Search Marketing: Do As I Say Not As I Do
By Martin Kelly, Search Engine Room
LISTEN to the digital marketing experts and they’ll all tell you that one of the basic rules of paid search is to bid on brand names, including your own. Yet much of the industry does not follow this conventional wisdom.
This issue has been bugging me for some time and came to a head today after seeing a story on a (non-search) company called Digital Loop which had just gone to the press with a new product.
But you reckon I could find the company’s website by typing ‘Digital Loop’ into Google? Not a chance – and there wasn’t a paid Google ad to cater for this organic black hole.
So this prompted me to revisit and update some ad hoc research I’d done in the past, which was typing in the brand names of many leading search marketing agencies to see if they were bidding on their brand.
The answer is many are not, including a couple of self-proclaimed gurus, one of whom actually has a site featuring a cheesy image and ‘xyz, online marketing guru’ written underneath – these words come before his real job title. Maybe he should set up atop a mountain in India or Nepal.
Anyway, a few of these non-bid brands dominate the organic results for their name, so you can understand their approach, but lots of the others are largely invisible - it's their choice but doesn't necessarily look good..
Companies who are bidding on their brand include the likes of 24/7 Real Media, Cogentis, First Click Search, Amplify, Direct Clicks, Hitwise, Trellian, Downstream Online, Google and Yahoo Search Marketing (but not Yahoo!7).
Interestingly, at least one of these companies has a clear strategy to capitalise on the laziness of certain rivals by bidding on their brand names, some of whom are ranking poorly in the organic results.
This also suggests that many search companies are not monitoring their online presence – or that of their rivals, a naïve approach.
As indicated above, the exercise also revealed that plenty of search companies are not even ranking in the top few organic slots for their brand name.
A fairly typical example is of vocal international outfit that’s getting outranked on the common abbreviation of its name - which the vast majority of people would use - in the organic results by a transport company with a similar name.
First, you’d have to say this is a bit embarrassing for the search company, which should be flexing its SEO muscles to demonstrate inherent expertise – but stuff happens, right, and there’s an easy solution - bid on brand.
But they haven't - yet this company frequently and loudly claims market leadership.
But, hey, they are not alone. In search engine marketing, it’s really a case of buyer beware. The good news, of course, is that search is a completely transparent industry.
Anyone looking for an agency should be going straight to Google or Yahoo! to determine if the sales pitch is fact or fiction.
Search Engine Room, June 26, 2007
Australia's first Group Buying Summit was staged in Sydney on May 7, 2012. It was a good day with 135 delegates and lots great presentations. Speakers included:
Search Engine Room, Australia's original search event, is returning to Sydney in mid November, 2012.
Please subscribe to newsletter for event updates and if you have any queries, contact Martin Kelly.
Meanwhile, check out images from the last Search Engine Room below.