Strong brands that operate online businesses are likely to see a high volume of sales from branded keywords since these searches are performed by users who are already aware of the brand and, likely, the brand’s specific product they are interested in. However, there is enormous opportunity in non-branded traffic – searchers looking for a specific product, but not necessarily a specific brand. The behaviors of branded & non-branded searchers are very different. As such they should be reported on differently, marketed to differently and, arguably, provided with unique experiences on your website. A recent client experience I had will help to illustrate just one example of these differences and provide some ideas for how you can make sure your website provides the best possible experience for visitors already acquainted with your brand and also for brand newbies.
I was reviewing PPC and web analytics data for an Ecommerce client of ours. The client has a strong brand and high volume of sales from branded keyword searches. I wanted to see what we could do drive more dollars from non-branded searchers, as this is one of our long term goals.
Using the Ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics and some advanced segments, I was able to separate PPC traffic that came to the the site via branded keywords versus non-branded keywords. By looking at the Ecommerce report, I was intrigued to see that the non-branded PPC traffic actually converted BETTER than many other referral sources. Though about a percentage point lower than branded, the non-branded conversion rate was nothing to be mad about. With a conversion rate that already looks good, what else can we impact to drive more dollars from non-branded searches?
Looking at additional data points, I discovered that the average order value (AOV) for non-branded visitors was about 40% lower than branded. Ah ha! Non-branded searchers were spending SIGNIFICANTLY less money per visit. A few possible reasons that I felt were most likely the cause of this: 1) They don’t know the brand well enough to commit to a larger purchase. 2) It’s an impulse purchase so they’re not prepared to spend as much. 3) As a newbie to the brand, perhaps they aren’t aware of all of the offerings if they became distracted by a low cost item early on.
Looking now at the landing pages used for many high volume non-branded terms, I realized that the mix of products were indeed lower cost items. So this page converts well and the products are a great introduction to the brand, but the page isn’t doing anything to up our AOV. The simple solution: create a new landing page that mixes products of more varied price points. By testing such a landing page, we may be able to up the AOV by ensuring that non-branded visitors are more aware of our higher price point items and potentially upsell them and get more products in the cart.
We’re working through the development of this landing page, so stay tuned for an update with results that will *fingers crossed* include higher average order value from our non-branded search terms.
This is just one way that you can use segmented branded and non-branded search term data to maximize performance of your PPC campaigns.