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Above-the-Fold Placement on SERPs Drives Brand Value

July 27, 2012

The relative position of a brand on an organic search engine results page (SERP) appears to influence key brand measures among target consumers, such as brand awareness, brand quality, and purchase consideration, according to new research by Conductor.

The findings are based on a controlled study using an established brand (Frigidaire) in an established manufacturing category (refrigerators) as the test case.

Consumers were directed to an internal search page and then asked to enter the keyword "buy refrigerator." Users were presented with customized search results (including refrigerator manufacturers and retailers) modeled after the Google SERP for the keyword phrase, and were then asked to respond to a series of questions related to brand value. The only modification made was to insert target brand(s) in the results. 

Overall, appearing in the search results above the fold (i.e., within the part of the page that appears without scrolling) generated a 10-30% lift the manufacturer brand over the baseline score (in which the brand didn't appear in the results). However, the most significant lift to the brand—up to 30% over the baseline—was observed when the brand appeared both above the fold in natural search results and in universal search results or digital assets.

In addition, when the brand appeared in paid search (PPC) together with natural search results above the fold, brand awareness scores increased 20% above the baseline, and 10% when appearing only in natural search.

However, the addition of the brand appearing in PPC together with natural search listings didn't provide any lift to brand quality and purchase consideration scores.

Below, additional findings from Conductor's study titled "The Branding Value of Search's Page One."

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  • by Rishi Fri Jul 27, 2012 via web

    We recently did a study with Walmart that shows similar results - that top result PPC ads drive brand affinity and in-store purchase intent. Although our study focused more on how paid search advertising (PPC) enhanced a company's brand lift, I would highly recommend checking it out:

    Brand Lift of Paid Search (featuring Walmart):

  • by Nick Stamoulis Mon Jul 30, 2012 via web

    "the most significant lift to the brand...was observed when the brand appeared both above the fold in natural search results and in universal search results or digital assets."

    That's not too surprising. When a brand can create multiple touch points in the SERPs with an organic listing, video, social profiles and more there is bound to be an uptick in awareness.

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