Loyalty typically leads a consumer to search on a brand term, but don’t take that as a foregone conclusion that you have closed the sale, writes Location3 CEO Alex Porter.
He believes brands must plan and execute a branded search strategy that turns an interested searcher into a loyal customer who repeatedly comes back for more based on quality and personalized experiences.
“This isn’t the time to take your foot off the gas,” he writes. “Instead, it’s time to push forward using a combination of technical optimizations, paid ads, and ad extensions that leave the user with no doubts regarding the quality and legitimacy of your brand, services, products, or culture.”
The study is called Search Marketing Strategy: How to Approach Bidding On Your Own Brand.
Not bidding on your branded keywords dramatically decreases overall traffic, conversions, and lead volume while failing to replace performance with an increase in organic performance, he writes.
Marketers must own their brand in the search engine results page, which means using all Google’s features such as rich snippets, sitelinks, answer boxes and more -- optimizing the site structure and other technical elements, populating Google My Business profiles with basic business information, and creating content that Google deems valuable.
It also means bidding on your brand keywords to secure SERP real estate in the form of paid ads, he writes.
Here are five takeaways that Porter thinks are worth noting when it comes to assessing the execution of branded search marketing programs in 2020.
1. Marketers who plan to incorporate competitor keyword bidding into their campaign strategy should make it a point to triple-check that they adhere to the official policy of the search engine, Google, Bing and others, as well as all trademark law.
2. If marketers choose not to bid on their company's branded terms, this is likely to result in an overall decrease in web traffic to the site.
3. What do search engine results pages (SERPs) look like for branded terms? If you choose not to maximize visibility for branded terms, engines like Google will fill in the gaps, which could lead to results that include competitor ads, unfavorable reviews or other less-than-desirable information.
4. When bidding on brand terms, be sure to maximize opportunities to promote the brand and the business within the ad by leveraging creative ad copy, sitelinks, location extensions, dynamic callouts and more. This not only increases the chances of engaging the searcher, but takes up valuable real estate within the SERP.