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Signaling Through Search Engine Keywords and the Impact on Consumer Choice

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Title: Signaling Through Search Engine Keywords and the Impact on Consumer Choice
Author: Prodger, Jackson
Department: Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Program: Marketing and Consumer Studies
Advisor: Kanetkar, Vinay
Abstract: Search Engine Marketing has seen consistent growth since the inception of search engines as an advertising platform. However, research regarding how increasingly specific keywords change consumer responses has been limited. Using the Search, Experience, and Credence framework, this research was able to classify attributes based on their level of pre-purchase information, and test consumers’ willingness to pay for these attributes. The purpose of this research was to determine whether pre-purchase information of attribute keywords used in search engine queries impacts consumers’ likelihood of clicking through on a result. This research found that while pre-purchase information does not directly correlate with willingness to pay, the inclusion of attribute keywords increased respondents’ willingness to pay and decreased price sensitivity. This research is of benefit to academics and practitioners as it illustrates whether keywords determine search engine users’ willingness to click, which has potential to generate more conversions.
Date: 2022-05
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