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Be a Mind-Reader with KISSinsights

Advertising with Google AdWords is one of the most powerful ways to test customer intent. “How?”, you ask. Here’s a breakdown of a simple “intention marketing” recipe:

  1. Use the search data (i.e. keywords) from your website analytics.
  2. Feed those keywords into your AdWords copy.
  3. Watch what customers click on.
  4. Iterate.

It’s a powerful cycle that will incrementally boost your clickthrough rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CR). However, even some of the best search engine marketers will hit a plateau in their Pay-Per-Click campaigns using this technique.

The problem is that AdWords clicks only tell half the story. Keywords typed into Google don’t reveal what the customer is thinking.

The distinction between what the customer is thinking in their head and what they type has typically been lost to most website owners.

Until KISSinsights.

Learn What Customers Are Thinking, Not Typing

Update: We have sold our tool, KISSinsights, to CatchFree. The tool is now called Qualaroo. They provide the product and all of the support.

KISSinsights google adwords

KISSinsights surveys catch your searchers “in the moment”, when their intent is strong and they are eager to get information.

Ask them the right question, and they’ll tell you those unspoken thoughts that never made it into the Google search box.

Now all you need to do is echo these insights back to the customer – using the same words they used – in your AdWords campaigns. Now you’re speaking (and thinking) the same language as your searchers!

Done right, this gives your ads the edge over your competitors. More searchers will click on your ads, and more of them will make it to your site and convert.

More clicks leads to higher keyword Quality Scores, which leads to higher Ad Rank and lower Cost Per Click. Now you’re paying less, outranking your competitors in search results, and attracting more qualified visitors to your site.

KISSinsights + Adwords Case Study

Google Adwords

For the past few months, I’ve been optimizing an AdWords account for an Australian client.

I started out with one specific, highly competitive, keywords and ad combination. By using keyword search data from our analytics, I was able to iterate on that campaign until it reached a 6-7% CTR and $9 cost-per-conversion.

Then it plateaued. I’d reached the point where iterating based on data was not going to lead to further increases.

Enter KISSinsights.

I then installed KISSinsights on the landing page for the ad, set to popup after 30 seconds.

(The 30-second delay is designed to weed out unqualified visitors. If a visitor has stayed on a landing page for 30 seconds, they’ve demonstrated interest in your product/service.)

At this point, the searcher is a potential customer. Now they’re in research mode, asking themselves: “Does this particular product meet my very specific needs?”)

Now, how do I extract these very specific needs from the minds of your potential customers?

The 3 Questions You Need To Ask In KISSinsights

kissinsights adwords example

As can be seen in the screenshot above, there are 3 very specific questions* I use with KISSinsights:

  • What is your single biggest, challenge, frustration or problem in researching (your product/service) online
  • How difficult has it been to find the answer to your question?
  • What made you search for this today?

Each of these 3 questions has been crafted for a specific reason that helps me to understand (respectively):

  • What is the potential customer’s specific and unspoken need?
  • How desperate is the searcher? If the answer is impossible to find, you almost certainly want to highlight this insight in your advertising. This may even become a Unique Selling Proposition for your business. If the answer is easy to find, still address it, though it may not make a significant change in your ad performance.
  • Is there a context, trend or urgency for *today’s* search? Understanding this may give you further insights on where or how else you may be able to advertise (e.g. Insights gained here might give perfect keywords/categories for Display Network advertising).

Insights Revealed

kissinsights revealed

It seems obvious now, but KISSinsights revealed something that I had completely missed.

Searchers were not only looking for specific product features. They were looking for Australian manufacturers with local delivery and customer service!

It was easy to overlook, because seemingly this had nothing to do with the product itself. But once I saw the data, it made sense: of course, shipping, delivery, and customer service are an important part of the whole product and customer experience.


Armed with this new information, I tested a number of new ad variations.

In each variation, I only changed one element of the ad from the existing control ad: headline, 1st line, 2nd line, or display URL.

kissinsights results

  • The first ad (with the orange Paused status) is the control ad.
  • First ad CTR: 6.59%
  • First ad Cost Per Conversion: $9.20

The best ad variation that emerged from my experimentation was the 2nd ad. I have now made that the new control ad.

  • Second ad CTR: 7.85%
  • Second ad Cost Per Conversion: $5.77

The second ad reduced the advertising cost by more than 33%!

In addition, the higher CTR was rewarded by Google with a higher ‘Avg. Position’, 1.8, even though we are paying a lower ‘Avg. CPC’, $2.00.

I then incorporated this new 2nd line copy into other ad groups and campaigns for this client with similar results.

Using KISSinsights with AdWords can lead to hugely valuable customer insights for your business.

Next Steps

Now you’ve identified the specific customer need. You’ve incorporated it into your ad. Now you need to be reiterating that need in your landing page.

Landing page optimization is the last step between you and a higher conversion rate. By echoing the customers’ needs back to them at every step of the process, you’re able to capture more leads, hold their attention, and turn them into customers.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.



About the Author: Adam Sugihto is a Google Adwords Advanced Search Qualified Individual and is passionate about applying timeless copywriting, testing and consumer psychology principles to digital marketing. Adam’s heroes include David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins and Lester Wunderman. Adam is founder of – a Google Adwords Certified Partner based in Melbourne, Australia. You can follow Adam on Twitter: @adamsugihto

*Foot Note: The Adwords + Landing Page Survey Technique, and the 3 specific questions are all adapted and used with permission from Marketing Psychologist and Researcher, Dr. Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. as part of his excellent Hyper Responsive Marketing program.

  1. I have not had my adwords turned on in over a year now, but when I did, it was always amazing the ads that generated the clicks.

    • Hi Rob,

      Yes, I’m always amazing at the insights I find – even on accounts I’ve been performancing for quite some time.

      Just when you think you know it all, you find out yet another angle, yet another insight which then feeds into your next round of split tests.

      All the best with your adwords :)


  2. pick your words and format of ads wisely.

  3. Good Post Adam! Any data on what percentage of the people filled out the form and did the total number of conversions increased as well?

    • Hi Mukul,

      We averaged about 2% of visitors filling in the survey. Yes, conversions lifted as well (you can see the conversion rate increased from 22.05% to 34.02%) .

      If you are giving this a go, I’d love to hear how you went.

      Feel free to drop me a line.



  4. Wouldn’t it be better if you also know what they are typing? I think if you do this, you’ll be able to reach a broader scope for your target.

    • Hi there,

      This survey technique is, of course, in addition to the analytics data that we analyse.

      So, yes, we do see what people type in plus we see what they were thinking but didn’t necessarily type in!

      Its the best of both worlds :)

      Are you giving this a try? Would love to hear how you go. Let me know if you come across any new insights that help you.


    • Superbly ililumnaitng data here, thanks!

  5. This is very helpful. About to run some adword campaigns, so this is perfect timing. Thank you!

  6. Jonathan Wold Jan 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Excellent idea.. I’ve caught myself answering an Insights question on multiple occasions. I’m going to experiment with this concept. Thank you for the details and the case study!


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