Enterprises should consider using search marketing for branding purposes, says Nathan Safran, director of research at Conductor, a provider of SEO platforms. Safran bases his assertion off a Conductor study released July 24 entitled The Branding Value of Search’s Page 1.
The study states that brand lift increases up to 30% when a company’s name appears “above the fold in universal search results.” Compared to when a company isn’t present in search results at all, the study also found that intent-to-purchase increases 20% when, appearing above the fold, a company shows up on the first page of search results, and 10% when it appears below the fold.
“People think about search as a mechanism for driving traffic and online sales,” Safran says. “If you think about using it for branding purposes, it will have different impacts for different companies in different verticals.”
The study was conducted in a controlled environment in which five groups of participants—each group comprised of 250 individuals—were asked to search for refrigerators.
“We were looking for online Web users,” Safran says. “We chose refrigerators because we felt people didn’t have a strong loyalty to any particular brand.”
Each of the groups were presented with a different set of search results: the control group, in which no brand was shown; a group in which the brand appeared above the fold; a group in which the brand appeared below the fold; a group in which the brand appeared above the fold and in Google’s Universal Results; and finally, a group in which the brand appeared above the fold and as a paid advertisement.
Conductor’s study ultimately found that brand lift increased up to 30% when a company appeared both above the fold and in Google’s Universal Results. Companies that simply appeared above the fold saw brand lift increase between 10 to 30%. Brands that appeared both above the fold and alongside a paid ad saw 20% increase.
Though the survey focused on desktop search, Safran believes the “concepts transfer over into mobile search.” He adds: “I think the core concepts that came out of the study apply.”
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