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3 big shifts in consumer behaviours to influence your keyword and paid search strategy

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3 big shifts in consumer behaviours to influence your keyword and paid search strategy

Key takeaways

Consumer behaviours are changing, as people increasingly turn to digital to inform their purchase decisions. Whether it’s finding relevant services locally or buying products online, many of these journeys start with Google Search. Here, we explore three of the most significant shifts in consumer behaviours online, and how — by adapting your keyword and paid search strategy — your business can be best placed to capture demand as and when it arises.

1. “Near me” searches are on the rise

2. Discovery behaviours have moved online

3. Demand can rapidly change

Google Trends shows that interest in the term “near me” has risen exponentially over the past five years

1. “Near me” searches are on the rise

From buying white goods to eating out, consumers are using the search phrase “near me” in growing numbers. They want to find a specific thing, in a specific area, and increasingly in a specified period of time.

Google Trends shows that interest in the term "near me" has surged over the past five years, a shift only accelerated by the pandemic.

Local campaigns can help you provide people with the answers they’re looking for on Search and across Google properties. Add a few lines of text, a budget, and simple assets, and the rest is optimised for local business goals, including store visits and phone calls.

You can also choose to enable local inventory ads in Shopping campaigns, promoting products sold online, locally, or both.

And if you include store visits or store sales in your Smart Bidding strategy, bids will automatically be adjusted in real-time to grow total sales, whether they take place online or on the high street.

Smart Bidding

A strategy that uses machine learning to optimise your bids to improve sales performance over time, by using data from trends and shifts in user behaviour.

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2. Discovery behaviours have moved online

Window shopping is increasingly a digital affair, with consumers discovering and researching products and services online — often without a specific brand in mind. They’re typically using generic or non-branded keywords to help make those all-important purchase decisions.

This presents a rich opportunity for advertisers to connect with potential customers who are showing intent but are yet to prefer a particular brand.

This is especially important if you have a new product, are a start-up, or are looking to reach a new market or audience and need to build awareness.

To ensure your ads and content reach the right people, use the Keyword Planner tool to build a keyword list that matches the terms that potential customers might use to find your products or services.

The broader your terms, the larger the potential audience — but competition can be greater too. Complement broad targeting with Smart Bidding to prioritise the best-performing searches with machine learning technology.

Non-branded keywords

Generic search words or phrases that don’t include a business name or brand. Most advertisers use a balance of branded and non-branded keywords in their paid search campaigns.

3. Demand can rapidly change

Predicting demand can be difficult at the best of times, but during the pandemic understanding where consumers will go next has proved particularly challenging. The B2B Year in Search 2021 report shows us a world still undergoing constant and rapid shifts.

Make the Google Ads Insights page your first port of call to help identify trends in your market and better understand your performance. You’ll find up-to-the-minute insights on search trends, while demand forecasts can predict upcoming search interests relevant to your business.

There are also new features to explore: consumer interest insights for understanding how customers find you on Google Search and audience insights to discover more about your core customers and what creative is most effective with them.

Demand forecasts

A tool that uses historical online data to forecast the products and services that may see increased search interest within the next 180 days.

Learn more

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