CPG companies are leaving a lot of money on the table when it comes to paid-search programs.
According to data collected by AdGooroo and Experian Hitwise from April 2010, the top 10 CPG Web sites can trace a quarter of their traffic to search engines -- more than from any other source. However, only 20% of that traffic comes from paid searches. The vast majority -- 80% -- comes from organic search or search engine optimization, the companies found.
"Search continues to grow as a customer acquisition channel for CPG companies," Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Hitwise, tells Marketing Daily. "[But] there's still a lot of opportunities to grow from search."
Of the top 10 most-visited CPG Web sites for April 2010, three of them -- Betty Crocker, Kraft and Pillsbury -- dominated, accounting for more than 78% traffic. Of those three, Betty Crocker and Kraft generated two times more traffic to their Web sites from search engines than the third-ranked company (Pillsbury). Many consumers were using the sites to find either coupons or recipes, however -- particularly in the latter case -- other, non-CPG affiliated sites might generate more organic traffic.
Given the amount of organic traffic that results from search, CPG companies need to develop more comprehensive search programs that capitalize on attributes and qualities a brand may want to be associated with. "You can throw a whole lot of money at the problem, or you can begin developing relevant content," Tancer says. "Some of our key recommendations are to begin developing relevant copy and placing it in relevant places."
That means understanding what consumers are searching for in relation to a CPG brand, Tancer says. If it's recipes they seek, then paid-search words should take them directly to the recipe section of a Web site, he suggests. "They don't want to be dumped off at the home page," Tancer says. "They want to be taken to a page that honors that search request."
Other recommendations include: driving consumer engagement through thematic campaigns, increasing the number of different campaigns running, optimizing copy efforts, implementing data-driven changes and monitoring competitive intelligence. "[Search] opens up a lot of potential for innovation and getting a brand message out there," Tancer says. "It's about getting that message in front of the consumer."