According to a new report from Uberall Inc., a provider of brand optimization and reputation services, Google data reflects that 90% of buyers typically don’t have a brand in mind when they begin their online research. When buyers first search for a product or service, they search for generic phrases — such as “ABM solutions” or “lead generation tools.” This is why companies can no longer rely on brand recognition to drive sales. While not all industries are the same, B2B companies must leverage unbranded search activity to develop local visibility and growth strategies.
To better understand the relationship and frequency of branded and unbranded search, Uberall looked at 22 global brands, with 48,000 locations and more than 450,000 SMBs between August 2018 and August 2019, to develop two reports that examine branded and unbranded search trends.
The research found that branded search rates vary considerably by industry. For example, 88% of searches in the B2B segment were unbranded, meaning buyers were higher in the funnel and potentially more open to discovery and persuasion.
Additional insights in the report include:
- Branded search increased by 136%, while unbranded searches grew significantly by 75% over the course of the study;
- The percentage of unbranded search in the SMB market is roughly 81%, compared with 19% of queries that include branded terms;
- Brands are better able to satisfy general searches higher up in the funnel and are more likely to drive branded queries in later sessions; and
- 58% of consumers said they discover global brands more often through unbranded queries (58%), versus branded searches (42%); and
“It’s critical to understand how potential customers are discovering your business and locations — or your competitors,” said Brad Fagan, Senior Content Strategist and author of the report, in a statement. “The more branded queries the better, but most consumers are searching without a specific name in mind, which translates into a battle for visibility; and that’s even more true among SMBs, where awareness is much lower.”