Bidding on branded search queries on Google Shopping can help you get your products in front of the most relevant shoppers. Search Engine Land stated that consumers who used branded terms in their searches are further down the intent funnel.

This means these users are likely the most profitable to target, since they know exactly what they want and, maybe more importantly, who they want to buy it from.

We helped our client leverage their search term data, equipped with our Targeted Search Term (TST) technology to investigate the effectiveness of using branded search queries and how well they perform.

Branded vs. non-branded

Before jumping into the data, let’s quickly run through the differences between branded and non-branded search queries.

Branded search queries are any keywords that include the brand names of products your company deals with. This would apply to things like ‘Nike’ or ‘Nike trainers’, for stockists of these products. Shoppers searching for these terms are generally expressing a preference or intent for making a purchase, meaning it would be great to get your products in front of them on the Shopping carousel.

Let's be crystal clear: in this article, "branded search queries" refers to the brands a multi-branded retailer stocks, and not the brand name of the retailer. Fancy an example?

If ASOS sells trainers using Google Shopping, the branded search queries might contain 'Nike' or 'New Balance' but not 'ASOS'.

Non-branded queries forgo the brand name of the product, and would instead look something like ‘black trainers size 9’. Descriptive terms like size, colour and product type are classed as non-branded and are a good option for smaller businesses with less presence.

The data

So, what did we find out about branded search terms through our data analysis?

First, we looked at how bidding on branded terms affected ROAS and CPC. We found that after a fairly significant drop where underspending occurs, ROAS remained stable for branded search terms. This information suggests that you can increase CPC with little effect on ROAS, allowing you to increase impressions and click shares without sacrificing profitability. 

As you can see below, we found a linear relationship between impressions and revenue when it came to bidding on branded search terms. This data suggests that at higher impression shares we can generate more revenue without being less profitable.

From this we took a look at the comparison between impressions/click shares with CPC, and how this compared with the absolute top impression share. Our data shows that, for branded terms, we can get consistent increases in click share and impression share with increased CPC - we see here a 40% increase in click share from £0.15 to £0.40

Generally, it isn’t possible to get this level of data insight related to impressions/clicks and top impression share on a search term level. Luckily, the unique way in which Bidnamic’s technology works means we’re able to extract that data granularity. 

This final graph shows how click share increases with CPC. This indicates that higher click shares can be achieved at higher CPCs, allowing our technology to capture more traffic. The graph below also shows the ‘S’ curve, which links to our technology platform finding the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to bids: you can see a rapid increase in click share with CPC at the centre, and it plateauing on either side.

Together, the data we’ve gathered suggests that using our TST campaigns at high CPC can capture incredibly relevant and well-performing traffic when it comes to branded search terms. It also shows that we maintain a similar ROAS to if we were spending less, resulting in higher overall revenue.

Bidding on both branded and non-branded search terms as best practice

While branded terms, according to our investigation, can bring great results, bidding with and without the brand term for a product is a great strategy. Splitting your campaigns to bid separately for both branded and non-branded searches can be a very worthwhile venture. Keeping them separate will allow you to set realistic expectations for both, too.

Bidding for both types of search terms in tandem will allow you to capture the attention of shoppers further down the intent funnel (branded), as well as gain visibility to those with lower intent (unbranded), which should boost your brand awareness. 

If you want to know more about Google Shopping and how we can help you get the most out of the channel, book a free consultation with one of our experts today.

Dr Ingvar Kraatz

Dr Ingvar Kraatz

Ingvar is the COO and Co-Founder of Bidnamic. He has set up several ecommerce ventures which led to the creation of Bidnamic.