Tearing Up Your 2020 Plan – Part VI: Using Search to Improve Customer Experiences

Tearing Up Your 2020 Plan

Stop Living in ‘The Macro’

Think of the word “joint checking account”.

Seriously, stop and think about it. What do you think that person wants?

Let’s show you what they get. I searched for the word “joint checking account”.

Ex. Citibank

Citibank is ranking in the top position, sweet, I click on it– joint.


Well, I thought “joint”, I was assuming that it was about two people opening a bank account, not one person. Then I N-Gram that page and I see the word “joint” is not mentioned on that page at all.

Ex. Citizens Bank

Interesting. Then I click on the second result, Citizens Bank:

Citzens Bank

No people on this page, nothing on this page about joint accounts– zero.

Ex. Fulton Bank

Then I went to Fulton Bank:

Fulton Bank

No mention of the word “joint” on their page, and all these people are paying $15-$20 each click and this word is searched thousands of times a month. And then I searched and clicked on three more.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

Nothing said to me, “hey, we understand that you’re looking for a joint account”.

Wasted Spend

This is what happens when you live in The Macro.

You make a checking account keyword in Google and you let Google match it to all the different words, and overall you’re converting enough to continue to pay for this waste. While smart bidding and those kinds of things are great, you’re also sometimes overpaying or driving customers to things that you don’t actually do.

But let me show you what it’s like to be a company in The Micro.

Living in ‘The Micro’

Ex. Simple

Simple has shared checking accounts.


Notice these two lovely, happy people. Look at the sub headlines, Share what makes sense. Now, they’re not using the word joint either, in all fairness, they call them shared accounts (which I would talk to them about if I were them). But look at the photo in the bottom right.


  • Two people
  • Keep what makes sense.
  • Yours, mine, ours.
  • Dream bigger together.
  • Save faster together.

They fully understand how this customer’s thinking and they’re in the mindset of that customer.

This is one out of eight PPC ads and landing pages, which means…

7 out of 8 businesses completely missed the mark on who it is they’re talking to.

Why? They did not analyze the individual N-grams of the words that people are using around these types of checking accounts. And it’s that simple.

You know what’s sad?

John Wanamaker

^ This quote is the saddest quote, not because it was ever said, it’s because it’s one hundred and thirty years old. And I just showed that seven out of eight of the paid ads for joint checking accounts completely missed the mark today.

In spite of all the tools that we have that John Wanamaker did not have, we are still in the same freaking boat, if not worse.

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