Comprehensive Analysis of Agriculture Customer Journey Digital Behavior in 2023

May 14, 2024


This in-depth white paper, spearheaded by SI EQ, a Google Premier Partner, delves into the evolving digital landscape of researching and purchasing Agriculture. It provides actionable insights for businesses and marketers within the agriculture industry by examining the customer journey—from research to purchase—with particular attention to their online search habits. 


As a Google Premier Partner, Google provides SI EQ with exclusive data that gives us the following insights. First, let’s define the key performance metrics extracted from Google's search index: 

  1. Queries: Total searches conducted by users related ONLY to Agriculture.

  2. Ad Depth: The number of ads shown per search query.

  3. Impressions: The frequency of ad displays in response to these queries.

  4. Clicks: The number of times users engaged with ads or organic search results.

All data provided is pulled from the Agriculture targeting segment. It is also a Year-Over-Year (YoY) analysis showcasing how the customer journey changed in just 12 months. 


Findings and Analysis

Search Query Trends

Search Growth: In 2023, research and purchase decisions were primarily made on mobile devices. Mobile searches accounted for 71% of all search activity for agriculture.

  • Mobile has predominantly been this industry's gateway to search activity since 2016. In 2023, we saw yet another increase of 4%.

  • Search activity on computers decreased by 5% and only made up 28% of the total volume of searches YoY

  • The number of Tablet searches decreased by 11% and only made up 2% of the total volume of searches YoY

The total number of searches for Agriculture increased by 1% in 2023 compared to 2022. Within the customer journey, queries go from broad to precise terms. The user will start with a branded or generic term such as “crop insurance” to “big baler for sale near me” and will usually become more accurate with model numbers after their initial search term.

Ad Depth and Market Competition

Competition decreased by 14% YoY inside the customer journey within Google.

  • Competition Intensity on Mobile: Mobile searches faced 19.9 competitors, more than tablet and computer searches, emphasizing the competitive digital environment for Agriculture.

    • Even though there are much fewer searches (queries) on tablets, we did see the Ad Depth of 18.9 competitors within their customer journey on tablets

    • Computers saw a decrease in the number of advertisers by 15%, resulting in only 16.2 competitors within their customer journey on computers.

  • Understanding the Ad Depth and Market Competition increases the need for relevant ad copy and destination pages. It also underscores the importance of delivering the right message to this audience on their first query while researching products. In 2023, we saw higher click-through rates for competitive pricing and the value to their needs. 

  • Increasing Ad Depth: Ad depth decreased in 2023, but overall, your ad depth within the customer journey is one of the highest in any industry. For example, in automotive, the current ad depth is 17. 

Not all competitors are actual competitors. For example, Google cannot see the difference between manufacturers and regional and local advertising from the same brand. They are all competitors in Google's eyes, which increases the Ad Depth and cost-per-click. 

Clicks and Engagement Patterns

Clicks on paid and organic searches increased by 3% on mobile, Year over Year. This indicates that more research is being conducted on the customer journey. 

  • Early-Year Click Surge: In the past, the early click surge began in February. In 2023, we saw the early click surge in January 2023 and continued to climb through March 2023, when it peaked. March 2023 experienced higher click rates, suggesting a solid consumer intent in researching agriculture solutions. 

    • When you isolate Agricultural Equipment, you see a click surge (intent) beginning in February-April and usually reaching its peak in May.

  • There is a new emergence of sustained clicks between May and August. Between October and December, click activity began to slide down the mountainside in click-through rates on paid and organic searches. 

    • When you isolate Agricultural Equipment, you see a click surge (intent) between October and November. We know end-of-the-year sales with used agriculture solutions have existed at the physical store level for decades, but that has now translated to online research and shopping. 

The overall click growth was -1%. Mobile was up 3%, encompassing 71% of all queries and where leads are generated, making it the most critical metric. Tablets decreased by 18%, and Computers decreased by 12%.

Seasonal Patterns

When researching them online, a basic understanding of all agriculture solutions is the knowledge of seasonal patterns. This still holds and becomes even more prominent as every agriculture solutions brand is tasked with increasing its market share. 

  • Queries began to increase in January and peaked in May 2023. They decreased in June and July, then held steady at the same level from July to October. Then, they dropped off with a hard decline through December 2023. December had the lowest number of queries throughout the entire year. 

  • For the first time in the history of these reports, ad depth has become more aligned with the customer journey. It could be better aligned, but marketers are finally starting to understand when and where to advertise on mobile, programmatically, and in search. Mobile Ad Depth peaked at 21 competitors in October 2023. 

