Brand Issues

Breaking out brand vs non-brand paid search economics has been one of the core best practices employed by AFS for all clients since our inception. To drive a search program to its target metric, it is critical to evaluate its success excluding the effect of the sales and cost associated with sales on our client’s trademarks, domain names and permutations thereof.

We do not believe that when users search for our clients by name they will most likely get to our client’s site without our ads. See the article: Brand Vs. Non-Brand in Google AdWords


Issue No 1: Should you undertake brand advertising? Why not leave it to the organic listings?
The arguments against leaving brandnames to organic listing include:

The arguments for a paid search listing of brandname include:

Rational search behavior dictates user (potential buyers) will look for product or service, research prices and characteristics, and then go back, and choose from competitive sites, which they liked. Often they will come back via the brandname. Favourites are no longer the panacea they once were as most people’s favorites are getting more clogged and often it is less easy for a user to find a particular address of a favorite site.

Issue No 2: If the return on brand advertising is so good, why not just concentrate on brand advertising?
Recently we tried on one client, Abt, moving from a mix of generic and brand advertising to brand only advertising. The result brand conversions and revenue went down, the conversion rate dropped, CTR % dropped, and the return on advertising spend fell from above 3000% to below 1100%. Overall site performance, as measured by return on adspend, stayed the same but the overall level of conversions and revenue from paid search orders fell to below 20% of its previous level when generic keywords were being advertized.

It is obvious that by using brand only, one loses out to the research and buys consumers. They will not be caught by generic adverts although they may be directed to you by comparison shopping sites (but then, for example, Google shopping only shows a subset of all products available on the net). The thesis here is that generic advertising captures a significant segment of the searching buyers and then they return using the brandname.

Issue No 3: Which is more important? The breakout of Brand and Non-brand or Overall performance?
AFS’s view is that: