This new feature from Google reinforces my belief that businesses should focus more on optimising for brand and less on optimising for broad keywords.
Here’s what Google says:
"Sometimes when searching for product information on Google, you may not know some of the brand names relevant to your particular search. For example, if you’re taking on a new river-rafting hobby, it’s quite likely you don’t have a clue about kayak manufacturers just yet. So, we wanted to make it easier for you to find the brands other people consider useful for popular product searches. So this week we launched a search refinement that calls out brand names related to your query in a single line above the rest of the results. Determined algorithmically, these highlighted brand names may help you find what you’re looking for faster, and make your research and shopping experience all the more enjoyable."
Let’s take a look
Here’s an example using the search phrase: digital camera
So why does this make a difference to my business?
Whilst the brand refinement feature is currently not available on Google.co.uk, it will only be a matter of time before it’s rolled-out over here.
Once your brand has an association with your products it will help potential customers, who are familiar with your brand, find your site*. More importantly, it could help potential customers who are unfamiliar with your brand associate it with the products they’re searching for.
*You would have to optimise your site for composite brand + product type searches.
For example, let’s take a look at Google’s search results if we imagine someone were looking to buy some good quality wine glasses (who’s unfamiliar with the associated brands). The below results shows Google’s results for the term: crystal wine glasses
Firstly, Google has returned 21,900,000 results (couldn’t fit this in the graphic). Secondly, you can see that Google has listed some associated brands at the top of the results, such as Waterford, to help us refine our search.
As you can see the top two results are very generic and are more likely to cause the potential customer more work by clicking though lots or pages in the hope of finding something they’re looking for.
An analogy would be to like someone rooting through a basket full of shirts (bargain bins) in the hope of finding one you like, which fits. Opposed to browsing through a neatly displayed rail of shirts.
Let’s now take a look at what Google finds if we refine the search phrase by adding a brand name: Waterford crystal wine glasses
Firstly, Google has returned 199,000 results. Secondly, the results are much cleaner, relevant and more focused – which is much less likely to result in a page-bounce and should significantly increase your conversion rate.
So my advice would be to focus more on your brand awareness than broad key words. Or if you are selling well known brands, spend less effort on broad, product-type key phrases and focus some of your search strategy around composite brands + product type.
So, hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the brand suggestions on google.co.uk.