Customers now search for the ‘worst’ brands ‘to avoid’

Customers are no longer just searching for the things they want, they’re also searching for things they don’t want, according to Michael Laps, director at Yoghurt Digital.

Michael Laps Mumbrella Retail Marketing Summit

Laps: Marketers need strategies to combat negative search terms

Phrases such as ‘worst’ and ‘to avoid’ have grown in prominence as consumers increasingly seek out the brands they don’t want to interactive with, Laps told the audience during a panel on the future of search at Mumbrella’s Retail Marketing Summit.

“As an example, the number of searches that include the words ‘to avoid’ have gone up 150% in the last two years. Searches including the word ‘worst’ have gone up by 30%,” he said.

Laps explained that pieces of content displaying in search were usually the eventual culprit for these kinds of “to avoid” searches.

“If someone’s on the go and they’re looking for Mexican food, and then they type in ‘Mexican restaurants to avoid’, and Guzman y Gomez happens to come up first with an article there, that’s going to directly impact your bottom line,” he said.

According to Laps, marketers need to come up with strategies to combat these negative search terms, in order to stay ahead of the competition.

“If you don’t have strategies to target customers both in the consideration phase, but then right there when they’re ready to buy something, you’re going to end up losing out to customers who are focussing on those kinds of experiences.”


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