When no one else seems to be advertising online- look at search trends

Check Search Volume-StratoServeIt can be confusing when you search for your product category online – and don’t see any ads. Reminds us of the old story of two shoe salespersons sent to a remote island for market development. They find that no one is wearing shoes on the island.One of the salespersons is optimistic and one is pessimistic and here are the two messages they send to headquarters:

Optimistic salesperson:

” Send that boatload of shoes immediately- great market opportunity as no one wears shoes. Everyone here needs shoes”

Pessimistic salesperson:

” Do NOT send that boatload of shoes. No one wears shoes here. There is no market for shoes”

In the offline world the above story has been circulating for at least a 100 years, primarily to motivate salespeople to be more optimistic. If people on the island had Internet, looking at their Internet search data, would have helped both types of salespeople!

When it comes to the online advertising world-it is good to pause and wonder if you search with keywords for a particular industry and don’t find anyone advertising. We saw this recently when trying to look for the word “dinner” for a restaurant in Connecticut. There was no restaurant advertising for “dinner” at our location. Given that, most restaurants are looking for seats to fill particularly on weekdays. Here are some points to consider:

  • If you look at Google Trends (pictured with this post)  for the search term “dinner,”  you find that the search intent is not so much to find a particular type of dinner place (eg. Thai dinner)
  • Another trending search term seems to be “dinner menu.”
  • Instead people seem to be searching for dinner recipe ideas, that does’nt help restaurants advertising immediately.
  • Although it is possible that some percentage of folks searching for dinner recipes might find it somewhat complicated to cook up a “Thai” dinner and instead try to go into a restaurant listed in Google local listings or from an Ad online.

If you are a restaurant looking to immediately get new customers from search advertising, the prospects do not seem great. And this goes back to search volume and the intent of the searcher.

Search volume and a deeper analysis of search intent can be revealing. It tells restaurant owners (for Connecticut only, as analyzed) that:

  1. It’s a great idea to have your menu on your website. After all your menu is not a secret, and putting it out there helps all those walk-ins figure out what they want to order, faster. Can help during busy weekends when you can turn tables quicker.
  2. If you decide to advertise just exclude “recipes” as a negative keyword and avoid people clicking on your ads who were looking for “recipes” anyway.
  3. Do not expect people to immediately walk in from your advertising. You are trying to build your digital brand over time. Staying in with online advertising should pay off well over time.

In conclusion, you don’t have to be either pessimistic or optimistic like the shoe salespersons. You now have search data from Google trends  to get a sense of what might be going on in your particular industry. This allows much better budgeting and expectations from your online advertising. About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.

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