Build Credibility & Increase Conversions with Branded PPC and SEO



Branded Search

Branded PPC and SEO strategies pay tremendous dividends, but few companies cash in. On the PPC side, marketers often think it’s a waste of money to bid on branded keywords, to essentially pay for what they already own. On the SEO side, firms may not even realize branded strategies exist – let alone why they matter.

But branded PPC and SEO offer three benefits every company in the world loves: control, credibility and conversions. Let’s take a quick look at why branded strategies make these things happen.

Gain Control with Branded PPC

By ceding the PPC turf to distributors, affiliates, generic merchandisers and competitors, brand owners suffer on two fronts:

  • First, they don’t even compete for clicks they could probably win.
  • Second, they open the door for a poor brand experience on someone else’s site.

For branded product terms, brand owners can take it a step further and control the brand experience with landing pages that powerfully convey the right message. Even if the landing page fails to convert, the visitor is exposed to the product in a positive way.

Brand owners can gain in another way, by taking control of lead management. Some firms are far more comfortable sending leads to their distributors and affiliates rather than letting them fight it out online with their own PPC campaigns.

Gain Credibility with Branded SEO

Like the brand owners themselves, Google is not eager to send users to pages where they will have a poor brand experience or be scammed. Therefore, Google’s search algorithm includes brand signals – indicators that a page of content represents a real brand where users are likely to have a positive experience.

Brand signals include things such as –

  • Domain attributes such as registration and age
  • Query volume
  • On-page user reviews
  • Social media signals such as links to company community pages
  • Authorship signals such as rel=author links to company writers
  • Natural links with branded anchor text

Some of these factors can (and should) be managed, because they help establish brand ownership and thereby improve search visibility for both individual pages and the domain as a whole.

Because of Google’s recent push in the direction of personalized search, brand credibility may take on even more importance. Frequent visitors to a brand’s site will likely see that firm’s content in personalized search queries – and that visibility could extend to their social media connections, creating a powerful ripple effect.

Gain Conversions with Branded PPC and SEO

On the PPC front, landing pages for product PPC ads provide a conversion opportunity that exceeds the potential of organic search listings. Why? Because a landing page is designed to do one thing – convert – whereas a product page that ranks highly is usually designed to do many things, and therefore has a far more generalized content strategy.

Furthermore, branded PPC campaigns can generate more conversions by giving a brand instant search visibility if its pages are not ranking well organically. This situation crops up a lot with middle market firms in industries where huge players dominate the SEO turf.

In addition to or instead of branded PPC, branded SEO programs will increase the conversion pool when there is a high volume of search queries for the firm’s branded terms. Even large and powerful brands can rank poorly for their own branded search terms unless they have their SEO act together … and many don’t. Do you?

by Brad Shorr, Director of Content & Social Media for Straight North, a prominent Chicago marketing company. They work with B2B clients in specialized niches from corrugated pallets to safety hand gloves.

Image via Derek Gavey

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Richard Kraneis
May 30, 2012

Brad,Your article brought back business memories of what happens in the real world with online marketing.I agree with so much in your article:

  1. Control your brand name via PPC by advertising for those keywords.
  2. Build customized landing pages whenever you use PPC (wouldn't it be nice if our clients actually listened to that advice).
  3. Increase conversions with branded PPC campaigns.
I would add one added benefit of keyword branding whether its via PPC or SEO:  corporate awareness.When I started branded campaigns for one client I discovered all the Google PPC brand name poaching for my customer's products.  My customer took action when I informed them their competitors were using their branded products to siphon away customers at the Google PPC level.  I promoted my customer's corporate awareness in monitoring and protecting their branding on the Internet.Thanks for the article Brad (I'm from Chicago also).Richard 

Brad Shorr
May 30, 2012

Hi Richard, Thank you for reading and commenting, and for bringing up this very important issues. Brand poaching is a cheap tactic that is used all too often, and I've seen it in small niches as well as big brands. I think businesses of any size need to be alert.

Luke Lim
May 31, 2012

Thank you so much for this informative, helpful and insightful article!
Really helped and saved me!

Nick Stamoulis
Jun 04, 2012

It's important to incorporate branded keywords into your SEO strategy.  You want your owned content to appear at the top of a branded search, especially for reputation management purposes.  People can write anything online today, and you want your content to rank higher than a potential negative review. 

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