Where does Paid Search fit into the user journey?

By |2018-12-19T16:09:20+01:00December 26th, 2018|SearchTrendsReport|

Understanding the user journey is considered by the teams in our survey to be essential in order for them to do their job. These leading teams were shortlisted in search awards for their work on paid search but also cover more channels. 80% do Shopping engines, Paid Social or SEO.

Programmatic display is covered by around 70% of the sample.  Whereas paid search was their focus, they look well beyond that channel.

When asked how important it is for their team to understand the end-user journey on a scale from 0=not important to 100=essential, the sample responded with an average of 92. Understanding the end-user journey is essential to paid-search teams.

Beyond the perception aspect, our sample also use user journey mapping actively. 81% of the case studies entered by respondents in the search awards did this; furthermore, respondents carry out this user-journey mapping on an ongoing basis in 66% of the cases.

This journey is depicted by four stages through which, idealistically, an end-user passes in his or her engagement with an advertiser: awareness, consideration, conversion and loyalty.

The logic of this funnel is that you qualify and thus reduce your marketing scope when you pass from one stage to the next. This fits well with the measure-everything philosophy of digital marketing, where goal, transformation and tracking points can be established for each passage.

Whereas the movement from the consideration stage to the conversion stage is well covered by web analytics, understanding the user journey at the top of the funnel and in the loyalty stage is more difficult.

Whereas 100% of the sample included “conversion” as one of the stages they execute on, just below 20% of the respondents exclusively execute on conversion. Clearly, paid search is an active channel channel for conversion but not the only one.

The largest pattern is that of one-third of respondents, who execute on the entire user journey from awareness through to loyalty, while the second-largest group, consisting of more than one quarter of respondents, executes from awareness through to conversion.

64% execute on awareness, consideration and conversion, and two thirds of these add the loyalty stage to this. It becomes increasingly important to build as deep an understanding as possible about business levers and end-user behaviour in order to succeed in the work at the top of the funnel.

This enlarging scope for paid-search teams mirrors the overall shift that we have noticed in the sector from simple one-channel focus to a broad view over various channels and with campaigns organised in several phases.  Paid search is no longer just about conversion and paid-search teams today look well beyond the conversion stage of the user journey when defining campaign strategies


This post is based on an extract from the #searchtrendsreport found on https://www.innovell.com/major-trends-in-paid-search/ 

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