Strong Branding Drives Search And Conversions

    July 25, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

"Branding" has become a bit of a buzzword in online marketing, though there are still detractors out there decrying the lack of ROI, or at least the inability to measure it. Advocates have been quick to note that branding matters, it matters a lot, and now there are some numbers to back that up.

In the travel sector, reports Matt Wainwright, not only do searchers turn to brand names first, generic keywords tend to convert less than branded ones:

Top branded terms, like “Travelocity,” “Expedia” and “Orbitz,” route nearly 15% of search visitors to travel aggregators….The top five generic terms send another 4% of search visitors to these travel sites.

Wainwright bases his numbers on data compiled from Let’s look at just the top five keywords leading to travel aggregators. That’s enough to illustrate the point.

1.    travelocity (3.03%)
2.    expedia (2.68%)
3.    orbitz (2.18%)
4.    cheap tickets (1.48%)
5. (1.36%)

Branded search terms are more likely to convert, too.

When looking at, say, hotels, they are 14% less likely to book that room than visitors overall. Search visitors to—who typically arrive through generic terms—are 44% less likely to convert than visitors overall.

We could take this small case study to mean that an investment in branding principles online and offline is important to grab consumer mindshare. Good branding has that effect: they think of your brand first.

While small businesses can’t afford national offline marketing efforts, the Internet has provided a nice equalizer in the respect that a campaign can be tailored to a budget and exposure is global. The goal is to be present at as many stops along the online way as possible.

Branding sinks in over time, eventually creating an automatic association with a product or service. How do you think brainwashing works? Same principle: repeat, repeat, repeat.