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Protect Your Customers’ Navigational Search Intent From Savvy Competitors

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Have you ever known which website you wanted to go to but still went to Google to type the name of the business into the search box? 

Perhaps you didn’t know the exact URL for the company, but you knew where you wanted to go and that Google’s search engine was going to help you find your destination. 

This is called navigational intent, and your customers do it all the time to get to your website. 

Do you know who else knows your customers are searching for your brand? Your competitors. And they’re bidding on YOUR branded keywords in Google. 

Today, we’re going to teach you how to protect your brand and customers’ navigational search intent from the competition trying to steal your search traffic with pay-per-click advertising (PPC). 

If you’d rather watch than read, check out our latest episode of Small Business Saturday with BJ Bergey, Director of Product Development, and Rauf Tur, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, as they break down navigational intent and why it matters for your business’s paid advertising campaigns.

What is Navigational Search Intent?

A navigational query is a form of search intent in which a particular search query is entered into a search engine, like Google, with the goal of finding a specific website or site page. With navigational intent, a user knows exactly where they’re trying to go on the web; they just use the search bar to point them to the right place rather than punching in the URL of their destination. 

If you’re not too familiar with user search intent and why it ought to be a core marketing focus of business owners, check out our recent blog, “Get More Qualified Traffic With A Focus On User Search Intent,” where we teach you how to leverage the intent of users’ to drive business objectives. 

Although nearly 80% of all searches are informational, navigational intent makes up 10% of the total search volume. This means that if you’re not focusing on all aspects of user intent, you’re leaving untapped leads on the table for the competition to snatch away would-be customers.

In addition, it’s important to point out that although navigational search only makes up 10% of search volume, these are typically bottom-of-the-funnel sales, which means users with nav intent have a much higher likelihood of completing a conversion goal or becoming a new or repeat customer.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Branded Keywords?

Let’s say that you’re a lawyer and are just getting started with digital marketing for your law firm. You want to see where your website shows up on Google, so you type in the name of your firm and discover that a local competitor’s website is showing up above your name, like in the example below.

How can this be? The answer is simple. It’s because your competitor is bidding against your firm’s branded keywords through paid advertisements on Google.  This might not seem like that big of an issue until you realize that potential clients are searching for your law firm and trying to navigate to your website, and yet your direct competitors are the first results they see. So how do you fight back?  Bidding on your navigational search intent keywords, or branded keywords, to protect the website traffic that you have already won through informational searches might be the best reason to implement PPC campaigns for branded keywords, but here are five reasons why.
  1. Keep Competitors From Invading Your Territory

    If you’ve built a successful business, it’s likely that your savviest competitors are already bidding on your company’s branded keywords in Google. This means that if you’re not already allocating a portion of your marketing budget to bidding on your branded terms, you’ll need to start doing so to keep the competition off your branded search real estate. 
  2. Bid on Branded Queries to Dominate the Search Results

    I’m sure we can all agree that two is better than one, especially when it comes to your website links on the search engine results pages (SERP) of Google. Just as having numerous links in an email to customers increases the likelihood that a subscriber will click through to your website, the same logic applies to advertising on search engines. If you give users multiple opportunities to click and get to your site, you’re far less likely to get lost in the noise.
  3. Use PPC Ads to Control Your Messaging

    Another critical advantage of investing in your company’s branded keywords and taking up as much search engine real estate as possible is to ensure that your brand is being represented the way you want in the results.  Organic listings are, of course, a form of free advertising online, but let’s face it…they’re boring. On the other hand, paid ads give you the unique opportunity to craft a message that will grab the attention of your audience and entice them to visit your website. 
  4. Branded Terms Are Cost-Effective

    As business owners advertising online, we’re always on the hunt for opportunities to cut costs while boosting profits, especially when it comes to paid advertising and digital marketing overall. Your company’s branded terms most likely cost significantly less than non-branded keywords related to your business or services and still have actual search volume tied to them. 
  5. Capture Quality Leads That Are Near the Point of Conversion

    Last but certainly not least, when people are searching your branded terms on Google, they’re already acquainted with your company and are actively seeking your website. Tapping into branded keywords allows you to connect with individuals who are already further down your sales funnel than a cold audience. Capitalize on this and capture some leads!

Why Navigational Search Intent Matters For Your Business

With Google’s Page Experience Core Algorithm update set for launch in August 2020, user intent is one of the primary focuses of the search engine update and will require business owners to re-evaluate their websites and marketing campaigns to ensure the best possible end-user experience.

As a Google Premier Partner, 1SEO Digital Agency’s team of search marketing experts strives to keep our clients ahead of the curve and their competition. Whether you’re in search of internet marketing for lawyers, medical practices, or for your home services company, our nationally leading marketing firm has you covered! Reach out to us today to schedule your free digital marketing consultation and free paid advertising assessment.

Author: Casey Quinn

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