  • Impressions on advertising for Agriculture followed the same pattern as queries except for one area. Instead of staying steady from July to October, impressions increased between August and October, peaking in October. The ad depth reaching its peak in October would be consistent with this data.

Organic search focus and paid search should always stay on for this audience, regardless of the number of queries. The implications of not focusing on a search throughout the year are just the sheer number of ad-depth. 

Implications for Marketing Strategies

  • Strategic Focus on Mobile Platforms: Given the significant reliance on mobile devices, businesses must develop mobile-centric platforms and marketing strategies.

  • E-commerce: This audience must purchase products and services via mobile on business websites that meet their needs.

  • Capitalizing on Seasonal Highs: Marketing campaigns should be intensified during high-engagement periods, especially from February to June, but do not discount the high intent of clicks from October - December. Fewer queries but more intent via clicks.

  • Campaigns are always on: Due to the number of Ad Competitors, you must be on with your marketing campaigns 12 months out of the year. Budget fluctuations will be needed as seasonal highs will need 2-4x the amount in paid search vs. January to reach the same share of voice.

  • Navigating the VERY Competitive Digital Arena: Understanding ad depth and competition can assist businesses in creating distinctive strategies to emerge prominently in a competitive market.

Recommendations for Future Strategy

  • Ensure your copy for paid search and organic meta tags related to the potential customer; you are surrounded by competitors who might be messaging better with incentives, tractor packages, or value propositions. 

  • Data-Driven Marketing Initiatives: Utilize analytics to tailor marketing efforts, aligning them with observed consumer behavior patterns.

  • Adaptive Content Strategy: Develop content and advertising strategies that resonate with the observed seasonal trends, ensuring relevance and engagement.

  • Do not discount October and November from a customer journey perspective for used agriculture solutions. Customers are shopping online, going outside your AOR to purchase agriculture solutions that fit their needs. Marketing initiatives are now necessary to capture this audience, as they were not necessarily crucial before 2020. 

  • The ad depth between manufacturers, regional incentives, and local advertising competes against each other in Google’s eyes. Understand what each layer is doing inside of Google search to help: 

    • dominate SERP (search engine results page) with your brand.

    • understand what search absolute top impression rate you are each trying to achieve

    • which keywords are being focused on to bid with or against 

  • Paid Search Recommendations: Better ads mean better Ad Rank

    • Every time someone does a search that triggers an ad that's competing in an auction, Google calculates an Ad Rank. This calculation incorporates your bid and auction-time measurements of expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience, among other factors. To determine the auction-time quality components, Google weighs a number of different factors. By improving the following factors, we can help improve the quality components of your Ad Rank:

      • Your ad's expected clickthrough rate: This is partly based on your ad's historical clicks and impressions (adjusting for factors such as assets and other formats that may have affected the visibility of an ad that someone previously clicked)

      • Your ad’s relevance to the search: How relevant your ad is to what a person searches for

      • The quality of your landing page: How relevant, transparent, and easy to navigate your page is

  • Why ad quality matters

    • The quality components of Ad Rank are used in several different ways and can affect the following things:

      • Ad auction eligibility: Google’s measures of ad quality help determine the Ad Rank thresholds for your ad and whether your ad is qualified to appear.

      • Your actual cost-per-click (CPC): Higher-quality ads often lead to lower CPCs. That means you pay less per click when your ads are of higher quality.

      • Eligibility for ad assets and other ad formats: Ad Rank determines whether or not your ad is eligible to be displayed with ad assets and other ad formats, such as site links.

      • Overall, higher-quality ads typically lead to lower costs and more advertising success. The Google Ads system works best for everybody when the ads shown are relevant and closely match what customers are searching for.


The digital journey of Agriculture consumers is increasingly shaped by their interactions with online platforms, mainly through mobile devices. For businesses selling Agriculture, adapting to these digital trends is crucial. Emphasizing mobile optimization, strategic ad placements, and seasonally targeted marketing efforts are essential to effectively reaching and engaging your target audience. This comprehensive analysis highlights the necessity of leveraging digital analytics to inform and refine marketing strategies in the agricultural industry.

About SI EQ

Since 2010, SI EQ has been at the forefront of innovation in the agriculture marketing space. From developing our own CRM program for agricultural equipment dealers to our proprietary audience targeting, we live and breathe this industry. Whatever your business objectives or goals may be, SI EQ can help you reach them.

[email protected]

Written by Tim Whitley
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