Blink. Wink. Cha-Ching

As you write your next pay per click advertisement think about this. That ad will be judged by two powerful forms of intelligence…Human and Engine.

In his very popular book “Blink”, Malcolm Gladwell (author of “The Tipping Point”) analyzes first impressions. Those split-second decisions we make and impressions we get “in the blink of an eye”

To quote Mr. Gladwell “It’s thinking—it’s just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with ‘thinking.’”

Thinking that “operates a little more mysteriously” than typical decision-making? That phrase seems to sum up search engine thinking.

He also introduces us to something called “thin slicing” which describes how the human mind makes inferences and comes to conclusions based on the thinnest slices of information.

Sound familiar? Search engines also take instantaneous impressions, evaluate variables & make lightning quick decisions based on the impressions they get while crawling our sites. In essence, search engines are exhibiting traits quite similar to the human thought process. They are just more efficient thinkers with more powerful “thin-slicing” skills.

What does this mean to a search engine marketer? It means that every time a searcher enters keywords into a search engine what commences is a lightning quick evaluation of available ads followed by a second (slightly less) lightning quick evaluation of the ads that made the cut. It also means we not only need to make it to the results page, we need to be the most likeable ad on that page to get a click (let’s call it a “wink”) and the most relevant, attractive and easy-to-use landing page to turn that wink into a sale.

Since Engine Intelligence is the first form of intelligence to thin-slice your pay per click ad, it is important to have a well thought out ad campaign. Ads that clearly speak to your keywords and echo the words of your landing page are a great place to start. Appropriate keywords and well placed keyword bids are other key ingredients.

Once the engine has placed your ad in front of Human Intelligence it is very important the ad is clear, relevant, and has a strong call to action. When the searcher clicks on the ad they want to have a productive experience at your site. A clean layout with up-to-date content is essential. Pleasing font and attractive colors draw the “blinking” eye and give favorable first impressions. Most important of all, it should be easier to buy than to leave the site and check a different ad!

To sum it up, by implementing changes that make us “blink of the eye” likeable to humans and engines we will get more of what we want (clicks and qualified leads) and less of what we don’t want (clicks and leads that don’t convert).

So here’s to turning that blink into a wink and ultimately “cha-ching”!