Press Releases

New Research from Conductor Shows Millions of Dollars in Brand Value Lost When Brands Fall Below the Fold in Search Engine Results

July 24, 2012

Conductor, the leader in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology, today announced the results of a new research study examining the link between where a brand appears in organic search results and its impact on brand awareness and purchase considerations of target consumers. Findings show the most significant lift occurs when brands appear above the fold and in universal search results. The study also found that intent to purchase from retailers is much higher when brands appear on page one of the search engine result pages (SERPs). The research findings point to the emergence of a new branding paradigm that permanently disrupts the way marketers approach brand development by putting search on par with traditional channels including television, print media and banner ads.

To date, search engine results and search marketing best practices have largely focused on driving web traffic and capturing clicks. While much research has been devoted to demonstrating and measuring the strong correlation between organic search, traffic and conversion benefits, the branding potential and consumer influence of appearing in search results has largely been ignored. With this research, Conductor sought to measure how exposure to a brand in the natural search listings influences consumer perception of the brand. The study measured three distinct categories: brand awareness, perception of brand quality, and purchase consideration using an established brand in an established manufacturing category, Frigidaire and refrigerators as the test case.

Key findings from Conductor’s The Branding Value of Search’s Page One research report follow:

  • Most significant brand lift occurs when a brand appears above the fold and in universal search results. The most significant lift to the brand — up to 30 percent over the baseline – was observed when the brand appeared both above the fold in natural search results and in universal search results or digital assets.
  • A 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 – up to 30 percent stronger than when it appeared below.
  • Intent to purchase at retailer increases when the brand appears on page one of the search results. When a retailer appeared in the search results, respondents’ intent to purchase at the retailer was increased by 20 percent when above the fold and 10 percent when below, compared to when it did not appear in the search results.

“The study suggests that millions of eyeballs in online search go untapped by marketers in their efforts to build brand awareness that helps drive sales and the overall success of the business – it’s a huge, lost opportunity and wake‐up call for marketers who want to build a powerful presence on and offline,” said Nathan Safran, Director of Research at Conductor and the author of The Branding Value of Search’s Page One. “Brand owners need to rethink their approach to brand development and seriously consider search as a valuable medium for reaching their branding and business goals.”

Marketers that want to be bold and ensure their brand always remains above the fold should consider enterprise‐class SEO technology solutions. SEO platform technologies like Conductor Searchlight™ give marketers and brand owners complete control over every piece of the natural search process. No longer do search marketers struggle with the lack of transparency, insufficient resources or an inability to understand what is going on. With one simple interface, Conductor Searchlight gives digital marketers the ability to effectively stay ahead of the thousands of data points that affect their company’s search ranking.

View the complete report, The Branding Value of Search’s Page One and methodology used, here.