Jump right into the research now: Download the full research report, “Branding Value of Search’s Page 1.”
The common household lubricant, WD-40 was invented by the founder of a rocket company to repel water from critical rocket parts (‘WD’ in ‘WD-40’ stands for water displacement, and ‘40’ is the fortieth formula they tried that finally worked). Today it serves numerous purposes in the home including lubricating and loosening joints and hinges, removing dirt and residue, and extricating stuck screws and bolts. The manufacturer’s website lists more than 2,000 potential uses for the popular lubricant.
The substantial lift in brand awareness, brand quality, and purchase consideration scores for both manufacturers and retailers [when their brand appears in the search results] suggests brand owners should seriously consider search as valuable medium.
Online search was ‘invented’ to help users find information in a sea of web pages. From a Marketer’s perspective, it was invented to drive traffic to online web properties, and for those with conversion events, to be a driver of conversions. Indeed, the vast majority of research, and thought leadership over the years has centered around validating these core purposes.
Search’s core purposes are not likely to change any time soon, but today, we are publishing new research we think will introduce a significant complementary use for search and give Marketers pause when it comes to their branding strategies.
The Search Engine Results as a Brand Development Vehicle
In thinking about how consumers use the search results—billions of eyeballs reviewing billions of search results pages every month–we hypothesized that exposure to a brand in the natural search listings influences consumer perception of the brand. We designed experimentation to test the theory and measured:
• Brand Awareness
• Perception of Brand Quality
• Purchase Consideration
for a consumer brand appearing in the search results. Each user segment was shown distinct search results with the brand appearing in different positions in the search results. One segment was shown search results with no brand, making brand lift measurable. We found:
- Most Significant Brand Lift Occurs When Brand Appears Above the Fold and in Universal Search Results: The most significant lift to the brand — up to 30% over the baseline — was observed when the brand appeared both above the fold in natural search results and in universal search results (digital assets).
- Brand Appearing Above the Fold Produces Stronger Lift Than Below: When the brand appeared above the fold of the search results, lift across all brand measurements was stronger (10%-30%) than when it appeared below.
- Intent to Purchase at Retailer Increases When Brand Appears on Page 1 of the Search Results:When a retailer appeared in the search results, respondents’ intent to purchase at the retailer was increased by 20% when above the fold and 10% when below, compared to when it did not appear in the search results.
A New Brand Development Paradigm for Marketers
Although Marketers have traditionally thought of Search strictly as a medium to drive traffic and sales to online web properties while turning to alternative channels for brand development, Conductor’s research suggests this long-standing paradigm may now be turned on its head. The substantial lift in brand awareness, brand quality, and purchase consideration scores for both manufacturers and retailers when their brand appears in the search results suggests brand owners should seriously consider search as valuable medium.
Download the “Branding Value of Page 1” study to read more.