse me! Sorry to bother you, but I’m doing a quick survey and I was wondering if I could ask you a question?”
Although slightly flustered, the woman responded, “I guess – what is it?”
Mike pointed up at the billboard; “What comes to mind when you look at this?”
After taking a moment to look at the advert, she replied ‘The logo looks professional, and that’s a really photogenic dog.”
“Would you take your dog to this grooming salon?” Mike enquired.
“Sure – if I had a dog!” She laughed.
“Thanks very much,” stammered Mike, as the woman walked away.
It only took a few seconds to hit him.
“…if I had a dog.”
The Importance of Targeting
What Mike hadn’t considered when he first purchased the billboard was who he needed to see it.
He had rented it with the mere hope that someone who owns a dog would walk past and see it.
It took $4,000 for Mike to learn that he can create the best advert in the world, but if it isn’t targeted at the right people – the people who need what his business provides – then it might as well have been completely blank.
You can offer $1 steaks to a vegetarian until you’re blue in the face, but they aren’t going to buy it.
Traditional Advertising vs. PPC
While traditional advertising (like Mike’s billboard) can indeed generate leads for a business, it either takes a huge amount of money or time for the effects to show.
Mike, along with hundreds of thousands of business owners like him, doesn’t have the enormous marketing budget of massive corporations that are able to easily sink millions into month-long traditional ad campaigns.
That’s why small businesses need a sure-fire return on every advertising dollar they spend; every individual who sees the ad must have the highest possible chance of becoming a lead.
The good news is there’s no better way of ensuring this than with a pay-per-click advertising campaign using Google Ads (AdWords).
The one word which separates traditional advertising from targeted PPC search campaigns is intent.
Why didn’t Mike ultimately succeed with his billboard?
He had no way of qualifying whether those who saw the ad had any intention of contacting him in the first place.
How PPC Advertising Harnesses the Power of Intent
Let’s suppose that, instead of renting a billboard, Mike had decided to set up a Google Ads campaign.
By utilizing the ability to choose his own keywords, he’d have control over what Google searches his ad shows up for.
This means he’d be able to decide exactly who he shows the advert for his dog grooming salon to.
Now, the only people who see (and click on) his ads are people searching for it.
Who walks past billboards? Anyone.
Who searches for dog grooming salons? People who own dogs and need to get them groomed.
Do leads come any more qualified than this?
It Gets Better
Actually, yes! In addition to people searching for dog grooming salons, Mike could even choose to show his ad to web users who frequently visit pet- or dog-related websites, further establishing that this searcher is indeed a dog owner.
Picture the scene: the proud owner of a beautiful, overly shaggy golden retriever decides that enough is enough and that their four-legged friend is in dire need of a good haircut.
They jump onto Google, type in ‘dog groomers near me’ and who do you think pops up in front of them?
It’s Mike’s dog grooming salon!
Leverage the Power of Intent
Intent makes all the difference in the effectiveness of an ad and the positive response rate it receives.
It’s because the searcher is presented, in the exact moment they were specifically looking for it, the precise, relevant answer to their need.
And the more the intent of a lead matches up with the service you provide, the more pre-qualified that lead is, and the easier it is to convert them into a paying client or customer.