If paid search is a major part of your digital marketing strategy, you need to understand searcher Intent, and that’s a fact. The post-click analysis of your Google Ads is the most essential task that you must perform to improve conversion rate and ROAS. If you are merely targeting keywords and ignoring the intent, you are losing money, because you are not focusing on converting your Google Ads traffic and basically targeting people who will never convert.
Let us find out.
What is Intent Optimization?
Intent optimization refers to optimizing your Google Ads for searcher intent and not just keywords. Search intent (also known as searcher intent, keyword intent, buyer intent, commercial intent) refers to the reason behind a search query. It answers the WHY behind the search query. It is the core reason why a person runs a search query on Google.
And in order for that to happen, you first need to run an in-depth post-click analysis of your campaigns. Without this, there’s no real intent optimization -- because how can you adapt your ad campaigns without even knowing what works?
Post-click analysis allows you to dive deep into your Google Ads data and pull out precious little bits of information, like:
- How many pages users see before they convert
- How much time users spend on site before they convert
- What IPs they come from and whether they come from repeated IPs that convert (or don’t)
- How many times they scrolled on your page before they converted
- How many people engaged with your Landing Page before they converted
- What devices your converting customers use
...and so on.
These bits of data are absolutely priceless for you, the marketer, because they allow you to gain a full, 360-degree understanding of who your paying customers are. Ergo, this information can help you adapt your current campaigns to fit the target audience most likely to convert -- which constitutes the very foundation of intent optimization.
Once you have all this data in your hands, you hold the “secret” to targeting people who are likely to become your customers, bring sweet revenue into your business, and perhaps even return to it every time they need similar products or services.
Think of it this way. If you were a farmer and you sold tomatoes, would you go to sell them smack-dab in the middle of a luxury fashion show? It’s not that people there don’t eat tomatoes, it’s just that they’re not there for that. So repeatedly going there and trying to sell them your product would be rather silly, right?
The same goes for Google Ads as well. Why pour money into showing ads to people who are never, ever going to convert?
Intent optimization allows you to focus on what truly matters: conversions. Because nobody gets paid in clicks and scrolls, and your business makes no exception from this rule. And while looking at your CTR (click-through-rate) can give you a fair idea of what’s going on before the click happens (and why it does), looking a little deeper into your post-click data can help you understand what truly converts.
It might be targeting people from a very specific location. Or people with a very specific set of likes and dislikes. Or simply people who visit, on average, three pages of your site before they click “buy”. Whatever your converting audience is, when you know it, you also know how to adapt your entire Ad campaign and Landing Pages to them.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of data you can analyze for intent optimization, as well as the specific ways in which you can use it to boost your Google Ads ROAS.
Number of Pages before Conversion
Knowing how many pages a customer visited on your site before they fully converted is extremely useful. It can help you write copy that converts better, it can help you determine if you should make your Landing Page longer or shorter.
Furthermore, it can also help you determine if bots have a common “behavioral”: pattern so that you can block them and avoid spending more money on Google Ads clicked by, well, non-humans that will never convert (or humans that will never convert, for that matter).
Time Spent on Site before Conversion
Knowing how much time users spend on your site before they convert is important, because it can help you better optimize your users’ journey. For example, if they usually spend five minutes before buying something on your site, then you will want to make sure that their path from clicking the ad to making the purchase lasts for approximately five minutes.
The IPs Converting Customers Come From
Knowing what IPs your converting users come from is useful not just when you are trying to block ad fraud. Yes, click fraud is a major issue (a $9 billion one), but it's not the only problem you should be aware of when you want to make sure your Google Ads perform at their peak.
When you know what IPs converting users come from, you can eliminate not only ad fraud, but also IPs that are performing poorly (or not at all). They may or may not be related to ad fraud -- but one thing’s for certain: they are just draining your ad budget, and you deserve better than that.😉
Blocking Specific Geolocations
Post-click analysis can also give you more information about real geo locations that are not converting well for your Google Ads. While Google tries to help you with this, it is not entirely efficient at doing so.
As such, post-click analysis (or click forensics as we also call it) can help you determine IPs coming from geolocations you don’t want to target in your Google Ads (simply because they are not your prospect audience).
Scrolls and Engagement on Page before Conversion
When people click your ad, they are directed to your Landing Page. Once there, it’s your Landing Page’s job to convert them. As such, knowing how many scrolls and how much engagement they get will help you optimize your copy, layout, and design to make sure users convert into buyers as many times as possible.
Devices Your Customers Convert On
The fact that mobile devices are gaining solid ground (and that they have surpassed desktop) has been touted in digital marketing media for a long time now. However, that’s not a guarantee that you only need to focus on mobile devices in your Google Ads strategy.
The ONLY guarantee you can ever have is data -- and post-click analysis can help you determine if you should focus more on mobile or desktop. Depending on what business you run and your target audience, you might be surprised to learn that, for example, desktops are not dead.
Finding the Best Ad Placement
When your post-click analysis is showing you that a specific type of ad placement converts better, you know where to put your Google Ads money. It’s as simple as that. Yes, you might experiment with some ad placements that don’t work for you, but data will show you the right path (the one that works best for your specific business and target audience).
Intent optimization in Google Ads is crucial to your success as a PPC marketer. Regardless of what kind of business you may run - be it an eCommerce or a B2B SaaS - you will find that data is your best friend in ensuring that your Google Ads money goes in all the right places (the ones that work towards boosting your ROAS, of course).