Competition forces retailers to rethink the role of brand, unbranded and brand traffic


As far as Google Ads is concerned, most retailers are interested in a single KPI – the return on advertising spend. To increase ROAS, some marketers spend the majority of their advertising spend on high-conversion brand traffic. While the focus on efficiency still serves retailers well today, improving ROAS is more difficult than ever. In fact, investing primarily in low brand funnel traffic limits reaches buyers who already know your brand. This client base is both limited and shrinking. [Google Ads] is also saturated with competition and constantly evolving. Actors like Amazon and Walmart buy the SERP and often outbid other retailers on their most lucrative keywords and products. The decrease in real estate for organic ads creates additional pressure to spend more to stay competitive.

To combat these challenges, retailers must take a more comprehensive approach to Google Ads. It is important to understand how to acquire new customers and continue to retain existing customers by targeting various types of traffic.

In this article, we will explain how re-evaluating your keyword traffic can help you achieve unique goals for your business, including new customers. acquisition and retention. Read on to discover tactics to control costs and maximize the value of your brand, brand and non-brand campaigns on Google Ads.

An integrated view of Google Ads traffic

First, understanding the full customer journey on Google Ads means understanding the unique value of different keyword traffic. Naturally, keywords indicate intention to buy, which is why it is important to create campaigns that target brand, unbranded and brand keywords and to offer each type of word. key based on its value to your business. -buyers tend to search using branded keywords. They know what type of product they want and are closer to making a purchase. Top funnel buyers tend to use generic, unbranded keywords because they are always looking for what they want to buy. Buyers who use brand name keywords often return to customers.

Depending on your objectives, these different types of traffic may be more or less important for your business. Let's unpack this idea. Unbranded Traffic Boosts Acquisition

Many marketers find it difficult to unleash the potential of unbranded traffic. When evaluated by ROAS, unbranded paid search campaigns appear to be underperforming. Especially when displayed with a last click attribution model, these campaigns may seem unprofitable. Not surprisingly, many retailers have ignored this type of traffic and have focused more resources on low-funnel buyers who are more likely to convert. However, it is time to turn this notion on its head. Here's how.

Understanding the value of a new customer

With increased competition and costs, retailers must consider the value of the buyer they reach on Google Ads. For some retailers, a new customer will have higher value than a returning customer because of its repeat purchase potential, also known as Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). If your business favors acquiring new customers, the higher cost of unbranded traffic may be justified.

Limit costs with a targeted strategy

Keep efficiency in mind when developing unbranded campaigns. Bid first on the keywords related to your highest margin products or CLV. You are unlikely to be able to bid on a large amount of non-brand keywords. It is therefore essential to choose the right keywords and products. Support these ads with attractive copies and landing pages that help buyers make an informed decision. They may not be ready to land on a product page, but rather want to display a page that lists multiple products in a category or explains the features of the product.

Follow the full customer journey

Retargeting shoppers who visit your site from a generic query can increase the value of unbranded traffic. A buyer can discover your site through a keyword search without branding. You can retarget that customer when she searches again using a brand keyword and generate the final conversion. Tracking this type of customer journey and appropriately valuing each click requires a multi-touch attribution model. You may not be able to understand the true value of unbranded clicks without a full view of the acquisition funnel.

Trademark Improves Retention

Queries about trademarks can also be easy to ignore. Some retailers assume that if buyers search for their branded keywords, those buyers will end up on their site. In today's hyper-competitive SERP, this is not for granted. Thanks to Google’s SERP 2013 update, competitors are increasingly bidding in terms of brands in Google Ads. While they can't use your brand keyword in their copy, they can undermine your business by offering discounts or faster delivery to effectively steal your customers. Here are some ways to get around this challenge:

Protect your brand terms

Owning your brand research can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. The good news is that it's easy to own the terms of your brand. Your brand ad will have a high quality score compared to your competitors' ads because you are the actual retailer that the customer is looking for. Make sure your ad shows the unique product categories and services you offer. Use ad extensions to capture as many SERPs as possible.

Measure the health of your Google ads

Carefully monitor the performance of brand campaigns. Brand traffic is a useful barometer for the overall integrity of Google Ads. If you face increased competition or a slowdown in the acquisition of new customers, you may see a gradual decline in brand traffic. Your business is no longer the first option that comes to mind for buyers in your industry. If so, it's time to rethink your Google Ads strategy and identify gaps in your customer acquisition funnel.

Understanding the complete customer journey

Brand traffic can still represent the majority of your sales on Google Ads, but it is important to have brand and brand campaigns, if not only to understand how buyers discover and rediscover your products. This understanding will put you in a much better position when an e-commerce giant like Amazon starts bidding on your most valuable brand keywords. If you can't compete for clicks immediately before purchase, you need to step back and visualize the full customer journey to discover new growth opportunities. Creating targeted campaigns for branded, unbranded and branded keywords will help you engage buyers at every stage of the buying journey and discover new value.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here .


About the Author

Chris Corrado is Vice President of Client Strategy for Sidecar and a member of the company's management team. He oversees the department of customer strategy managers and analysts who help retailers excel in social media advertising, search and research. He also contributes to Search Engine Land and to Sidecar 's research and analysis on the retail space. Chris is a veteran of the research marketing and e-commerce industries and has managed multi-million dollar advertising budgets to position retailers to succeed on all channels in a complex and ever-changing environment.



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