Google and Ipsos MediaCT have recently released the results of their new meta-study on how effective search ads can increase brand awareness. The conclusion, was that search ads increased both top-of-mind and unaided awareness; however, search ads are not the only digital marketing techniques to consider when trying to get your brand recognised, with others such as SEO and PR equally important.
Relevance reviews Google’s and Ipsos MediaCT’s study on search ads; and explains other techniques which also increase brand awareness.
Google Adwords can be a powerful tool as seen in the meta-study results, but it can also be very risky. Contrary to ranking in Google’s organic search, with search ads, there is a fee to pay. Depending on which keywords you would like to match for, PPC campaigns can get very expensive, especially if you do not receive any conversions. It is important to track how successful your ads are doing over time. Even though you might have a very high Click Through Rate (CTR), you might not necessarily have a high conversion rate, indicating that the keywords that you matched for are not relevant to the content on your site.
If your campaign seems to be weak, it is a good idea to look back and make your keyword searches more specific by using ‘exact matches’, ‘phrase matches’ and ‘broad match modifiers.’ You can also avoid unrelated searches by adding ‘negative keywords’. If negative keywords are typed in the search box, your search ad will not appear when that word is typed. Search ads are positioned above and around Google’s organic search results which is highly beneficial, as they are the first items displayed on the page, hence it is likely that searchers will become more aware of the brand. However, not everyone may view search ads, as ad blockers block them, hence limiting your audience. Due to limitations in reaching a larger audience with search ads, it would be favourable to complement them with other SEO, SEM and PR techniques.
SEO work is important when trying to increase brand awareness, as without it, your company will not rank in organic search results. Optimisation of your website may not always be easy due to Google’s Algorithm being updated constantly; however, there are a few techniques that seem to be working for the minute.
It is important to make sure the keywords you are trying to rank for are relevant to your site; the more relevant your content is, the more likely you will rank higher in search results.
It is essential to build good quality links. By linking with accredited and trusted websites, Google is not likely to penalise. The more trusted sites are most likely to be the ones that are visited most often, hence expanding your audience.
Links do not necessarily have to be created digitally; they can be made offline as well. By inviting the press and other companies to events, you are creating an experience. This experience will be reflected in articles and blogs, so it is important that your event is well-organised and professional, in order to create a good reputation for the company. We all know that bad news travels fast.
It is clear that brand awareness may be increased with search ads, but it is definitely not the only technique. As Search Ads are not always accessible to everyone due to ad blockers, it would be beneficial to try climbing organic search rankings by using SEO, SEM and PR techniques at the same time. According to Moz, if your website appears in both Search Ads and organic results the CTR will increase compared to just showing up in Ads, proving that increasing rankings in both Search Ads and Organic search results creates stronger brand awareness.