Branded keywords for PPC

People that search for keywords that have your brand in it were already exposed to your marketing (how else would they know your brand), and as a rule the more marketing you do, the more branded searches you’ll see. For PPC in one company we see that on average globally, branded conversions make up 32% (!) of the total. Besides the branded searches we see in PPC there are also people that directly navigate or (even more so) go thru the natural search results (so this effect is even bigger).

The effect of any marketing effort can usually be measure by branded searches, we call it a ‘branding effect’. As you can in your Google Adwords data there is a close correlation between branded and non branded clicks. From this we can clearly see that PPC does have a ‘branding effect’ although it is smaller and less pertaining over time.

Display advertising is a little different since the branded conversions won’t be attributed (yet); while I personally don’t have this kind of data on a lot of Display Advertising I am joined by a host of online marketers that have noticed the synergies between Search and Display. It is estimated that the direct response (clicks) from display advertising is only 30% of the true response, 70% will respond thru other channels (30% go thru search, 20% type in the domain direct and 10% look at social media for advice). Therefore the CPL’s can sometimes seem too expensive as compared to PPC. We will be able to unpick most of this thru an integrated analytics system like the one from Omniture (although the process is still very lengthy and full of pitfalls).

Print is another medium that causes people to search for your brand. While it is a difficult thing to unpick there are two ways to look at the performance (probably you should do both):

1.    Look at the increase in leads/clients for this period as compared to normal (econometric analysis will do the trick), or easier; looking at branded searches and direct to site navigation will tell you more about the immediate effect.

2.    Use campaign URL’s in the copy that state a clear advantage for people to visit (as opposed to just typing in Domain.com – people are LAZY). An example would be ‘visit Domain.com/ebookFT for a free ebook. Only for readers of FT’, or even better, use a separate URL that redirects automatically (ie. DomainEbook.com).

But I digress. The reason we should pay close attention to the brand effect (in both PPC and natural searches) is that they are usually and mostly caused by other marketing, but often attributed to the PPC effort. Lies, damned lies & statistics.

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About Me

Thoughts on Direct and Online Marketing in the Financial Industry. By Bart Burggraaf. Bart is MD/Partner at MGL, a London based Financial Services Marketing Agency. The posts on this blog are the personal opinions of Bart Burggraaf and not the official view point of MGL or any of it's clients.