What can impact your brand term search results?

When was the last time the brand search “question” came up for you? Brand paid and natural search results’ fluctuation is driven by several factors:

·       Obviously, general brand health and/or decline in overall searches in the category

·       Changes in top-of-funnel marketing (such as catalog prospecting, paid social, programmatic display etc.), which can increase or decrease searches

·       Today, consumers are often typing in longer, non-branded key words to find what they are looking for (i.e. blue plaid button-down shirts) versus brand name

·       The increase in mobile provides less real estate for natural brand search to appear without scrolling multiple screens

A couple of questions to think about:

·       Have you plotted your catalog in-home/offline campaign history with branded paid search and organic search traffic/ revenue to identify a trend? How much does it normally change with catalogs  in-home or offline campaigns launched? Is there a correlation identified over time?

·       Have “top-of-funnel” investment tactics impacted your brand term searches?

·       Is any competitor bidding on your brand term?

            -> As we know, competitor brands can bid on your brand terms, but cannot use your brand name in copy – be diligent to check when you spot CPCs rise  

·       Have you changed your marketing strategy and are not investing in brand paid search? 

            -> Bidding on brand paid search is recommended as it takes up more valuable real estate on the page and most tests show a decline in traffic/revenue when brand paid search is turned off.  Running ads on your branded keywords lets you control the landing page experience much more easily than you can with your organic. Brand searches are more relevant and can have low bounce rates which in turn can produce stronger quality scores leading to lower CPCs, which can possibly offset some of your lower-scoring terms.

·       Has a large competitor started selling your product?

·       Have you added or removed private-label merchandise?

·       For natural search impact, has the brand completed any website updates, page/copy changes, or changes in site navigation?

Keep at it!