• Jeff

    As you said, I don’t know how much search result titles & descriptions contribute to the branding process. Misleading descriptions & poor wording have the potential to take away from a brand, but positive engagement occurs on-site.

    However, if a site has already established itself as a brand, search behavior will tend to favor the brand. Users will not only search specifically for a brand, but if that brand ranks for a related keyword, it will generally receive higher CTR & lower bounce rate. People recognize brands & already know and trust what they’re clicking on.

    Other authority behavior – like linking – favors brands; and brands would tend to have more natural linking profiles. Perhaps a revamped LSI technology (latest Google update???) has granted ownership of brands mentioned in related content to the brands, considering those mentions much as inbound links.

  • George Michie

    Great piece, Lance.

    I concur that the value of Impressions has to be pretty darned small. If we then say that the branding value comes from actually visiting the site by clicking on the ad don’t we rapidly reach the point of asking: okay, how does the value of branding manifest itself? I have these obvious and not tiny costs associated with high prominence on these ads, what should branding value look like to pay off that investment. Wouldn’t it look like…um…sales? Doesn’t the absence of tracked sales following clicks reflect poorly on the value of branding? Granted, for Honda who will never generate sales online the answer is who knows, who cares. But for online retailers…

  • http://www.closed-loop-marketing.com Lance Loveday

    Jeff – Great point. I tried to make clear that showing up was still critical, but probably could’ve been clearer about that.

    Thanks, George. That’s exactly where I was heading with this piece. I think using sales is a completely reasonable proxy for determining branding impact – and the best way for online retailers. Which argues for applying an additional multiplier to your ROI in order to measure branding value. Of course that goes against those making the attribution argument that Search is already getting too much credit. But what if both points are correct? It seems plausible to me that the unmeasured (upside) branding benefit of Search could plausibly equate to the (downside) over-counting due to mis-attribution in a number of cases. Which would argue for just using your Search metrics as is.