Organic Search Lead Not Enough For Google

    February 27, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Even if a business owns the first organic search result for its brand, they should not neglect paid advertising for a very simple reason. If that business doesn’t take care of its brand in paid search, they can be certain the competition will. That’s the advice from Google’s Susan Minniear, Vertical Operations.

Her post on the brand terms debate falls on the side of prudent action, namely a strategy that includes paid search. While it may be unsurprising that Google would encourage people to use a business that represents some 99 percent of its revenue stream, Minniear lays out some points in favor of that position.

Control of the brand in search should figure in one’s strategy. "The position of your brand on the page can fluctuate, and you cannot control the message that consumers see," she wrote. "Paid ads allow you to shape your brand’s message exactly as you choose." Competitive businesses will try to buy their way into the interest people have in a brand. If they are bidding on a brand, and the brand owner isn’t, that could place the brand owner at a disadvantage. "If you’re not, and your competitor has an ad show up with a compelling offer, you could likely lose a customer," said Minniear.

She also cited an eMarketer report on brand keywords and conversion rates. It showed a brand keyword conversion rate of 6.5 percent, compared to non-brand conversions of 1.7 percent. As a final point, Minniear said there is value in a diverse message. "People respond to different types of messaging. Perhaps some are looking for basic information regarding a product, leading them to click on a natural search result; others may be seeking promotions, and are more likely to click on an ad," she said. Bottom line, both organic search and paid search are important. —

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