In 2008 and 2009, I can’t tell you how many clients I had that enjoyed multiple, lucrative keywords where they were one of 6 or 7 total advertisers fighting for clicks and ad space on those keywords. Back then, I can’t tell you how many sites I knew of that got away with awful design. It didn’t matter. They bought the traffic, and searchers bought their offering, ugly site or not. They searched, they clicked, and and the sales followed. The veteran, online advertisers reading this will remember those hay days.

Roll the clock forward to today, and the above mentioned scenarios no longer exist. Finding lucrative keywords where there aren’t at least 20 competitors is virtually impossible. Often the most lucrative keywords will have 200+ advertisers fighting for their ad space on the first page of Google. And, finding a site that makes lots of money that doesn’t have a more modern, user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing site is almost impossible.

What Changed?

Options. Searchers have more options. The competition got steeper. Not only do they have more options, they are more savvy as to how to research their options.

What Should I Do Now?

Get out of the search-click-sale mentality. More often than not, people don’t just search on Google once, click on one ad, and then buy on the first landing page they hit. They shop around. They find you different places.

Take time to think about funnels. Funnels are a misnomer in my opinion because online shoppers come in and out of the funnel multiple times before they make a purchase. Good thing your oil funnel doesn’t let the oil in and out before it goes in the oil tank! Here is an example of how to think about an online shopping funnel.

Oil Funnel MessFunnel Vision

A guy buys a boat. He loves it. He posts a picture on Facebook of his boat. He sees your Facebook ad about wakeboards (because you targeted people that like boats…duh) and clicks like. Three days later he sees your ad on his timeline and clicks it. This time he has a minute so he browses your site, and even starts the checkout process on a wakeboard, but he doesn’t have enough time, besides he wants to make sure his wife is okay with the purchase. The next day he talks to his wife and she gives him the go ahead to buy a wakeboard. Problem is, he can’t remember your URL and he didn’t bookmark your site. He does a google search for, “hyperlite wakeboards for men.” He clicks an ad thinking it is your site, but he gets there and it isn’t. He finds the exact board you were offering, but he isn’t sure if your price was better so he goes back to Google. He finds two other sites that aren’t yours. He starts thinking about other boards he might buy and to just give up on you. Your ad was there (because you dominate at a PPC advertising), he just never clicked on it. His boss calls and he has to abandon your competitor’s shopping cart. While reading an article the next day on Time.com on his tablet, he sees the exact board he was looking at on your site (because you do retargeting like any good advertiser does) and he decides the time is now. No more waiting around. You gave him exactly what he wanted, when he had the ability to make the purchase.

Read more about funnels and see visual representations on our “PPC Management” page.

Don’t get caught up in the search-click-sale tunnel vision. Instead, have funnel vision. Think about how many times and places you will need to be to catch the eye of your potential customers to get them back in the funnel until they make a purchase. Any other ideas on how to have the correct funnel vision? Any arguments as to why the search-click-sale mentality is still okay? Leave them in the comments.

Oil image above comes from http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=853453