Branded Search, SEO & Paid: Are Both Worth the Investment for Your SMB?

Deciding whether to pay for a branded search service, either through a PPC (pay-per-click) program or branded SEO (search engine optimization) company, is an important decision you’ll want to make in relation to your advertising plan. SMB (small and medium-sized business) owners like you have to consider the differences between the two services as well as the expected results of using them. Then you can decide whether one or both methods are right for your company.

The Difference Between Branded Searches and Non-Branded Searches

Branded searches are when visitors find your site by directly searching for your company by name. Usually, these potential customers have heard about your company and are looking to do business with you. Non-branded searches are based on keywords that drive visitors to your site. For example, if you run a florist shop in Minneapolis, some non-branded searches might be "floral shops in Minneapolis" or "flower delivery in the Twin Cities." Such searches do not yield as high of a success rate of making a sale as a branded search would, because the people searching are only in the preliminary stages of the buying process. They may end up purchasing from someone else. After learning more about using branded SEO or paid search methods, QuickBooks can assist with a cost/benefit analysis to determine how both would benefit your company.

Branded Searches with SEO

A branded search using SEO can reap long-term benefits for your company. Organic results in search engines tend to receive more authentic hits than PPC searches do. The problem is it can take a while to get your company to the top of the list. Hiring a reputable SEO company that understands the complex system that larger search engines like Google use to determine the top search engine results may be beneficial for your business. The investment means your business will appear before the your competitors’ Web sites, giving you the first chance to impress potential customers.

Paying for Branded Searches

PPC ads will draw additional visitors to your site, and this can result in sales. However, these ads can get expensive. Tracking software is essential here. If you are outsourcing your ad writing, see if the company you're working with for this also offers analytics. This way you can determine which ads result in customer relationships and which only give you more page views. Then you can tailor the type of ads that make your branded search words stand out from others. Determine the marketing tactics that work best for your target group, and use words that make your target trust your business above others in the same industry.

Both branded PPC ads and organic searches are worth investing in for your company. PPC ads will still get your name in front of potential customers, and this is very important, especially if you’re just beginning a small or medium-sized business. The organic branded search results through SEO are imperative for building relationships with patrons who are specifically looking for top-ranking companies from which to purchase products or services.

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