Understanding confirmation bias in marketing

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As a marketer, I’ve always been fascinated by the psychological factors influencing consumer behavior. One of those is confirmation bias. Let’s seek out only the information that confirms our opinion. And, of course, that impacts on how companies market and run their SEO programs. SEO expert Sarah Presch combines psychology and SEO strategies, joined me on Episode 664 of “The Business Storytelling Show” to discuss the topic.

What is confirmation bias?

Sarah explains that confirmation bias is the human tendency to search for, interpret, and remember information that confirms our beliefs.

“When we’re looking for information, we’re actually not looking for facts and evidence, as much as we’d like to think that we are. We’re looking for information that confirms our existing beliefs. And we will only believe the evidence that slightly diverges from our beliefs; everything else we tend to ignore,” she says.

Read next: Captivate your buyers: How to tell your brand story

Why is confirmation bias important in marketing?

Confirmation bias is crucial in how consumers search for and interpret information related to products and services. Sarah emphasizes the importance of creating content that is accurate, relevant, and ethical. 

“Whenever anybody is creating content, or say you’re a business, or you’re a digital marketing agency, and you have a client in a particular space, who wants you to create content for something, what you have to do is 100 percent make sure that you fact-check it, make sure that you know, it’s 100 percent accurate so that you can’t be accused of spreading misinformation on a particular thing just to, you know, sell your product,” she advises.

Read next: Balancing Business Goals and Subscriber Respect: An Ethical Email Marketing Discussion

Examples of confirmation bias in marketing

One example Sarah provides is how people search for information related to health topics.

“When people will search for things like ‘link between coffee and hypertension,’ because they are looking for the link between coffee and hypertension, they’re looking for information that confirms a belief that there is a link between that. If, for example, they were searching for ‘no link between coffee and hypertension,’ they’d be looking for information confirming their belief that there is no link between it,” she explains.

Read next: Writing better copy with thorough copywriting briefs

Strategies for navigating confirmation bias in marketing

To effectively navigate confirmation bias in marketing, create accurate, relevant, and inclusive content. Sarah emphasizes the importance of using qualified writers with experience in the specific industry or topic they are writing about.

“If you’ve got a client in the medical space, you need to make sure that you’re using a writer who has experience writing on medical things,” she advises.

Another strategy is to focus on building brand awareness and making a positive impression on consumers.

“Make sure that you’re always making a good impression because people always remember negative things that they hear about brands or extreme things that they hear about a brand,” Sarah notes.

Ethical approaches to leveraging confirmation bias in marketing

While it’s important to be aware of confirmation bias and other cognitive biases in marketing, approach these biases ethically. Sarah emphasizes the importance of creating content that brings people together rather than dividing them.

To ethically leverage confirmation bias in marketing, focus on creating content that accurately and objectively matters to the target audience.


Confirmation bias is a powerful cognitive bias that influences how consumers search for, interpret, and respond to information related to products and services. As marketers, be aware of this bias and develop strategies to navigate it effectively. Create accurate, relevant, and inclusive content, build brand awareness, and ethically approach confirmation bias to influence consumer decisions while maintaining trust and credibility with your audience. Ultimately, understand the role of psychology in marketing and SEO to develop effective strategies.

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