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Digital Marketing // November 11, 2018

How Personalised Search Intent and SEO Can Boost Your Brand Without Breaking the Bank

Paying Attention to Personalised Search Intent

We’re in 2018, and everything is digital. It’s easy to make the claim of being digitally forward from the ways we incorporate technology into our marketing strategies. But are we using said technology to its full potential in order to effectively cater to our respective audiences’ needs through the new marketing funnel?

A useful thing to understand from your customer’s journeys is the search or keyword intent. What is their intention when they have an urge to add a product or service into their lives? Personalised searches are currently trending as a way of interpreting consumer behaviour. With the all-new non-linear marketing funnel coupled with the need for instant gratification, consumers expect an instant, accurate, and unique answer when they type their queries into search engines.

“New tech is driving consumer habits and these new habits are driving new tech.”

– Stéphane Bérubé
CMO Western Europe, L’ Oréal.


To achieve said effectiveness, you could ensure that your business possesses specific skills in marketing, in order to better your impact. A talent structure we can look at is L’Oréal’s digital team that grew from 300 digital experts to its current 2500 within a span of five years, with a diverse range of roles and specialisations. It’s time to shift from vague digital roles to assigning more precise ones like an Analytics Manager, a Content Manager, a CRM Manager, and so on.

As a start, we can explore how the upcoming festivities in Malaysia – like Christmas and Chinese New Year (CNY) – can influence consumer behaviour, and how we can prepare for it through these various types of search intents. We can categorise them in these ways:


1. To go somewhere

Prior to CNY, users may have intentions to purchase new clothing. Hence they are more likely to use clothing-related keywords in their search engines (eg. Googling Zalora, Love Bonito, and H&M instead of typing the actual website URL into the web browser’s omnibox).


2. To know something

The New Year calls for loads of OOTD (outfit of the day) photos as well as an increase in changing lifestyle choices. That may lead to users having respective personalised queries, like “How to lose weight?”, “How can a lack of career clarity and purpose affect my work?” or “Why won’t my acne go away?” and expect a useful solution to be presented to them. Skincare brands for instance, may find it useful to adopt these SEO strategies with IKEA and Sephora’s campaign explored below as a case study.

3. To do something

This is where the user is ready for conversion, either for purchases, newsletter email sign-ups, lead generation form submissions, or even a phone call. Brands can utilise retargeting ads with specific and catchy keywords within ad copies to register an association within the target audience’s minds, for them to easily search for conversion.


4. To obtain free things

Users will enter “freebie keywords” to look for a free product, service, or resource and are not expected to convert at the time. Maybe your target audiences would look for free red packets online, so make sure to include structured keywords here. Here’s where brands may either run freebie campaigns, or incorporate free items into a seasonal sales promotion.


To initiate an effective SEO strategy, brands could look into exploring Semantic Search Marketing. Semantic Search Marketing is an SEO strategy that allows brands to improve user search intent accuracy by assisting with explicit vocabulary, to help search engines better match your content with search queries.

We can learn from the successful Swedish-founded furniture and household brand, IKEA. IKEA ran an initiative titled Retail Therapy, where they simply renamed their product names to become the most common Google searches about relationship problems in Sweden.

This witty approach presents IKEA products as a literal solution, capitalising on keyword search and putting meanings into their product names – as well as boost IKEA’s publicity.

Brands could look into more examples like this and implement structured data into the aforementioned SEO strategy for their sites and contents. No matter your industry, it will certainly benefit your product and service offerings as long as it is a solution to an existing problem.

As us city folk are used to everything in the fast lane, brands have come to pay more attention to every critical moment of their consumers’ intent journeys. Hence, it would be a good idea for brands to provide information, relevance, and transparency on a 24/7 availability, as well as accurate product descriptions and ad copies that don’t oversell. Making sure consumer convenience is your number one priority can be a key success factor for marketers as they navigate this digital marketing sphere.

Need a hand in maximising all organic SEO strategies? Contact us to explore our services and solutions for your brand!

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