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BizReport : Search Marketing : May 20, 2020

Study: Searches going brand-less

While consumers have increased the amount of time they are spending online in recent weeks, they haven't changed other digital habits. Case in point: how they search. According to Google most consumers begin digital searches for products or travel purposes without brand names in mind; during the COVID crisis, people continue to search without a destination (or brand) in mind.

by Kristina Knight

Search continues to be an integral part of consumers' lives, but it's time brands realized that people aren't searching with them in mind. That is a key takeaway from new Uberall data which finds that many brands may need to optimize, or reoptimize, their sites for both branded and unbranded search terms. This means ranking terms, for a destination like Disney World, with branded terms but also their generic counterparts like 'family fun park' or 'family destination'.

According to Uberall's research branded search queries have increased more than 100% during the pandemic but unbranded searches are up nearly as much (75% increase). And breaking the numbers down by vertical, branded searches are highest in Travel categories (62%) but lowest in B2B categories (12%). This means, for B2B brands, unbranded keyword optimization is more important than branded keywords.

"If you're Bank of America, for example, you need to rank for your own terms but also for searches like 'best 0% APR credit cards' or 'lowest mortgage rates,'" said Greg Sterling, VP of Insights, Uberall. "Brands often assume people seek them out directly, but failure to address unbranded searches means they could be missing out on a lot of potential exposure. Having a clear understanding of consumer search behavior is essential in optimizing your digital marketing. And in a time of budget constraints, that's more critical than ever."  

"It's critical to understand how potential customers are discovering your business and locations -- or your competitors," said Brad Fagan, Senior Content Strategist and author of the report. "The more branded queries the better, but most consumers are searching without a specific name in mind, which translates into a battle for visibility; and that's even more true among SMBs, where awareness is much lower." 

More data from the Uberall report can be accessed here. Data from Uberall's report that is specific to small businesses can be accesses here.

Tags: branded search, search marketing, search marketing trends, Uberall, unbranded search trends

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