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Thread: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

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    John Tabita's Avatar
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    Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    I'm wondering if there is any data available on how many people conduct a branded search vs. a location-based keyword search.

    For example, when someone needs a plumber, what percentage of people search for a specific plumber (e.g., joe's plumbing columbus oh) vs. doing a local search (plumber columbus oh)?

    The only information I could find is a Wordstream slideshare presentation showing how less than 3% of their traffic comes from branded searches. But I'm not sure if they're implying 3% is the average or that's just for their brand.

    If anyone has some information, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    Hi John,

    Good question but I doubt there is any hard data, because it totally depends on the brand and many other factors.

    The typical Dentist for example, mainly patients are going to search by name. Patients looking for their phone to make appt or to look them up on maps or check their hours.

    OR I guess the other thing is someone who is not a patient could search by name if they saw a TV commercial or a friend said "call Dr Joe Jones"

    But bigger brands like lets say local plumbers that do heavy ads everywhere, when someone needs a plumber they may be likely search for Joe's Plumbing because they see their ads all the time and know the brand name well.

    But again the average small business who is not a heavy advertiser the brand searches are likely to be existing customer, not potential new customers.

    The other thing that would skew brand searches is businesses who end up with the local carousel.

    My 2 cents off the top of my head anyway.
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    John Tabita's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    Thanks for the reply, Linda.

    In the Yellow Page industry, we know that roughly 24% of users look at the in-column (alphabetical) listings for a specific company (i.e., a branded search); whereas, 76% view display ads because they don’t have a particular merchant in mind.

    We’ve always used that data to emphasize the importance of display advertising because business owners always claim “everybody knows me.”

    It’s funny how some things never change. Now business owners are telling us, “I’m already on Google,” then they google their name and say, “See, there I am.”

    I was hoping to find some hard data to counter that.

    I agree that offline branding drives online branded search. One of our customers was a pizza shop that was regarded as one of the two best pizza shops in that town. They were getting a ton of traffic, and when we looked at their stats, the majority of it came from a search for their name.

    I appreciate your 2 cents.

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    Quote Originally Posted by John Tabita View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Linda.

    In the Yellow Page industry, we know that roughly 24% of users look at the in-column (alphabetical) listings for a specific company (i.e., a branded search); whereas, 76% view display ads because they don’t have a particular merchant in mind.

    We’ve always used that data to emphasize the importance of display advertising because business owners always claim “everybody knows me.”

    It’s funny how some things never change. Now business owners are telling us, “I’m already on Google,” then they google their name and say, “See, there I am.”

    I was hoping to find some hard data to counter that.

    I agree that offline branding drives online branded search. One of our customers was a pizza shop that was regarded as one of the two best pizza shops in that town. They were getting a ton of traffic, and when we looked at their stats, the majority of it came from a search for their name.

    I appreciate your 2 cents.
    Good points all John!

    I guess to this client: “I’m already on Google,” “See, there I am.” I would simply say...

    Everyone ranks for their name. That's easy. There is only 1 you in town. But only folks that already know your name and are specifically looking for you (and you only) will find you. Potential new clients are searching generically for Atlanta Plumber. And for that important search you are nowhere to be found. These are the 7 Plumbers they see... and are most likely to click or call.
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    John Tabita's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    That's pretty much how our reps respond. I'd like them to be able to say something like:

    "Only 3 percent of people search for you that way. Let me show you how the other 97 percent search for a plumber..."

    Then have then do a keyword search, and watch their face when their competitors populate the search results instead of them.
    Linda Buquet likes this.
    John Tabita
    Digital Strategy Director, Haines Local Search

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    Mark Warner's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    In that case, I would just show them the non-brand keyword volumes and say, here is how many people don't know who you are that you are missing out on. If you show them by means of analyzing a competitors estimated traffic, a local service owner will be able to relate to it a bit more easily, and their ego will go from hurting them to perhaps helping them.

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    Margaret Ornsby's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    And if people were more likely to search by brandname, why were the hard copy yellow pages always organised by category?

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    Travis Van Slooten's Avatar
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    Re: Branded Searches vs Keyword Searches

    Another thing you could do to add to your "data arsenal" is go to Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool and type in the business' name and a few generic keyword searches. Then take a screenshot and show them that:

    05.13.2014-21.56 - tvanslooten's library

    In this case, Roto Rooter is a major plumbing company in our metro area. They are HUGE. Yet they get zero searches. Of course we know this data is very inaccurate but it will drive the point home - more people search for WHAT YOU DO than who you are.

    I can also tell you from the PPC I did for clients in the past, branded searches accounted for less than 10% of the clicks we got - and often times around 5%. Like Linda said, unless you are a big company doing a ton of marketing, you'll never get more branded searches than keyword searches. And in my example above it goes to show that even if you are big and well known, the generic keyword searches still rule!

    Travis
    Margaret Ornsby likes this.
    TVS Internet Marketing: Helping Small Businesses Increase Their Visibility & Sales Online.

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