Rapid Immersion: SEM keywords (Part 1) – The Purchase Funnel
Rapid Immersion: SEM keywords (Part 1) – The Purchase Funnel

Rapid Immersion: SEM keywords (Part 1) – The Purchase Funnel

Hello and thank you for watching Rapid Immersion, where we discuss a wide variety of topics within the digital marketing ecosystem.

In today’s episode, I will show you how “ready” your customers are to making a buying decision, by analysing the search queries bringing them to your website.



Digital marketers have a love-hate relationship with one metric, the return-on-investment, or ROI.
Achieving a positive ROI can be challenging, but it will allow them to justify their activity to their clients (or management if they are working in-house), as well as securing larger budgets which will open up many new opportunities.

For example,

  • expanding their activity to cover new channels,
  • expanding the number of keywords in a Google Adwords account,
  • allowing for more time spent on analysis and detailed optimisation,
  • etc.

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is one of the most effective advertising channels available. And there is a reason for this.

Two words: Direct Response!

Search Engine Marketing is designed to stimulate an immediate action by the targeted user.

In other words, we display targeted ads in response to a specific search term.

In other forms of advertising, such as display advertising or social media advertising, we target users based on who they are – demographic targeting -, or what they do – behavioural targeting.

Search Engine Marketing allows you to target users based on what they actually want.

So here’s how it works:

Each user, through their search, expresses an intent.

The type of keyword will determine the level of intent, which you can then place on the marketing purchase funnel.

SEM Purchase Funnel

As you can see, the purchase funnel is typically composed of 5 stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Opinion
  3. Consideration
  4. Purchase
  5. Loyalty.

In Search Engine Marketing, I like to refer to a simplified version of that funnel:

  1. Awareness
  2. Research & Comparison
  3. Purchase

So if someone searches for “laptop computers”, they probably are at a very early stage of their research process.
If someones searches for “cheap acer laptops”, we already know they have a better idea of what they’re looking for and therefore closer to buying.
Now if someones searches for “buy Acer Aspire 15.6” laptop”, then you know that prospect customer is ripe!

The further down the funnel, the more action verbs you will find in the queries.

The purpose of identifying where people stand, is so that you know how to best respond in terms of ad messaging and landing page, increasing your overall conversion rate.

I recommend you have a look at your search queries and place them on your purchase funnel, as an exercise. You might be surprised at the results when testing out new ad copies.


In part 2 of this episode, we will discuss two categories of keywords which are key to understanding:

  1. how to increase volume
  2. how to improve your campaigns’ cost-efficiency

And of course, we’ll tell you how to use each category in your account.

So make sure you stick with us! See you soon!

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