Should Marketers Buy Popular Key Words?

The Marketing Science Institute publishes a very interesting marketing newsletter highlighting research in social media and sometimes mobile marketing.  In MSI Insights second issue in 2013 they summarize a study by Jerath and Ma titled “Consumer Click Behavior at a Search Engine: The Role of Keyword Popularity” which examines consumer online search behavior.  The researchers found that key words with low popularity were more likely to lead to clicks by viewers on both organic and paid results.  The data suggest that as consumers delve more deeply into examining a purchase the words become more specific to their needs and they are therefore more likely to click on those results.  The implication for marketers is that they should consider less popular key words and determine the likely scenarios for search as consumers get closer to the purchase.  More general, popular key words may play a bigger role earlier in the purchase funnel.

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