PPC management agencies have gone back to the drawing board when it comes to keyword analysis. They are noticing a shift in the keywords that are driving consumer online spending habits.
Siddharth Shah of Efficient Frontier, for example, has noticed that loans and lending related keywords are not performing very well in the current economic climate, even though keywords such as “credit,” “lending” and “mortgage” have seen a huge jump in impression volume.
More searches and more traffic does not necessarily lead to more sales, of course – as we’re always telling our own clients! In fact, a large number of impressions and clicks without the subsequent conversions spell very bad news for organisations relying on PPC to drive enquiries and sales, because every ad that a user clicks on costs the organisation money. More consumers may be searching for financial information simply because the topic is high profile, rather than because they are interested – or qualified – to purchase a financial product.
So, which popular keywords are resulting in sales? According to Shah, the travel industry has seen a spike in search volumes for “cheap” and “discount” related keywords – these are increasing their impression volume and monetizing well. Keywords associated with more luxurious travel (e.g. “cruise” and “hotel”) are producing a lower conversion rate than they were last year. Furthermore, the “hotel” searches included several thousand combinations of hotel with location names and hotel brand names. Shah told Search Engine Land: “This indicates a shift in consumer thought patterns. People are less brand focused, and more value conscious. Clearly frugality is in.”