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Search Tip: Brand vs. Non-Brand Results

I’m delighted to writing a monthly column on paid search strategy for one the best sites covering our industry, Search Engine Land. Today’s my first column. The topic is the role of the retailer’s brand name in paid search campaigns — a dry-sounding but actually critically important topic.

Here’s a snippet:

For many search advertisers, paid search ads on the retailer’s brand name (“Brandname”, Brand Name”, BrandName.com”) generate 20% to 50% of their search-driven tracked sales. Most of these sales aren’t incremental. Brand-name searches are navigational searches, analogous to a customer finding the retailer’s phone number in the White Pages. These searches are driven by brand awareness, store advertising, catalog mailings, TV, radio, word of mouth, and so on. Even though the click came through Google (and Google charged a few cents for it), Google had nothing to do with generating the demand. Ditto your SEM agency, or your in-house search team.

Search marketers should clearly break out their results along the brand and non-brand dimension, showing sales, costs, clicks, and earnings for each side of the portfolio. Managers should charge their search markers to grow non-brand sales, and do so efficiently. And SEMs should base fees on ad spend, not revenue.

Full post over at SEL — check it out.

  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    3 Responses to “Search Tip: Brand vs. Non-Brand Results”
    1. Bryan Galipeau says:

      Hi Alan,

      I’m curious if RKG has seen any data showing differences in brand/non-brand share of sales and clicks across Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Is the ratio of brand to non-brand sales and clicks consistent across the search engines for your clients? If not, where do you see the differences, and any insight as to why?

      Thanks,
      Bryan

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    1. [...] Search Tip: Brand vs. Non-Brand Results [...]

    2. [...] As we’ve pointed out in the past, there’s a distinct difference between traffic on your brand terms and traffic on your incremental (non-brand) search terms. If I search for a brand like “Staples” or “Staples Office Supply”, I’ve likely heard about Staples from another source, before doing the search. [...]