Posted by Steve Durisin, Account Manager
Recent industry press has questioned the cost efficiency of Google Ad SiteLinks. While these articles are quick to point out conversion improvements, there seems to be some apprehension.
The debate centers on whether marketers should even be paying for clicks to their brand names. Detractors are quick to point out high organic positioning and customer reacquisition as justification for discounting SiteLinks’ value. And there are a number of reasons why they are wrong.
A while back I wrote a blog post that discussed why our clients see deep value in deep linking. And it’s not just because they see increased conversion rates (and they do). But let’s talk a bit about brand engagement.
There’s always a cost, opportunity or monetary, when a customer (new or not) engages your brand. So we can argue it’s more about how you engage with that customer that really matters.
By using Ad SiteLinks to reach deeper into your site, you’re providing your customer with a better and potentially more valuable experience. For instance, advertisers can support product launches with a speed to market greater than with SEO efforts. The same strategic approach to SiteLinks can be used to support pages or products that have difficulty achieving organic positioning.
SiteLinks also provide an opportunity to support other channels in an organization. A common application for retailers is featuring the Store Locator, thereby assisting offline sales. The same approach could be used to support vendors, and potentially offset increased click charges through co-op funding.
As others have mentioned, we’ve found that Ad SiteLinks also give clients an effective tool to gain online share from competitors or resellers. When thinking about SERP real estate, advertisers need to jump on the chance to take land from competitors, or they’ll find themselves at a disadvantage.
A challenge OEMs often face is aggressive reseller pressure in the search ad space. In these cases, the competition tends to be heavy on so called “brand + generic” terms and an incremental lift in clicks, at the expense of others, is welcome.
In the end, it takes money to make money. And if you can improve performance against your goals for a slight increase in cost, you should.