Is the number of search engine queries for a specific brand name, or branded keywords, such as iPad considered a good indicator for sales forecast on iPad units? Research shows that it is far more involved and complicated than this assumption.
The paper, “Brand Attitudes and Search Engine Queries,” which appears in a 2017 issue of the Journal of Interactive Marketing, poses the following findings that online marketers can leverage by using Google Trends. The free application shows the frequency with which people search online for numerous famous brand names. This information can help digital marketers understand sudden jumps in search engine queries for branded keywords they are monitoring online.
Two types of users generate online search queries for a brand name in question: active shoppers and people who already own the particular product. To accurately interpret the latter, you should know that the more owners there are of a certain brand, the higher the total search volume for that brand. This fact, however, has nothing to do with the general attitude consumers have toward the brand. Among active shoppers doing online search queries, their main tendency is to find any brand name under the category of the product they are interested in buying.
The search query volume for smartphone brand names is another issue entirely. Research indicates that a positive attitude toward the smartphone brand is the primary driver for a consumer searching for that particular brand. A positive attitude, as it relates to brand name search queries, involves these five attributes: intent to buy, purchase consideration, brand recognition, brand recall, and familiarity with the brand. Therefore, in the smartphone category alone, the frequency of online search queries for brand names can be a reliable indicator for predicting sales in any particular smartphone brand.
Some product categories generate more search engine queries before consumers decide on buying (or not buying) the product, including appliances, cars, financial services, furniture, and smartphones. Additionally, some familiar brand names (like Coca-Cola) that enjoy consistently high sales volume do not turn up a significant number of search engine queries.
Search data, which is freely available via Google Trends, is incredibly helpful in keeping an eye on the health and general marketability of a brand. Nothing replaces commissioned surveys in effectively tracking the health of a brand. However, conducting those polls may be cost-prohibitive to some business owners, as can getting enough respondents to answer them. However, passive methods of gathering information, such as interpreting analytics and brand search data, can be increasingly useful when trying to understand consumer behavior and won’t cost a ton. I continually sign-up to receive Google Alerts on a host of branded and unbranded keywords to maintain an up-to-date view of keyword trends and recent mentions. It’s free, so why not?