Search Ecosystem

Powering Performance in a Search Ecosystem Dominated by Brand Keywords

In 2017, an InsureTech company entered the Indian market to serve its orthodox & cautious insurance consumer. This hesitation in users to accept a new player led to a 14 month delay in brand keywords playing a role.

Similarly, in 2010, a revolutionary stock broking company took birth and wanted to change the investor mindset from being risk-averse to calculative. When that did not materialize, the brand keyword growth became gradual.

In both these cases, the brands took the longer but assured growth route and decided to educate the user about these products. The result, a huge user base that did not come for the brand but stayed for it.

Here are our Top 3 learnings from them that could help you tackle this and build your foundation while brand comes into action –

Mastering the Art of Building Deeper Connections through Audience Intent and Attributes

Intent has been a key lever in all marketing campaigns, including Search for a while now. Speaking to oneā€™s intent by identifying what search queries define them is proven to give results. However, the audience searching is ever evolving, and their keywords are changing faster. Google says that 15% of its overall searches everyday are keywords that they have never seen before.

Intent on its own might not be enough to address this audience the right way but combining that with Audience Attributes defining their online behavior gives the right flavor mix to our content. Letā€™s take an example of a user who searches for the keyword ā€˜travel insuranceā€™. We would typically target this user in the ā€˜considerationā€™ intent for someone who needs to be educated of its requirement and benefits.

But my audience attributes point towards the follow 3 answers –

  1. Who They are – Early 20s, Living alone & owns a car
  2. What They Care About – Quick Closure
  3. What They Buy – apparel, travel bookings & food

A standard, informative sell will not work. Rather my content needs to address a Frequent Leisure Traveler who will spend to travel, plan from Day 0 & prefers convenience over longer processing time.

With these calibrations in place, a brand stands a much better chance to build a stronger affinity with its audience despite of no familiarity to them in the first place.

The Power of Personalization in Content Strategy

If you plan to use content as a medium to connect with your audience, then this solution is specifically for you. Long gone are the days when one could assume a certain trending period and address it with the most popular topic to engage their audience.

We have entered the world of a ā€˜Fingerprint Userā€™ and no one user is identical to the other (while they may ā€œlookalikeā€). Respecting this fingerprint like unique behavior and personalizing experience accordingly is critical.

Let me address this with an example – For the hottest travel period of the year to a certain destination, creating standard itineraries which usually sell the most may not be the best way to attract the ā€˜fingerprint travelerā€™. Personalizing their experience basis some inputs from them or their behavior will help not only curate a custom journey but also scale up the number of content rich pages you have on your site to win on organic search.

Power of Personalization in Content Strategy

Actively measuring the impact of personalization will help not only scale up the opportunity to attract more customers but also sharpen your experience to address the most ā€˜fingerprint userā€™ on the site.

Adopting a One Search Philosophy with Organic & Paid Integration

A footprint on Search is never lost and can always be traced back to its owner. This is critical to any growth strategy, but specifically for organizations still finding their brand footing. Capturing the right intent from a relevant audience segment & personalizing their journey will ensure a great experience, however, need not necessarily create a lasting effect.

Leveraging, the true power of One Search by activating touchpoints from Google Ads for audience sets that have shown promise by actively consuming the personalized experiences created.

Optimized Targeting for the most consumed personalized landing pages, will help expand to ā€˜fingerprint usersā€™ with similar interests and thus create a strong brand recall and healthy conversion funnel.

Audience Insights by Google will also help you further understand the characteristics, interests & behavior of the ā€˜fingerprint userā€™ groups that view your ads via ā€˜Optimized targetingā€™. This input can be fed back into the Intent + Audience attribute content strategy to ensure we are creating sharper content each time we go about it

To summarize, an organization will always fall back on its brand to deliver for its growth. This is evident on Search too where Branded Keywords play a major role in driving the growth. However, until the brand does not kick-in and even once it does, being your audienceā€™s choice of destination when they seek a solution, is a sure shot formula to winning in the long run. Be it information, service, product or just engagement, the 3 learnings have always come to the rescue of brands who have been brave enough to embody them.


Gaurav Jhala (Associate Vice President – Performance Marketing Solutions)

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