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Just a small rant about the statements in this article: [clickz.com...]
Anyone want to calm me down before I fly off the handle?
PPC was the greatest thing for my business in the earliest days, and our brand started etching itself into the shoppers world. In that article I believe (sort of just scanned it) she stated that plain text was not a visual branding. I suppose that people don't recognize Amazon and Yahoo in plain text then.
Amazon, no I don't, in fact I really don't like their logo, but still shop there. " Yahoo! " on the other hand yes, but it was after the name had been "Branded" in a pure text and verbal format.
If I can get a customer to say my companies name to a friend, or email a link, then I feel that is great.
I don't think search engine text links achieve this, at least not in the same way.
Is there a "branding" effect? To some extent but it is different from traditional branding IMHO. If online branding is in part measured by the number of direct referrals to a site, then there is definitely a branding effect. I don't think search engine listings achieve this on thier own. They happen to be there when someone is looking and if the visitor clicks on the listing and has a positive experience, then there is a positive "brand experience" or association. Do people ever visit or even remeber sites they saw in search engine listings but didn't click on? Doubt that it happens much, but if a banner campaing like that "punch the monkey" one that ran forever or the X-10 popup campaign is mentioned, people will tend to remember those even if they never clicked on or had any interaction with the site or products those campaign promoted.
I highly doubt that people many people have much "brand recall" if they see search engine listings but don't click on them, even repeatedly. Good banner creative or some kind of rich media thing does increase brand awareness, especially those $$ 250k/shot Shoshkeles that used to run on the front page of YAHOO!
Writing a column sponsored by Gator. eeeeWWWWWWWWWWWW! I'd have to take a nice long shower after Gator "branded" each one of my works.
I thik PPC is like word of mouth. If you are in enough places where they are looking for a certain service or product, they will start to associate you with that. If a person sees (text) or hears about something enough times, it will stick, even if there isn't a logo to go with it. The logo only helps it stick faster.
PPC allows advertisers to get in front of searchers at the precise moment they're searching for information about advertisers' services.
It's not a visual placement,...
...and it isn't effective for promoting brand awareness or recall.
But PPC will perform its socks off as far as driving qualified site traffic is concerned.
ox·y·mo·rons: A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.
PPC, as long as it has your company name and the association (usually triggered by a tag-line) can therefore be used very effectively as one of those reinforcements on branding. Its especially useful as it comes up as "answers" to targeted questions (queries)
You cant create a brand soley with PPC, but it sure helps in building it.
In fact ClickZ is so good at supporting its own columnists' private interests, they've just won special mention in the Second Annual Online Infinite Regression Awards!