April 14th, 2008 | 3 MIN READ

What Do Customers Really, Really Want?

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

What Customers WantAlan Rimm-Kaufman was kind enough to videoblog the concepts covered by his panel at the recent Shop.org conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Alan was presenting on how to be customer centric in paid search marketing.

Alan presents in his slide deck a number of things customers really want (yes the Spice Girls did make a cameo in the presentation although they were a no-show in person at the Shop.org event). He then applies them to a real product search experience for one of Under Armour's running shoe models: the Proto Power Trainer.

What A Searcher Really Really Wants From Your Paid Search Ad

  • I want to type 2, 3 or 4 words into Google (Longer queries may reflect "long tail" search terms. Product-specific searches like "under armour proto power trainer" are far more specific than "running shoe" and typically converts higher if you have what that searcher wants in stock and at a favorable price)
  • I want to use my own words, not yours (Customers may use different word orders or synonyms like running shoe, athletic shoe, sneakers, trainers or runners)
  • I want you to handle my typos and misspells (It's easy to type "armor" rather than "armour" - especially for US customers)
  • I want to find your ad on page 1, above fold (Customers expect very targeted queries to deliver relevant results. Product keywords are important in search ads for higher click through)
  • I want ad copy which helps me choose (
  • I want ad copy which is honest (If you promise a product - you better send the customer to the right landing page - not the home page or even the category page. Make sure the price in your ad matches the price on your landing page)
  • I want a landing page which loads quickly (Alan has a great article on this at Search Engine Land)
  • I want a landing page which lets me do what I want to do me as quickly as possible (We've got a great webinar on landing page optimization)

You can download the slide deck in .zip (2.5MB) or the .pdf version. Or watch the videos below:

Some takeaways from this presentation include:

  • Brand the retailer, not the SKU. You need to compel the customer to click through to your offer, especially if you are not the lowest price.
  • Make sure your product page has some product description, price and a buy button visible above the fold. Don't use Flash that takes a long time to load.
  • Alan's research has shown red is best reserved for error messages. So if your brand is red, it's best to select a different color for your calls-to-action.
  • Testing is crucial, whether you use a free tool like Google Website Optimizer or paid tool like Offermatica. But most tests are not "home runs." Don't be discouraged if you run 2 or 3 tests before you find one that has significant results. Batting .300 isn't that bad.

Thanks again to Alan for taking the time to share his knowledge in video format. Alan's also got a great blog that covers more paid search topics. Why not subscribe?

Share on


Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive a welcome email shortly.

By submitting this you agree with our privacy policy.