Your company’s brand recognition has never been more important. With just a few clicks, today’s buyers see more suppliers than they’ve ever been able to before. When they come across your brand, you need them to recognise it and pay attention. Today and tomorrow I’ll look at how Google’s AdWords advertising network can help you when it comes to reinforcing your brand to people who already know you.
Firstly, let’s look at the Google results for your company name. I cannot stress how important this is. When somebody wants to know about your company or its products, the vast majority will do the same thing: type your name into Google. Sure, all they’re doing is using Google as a quick staging post to get to your website, but what they see on the way is critical to their perception of the organisation.
There are two things you don’t want to see. The first is a rather weak entry in the search results, where your company is top of the page, but just with a standard three-line entry. That doesn’t look great. Nor does it impress anyone to see the company’s Google result pushed way down the page by a bunch of distributors taking out adverts above the company name. Here’s an example of one company, SMC Pneumatics, suffering on both counts:
Compare this to the result which customers see when they look up another company, Renishaw:
By concentrating on a single website and doing a lot of things right over the years, Renishaw has developed such a strong brand in Google’s eyes that it’s been “rewarded” with all those nice “sitelinks” beneath its standard result, and even its own search box! There are no ads at the top of the page either. This may be because nobody is advertising against the search “renishaw”, but equally likely Google is just choosing not to show any ads because if it does, few people (if any) actually click on them. Meanwhile, SMC Pneumatics has failed to establish its UK site as the go-to site for the company, in Google’s eyes, and doesn’t get the “sitelinks”. Google is also more than happy to allow distributors to advertise above the company’s result.
If you’re in a similar position to Renishaw, congratulations, although you’re always open to the possibility that someone will step in and slap an advert above your result, so be careful. When this happens, the best form of defence is attack. Set up a Google AdWords advert against your own company name – you’ll almost certainly be able to get it to the top of the page. You can even use the advert to promote a specific current campaign, as Rockwell Automation has done in this example:
In this case, Rockwell Automation has an impressive “natural” search result, the problem being that it had been pushed down the page by the advertisements. However, you don’t need to have adverts above your company name to take advantage of a relatively modest investment in advertising against your own company name. In this final example, Dugard has overcome not having a particularly impressive “natural” search result (no “sitelinks” or anything like Renishaw above), by placing its own advert with “sitelinks” it gets to choose itself. The result? Really strong branding on easily the most important page on the web outside the company’s own website.