3 Essential Elements of a Full-Funnel Search Strategy

Our Paid Search Recommendation for Marketing Agencies

The world of search has evolved drastically over the past few years.

While people used to originally turn to search engines such as Google as a main source of truth when searching for products and services, traditional search now is just a piece of the search puzzle — or even skipped altogether by consumers like Gen Z, who prefer using TikTok over established search engines. A buyer’s search may involve a combination of search engines like Google, online retail environments like Amazon and social media platforms.

So, if you’re a marketing agency running (or considering running) search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns for your clients, what are the three critical elements you need to power a full-funnel strategy to meet today’s buyers? Let’s explore.

1. Measurement

This is the first essential element of any full-funnel search strategy in today’s market. With cookie deprecation in motion, a strong measurement strategy is more important than ever.

Your measurement strategy should be tied to a business outcome and provide actionable insights. It should also include multi-touch attribution (MTA) to determine the impact of not only search across media channels, including offline activities and incrementality.

Finally, a clear first-party data strategy utilizing data clean rooms should also be in place to give campaign insights and optimize audiences.

2. Platform and Keyword Selection

Your search strategy should encompass all platforms where your target audience is searching. A comprehensive strategy should consider traditional search (for example, Google), ecommerce search (for example, Amazon), social search (for example, TikTok) and video search (for example, YouTube).

Your keyword selection should match how each platform is being used in the consumer journey. A consumer might start their search on YouTube to educate themselves on the benefits of the product, then move to Google for price comparison, and then end on Amazon for the actual purchase. Your keywords and messaging on these platforms should align.

3. Creative Strategy

The third essential element is an effective creative strategy. Your strategy should, for instance, have multiple themes that match who is searching, where they are searching and what keywords are used.

The creative should match the brand voice and indicate the experience the searcher would have on the site. Use all the creative components to the fullest in each campaign: text, images, video, product listings and extensions as applicable.

Putting It All Together

With these three essential elements in place, you are well on your way to running a successful full-funnel SEM strategy for your clients. But how can you elevate your strategy holistically?

Align your search strategy to be consumer-first. Consider how consumers use search in purchase decisions for your products or services. Search is no longer limited to your traditional search engines such as Google — 73% of consumers use multiple touchpoints before making a purchase.

Consumers also use search in all stages of the funnel, ranging from gathering information to comparing different brands, looking for reviews, comparing prices and so on. Meeting consumers where they are with the right message is key for success.

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Sara Palmier is a results-oriented leader with an MBA and over 13 years of management experience in dynamic and fast-paced business environments. Recognized as an authentic communicator and efficient problem solver, Sara’s expertise lies in her ability to build and maintain strong relationships with individuals at all organizational levels. Sara has been a member of the Goodway Group family for over nine years, working in a variety of roles from principal SEM analyst to media lead to her current role, where she identifies search best practices and defines key processes to drive world-class performance and superior value for our clients.