Brand Keywords Create Your Long-term Sustainable Profit Margin

The Microsoft AdCenter blog posted that 35% of top search queries are brand related:

Approximately 35% of the top searches in the UK, USA and France are brand related, which gives you an idea just how brand focused our Live Search users are. If your brand is strong (and strong brands come in all shapes and sizes) include it in at least in one of your ad titles and try to get it in the descriptions too! We have often seen click through rates (CTRs) increase when brand names have been included effectively.

Brands are like attention...if your brand is healthy you have an endless number of streams of profit waiting to be unlocked. And brand keywords are easy to own because of the resonance.

  • if others outrank you for your own brand then your public relations stinks or you have major SEO issues
  • if others out monetize you for your own brand then your business model needs improved

Investing brand related profits into awareness related marketing helps reinforce your market position. Even if the ad return is at a break even point it still helps you by building additional attention that leads to additional citations.

Published: September 18, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


September 20, 2007 - 5:39am

While everything you say about the importance of brand is true, brand searches frequently come at the end of the decision cycle, after the broad and long tail traffic has converted interest into intent and intent into a buyer.

Don't make the mistake of attributing the ROI to the brand campaign just because it is your last touch!

September 20, 2007 - 2:13pm

Hi Jonah
True. I guess the thing I was trying to emphasize is that if you build a brand your margins increase and those brand related profits do not move as easily toward the aggregators as non brand profit does.

September 20, 2007 - 4:23pm


No argument from me about the value of brand aware/loyal customers. On the contrary, I generally recommend that clients do more to identify brand aware visitors and especially repeat customers so they can feel personally vested in a site.

I would go one step further and suggest that an increase in the number of brand related searches is frequently a good measurement for overall success of a companies marketing efforts.

I just want to caution against the campaign manager (or their boss) who looks at the percent of conversions that are attributed to brand search (say 40%), look at the ROI for the rest of the campaign and then decide that only brand terms are worth keeping in the PPC campaign.

September 21, 2007 - 3:18am

Yeah. That is why I look at brand profits as a source of profit to reinvest into awareness activities.

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