Branding Ads Effective at Attracting Customers on Yahoo! JAPAN

Media & Platforms

Users who search for designated keywords (such as company or brand names) are considered to be highly probable potential customers who already have a significant amount of interest in that company, product, or service. This article introduces Yahoo! JAPAN’s “Branding Search Ads” (BSA), which is a search-linked branding ad service that allows you to place banners linked to specific search keywords, in addition to traditional text ads, for users searching for a specific keyword.

1. Overview

Released in April 2021, BSAs offer a more visual approach than traditional text ads so the services and campaigns of client companies can be communicated more efficiently. In addition, users can expect synergy when used in conjunction with TV commercials and traffic ads.
BSAs essentially add branding ads above the fold on search results for designated keywords and is effective in increasing the number of prospective customers visiting the site.

We’ll use actual cases to show you why image ads above the fold using BSAs is important.

Reference: [Search ads] About search-linked branding ads
Reference: Search ads linked to TV commercials and banners placed at the top of ads increase click share rates by approximately 30% and click rates by approximately 121%.

2. What are the challenges of using designated keywords for search ads?

Users who search for designated keywords are highly probable potential customers. Digital marketers are constantly executing various measures such as by implementing additional display functions in search ads and responding to bids from competitors to improve performance.

However, even if a search is being conducted for the designated keywords, search ads alone will inevitably result in lost opportunities. Some of you may be worried that the efficiency of acquiring potential customers is lower than what you expected due to insufficient differentiation from surrounding contents and the limited amount of information that can be conveyed through text alone. In response to this, Yahoo! JAPAN released BSA, a new ad menu to direct users to the company’s own website. BSAs are an effective solution to this problem.

3. BSAs can increase the above the fold rates on search result displays for specific keywords

BSA is a product that allows large banners to appear at the top of Yahoo! JAPAN’s search results in conjunction with a single specific search keyword, such as company, brand, or service name.

(Figure 1: Comparison of search results with and without BSA, with the normal search results on the left and BSA search results on the right)
(Source: Yahoo! JAPAN search results for “Rakuten Card” and “Rakuten Ichiba”)

Keywords available for BSAs are limited to company, brand, product, service, and other unique names belonging to the client company. Be sure to simulate the search volume when selecting keywords. The selection of the most appropriate keyword and keyword match method requires a certain level of expertise and is the most crucial part of the process, so be sure to make your decision carefully.

(Figure 2: BSA banner delivery example)

BSAs increase the occupancy rate of search results above the fold. In addition, with the banner option, banner ads can also be placed within organic search results. For an additional fee, the main banner and banner option can be linked together using the consolidation option to increase the occupancy rate above the fold.

4. Three benefits of using BSAs

Next, we’ll introduce three benefits of using BSAs.

  • High occupancy rate above the fold
    The higher ad position increases the occupancy rate above the fold. Since banner ads are always placed in a higher slot than organic content or listing ads, prospective customers will always see your BSA branding ad above the fold.

  • List specific keywords without bidding
    Since BSAs are fixed listings as opposed to an auction, they’re always placed at the top of the list for specific keywords without any bidding competition. In addition, BSAs are not affected by CPC fluctuations caused by the seasonality and trends of competitors.

  • Post messages that are difficult to express with text
    A major benefit of BSAs is that they allows you to take advantage of the amount of information images can convey. You can strengthen the connection between the image and text by featuring product visuals and celebrities from TV commercials, which is expected to induce interest.

Based on these three benefits, BSAs are expected to be effective in brand retention and attracting customers. When should BSAs be deployed to enhance the effectiveness of search ads? The secret to success is deploying BSAs in the following situations.

5. Three delivery situations that increase the effectiveness of BSAs in attracting customers

Combined use with branding measures
(Figure 3: Sample images of BSA banners when used in conjunction with branding measures)

The first is using it in conjunction with branding measures. By using this method with multiple media campaigns like TV commercials, you can expect synergistic effects such as an increase in the number of visitors to the client’s website as well as an increase in brand awareness and retention. Banner options can also be used to differentiate your brand from competitors and  promote special offers for new and existing users.

—When launching new products and services
(Figure 4: Example of a BSA banner used to announce the launch of a new product. Photo: Unsplash)

The second is when launching a new product or service or renewing a brand or existing product. The advantage of this is that the product or service can be promoted visually and on a large scale, even when awareness of the product or service image is still low immediately after launch.

—During events like Christmas sales and when running campaigns for peak periods
(Figure 5: BSAs announcing a campaign during peak periods)

The third is during events like Christmas sales and when running campaigns for peak periods. By utilizing a selectable carousel*1 when posting images, supplementary information such as information on multiple product lineups and campaigns can also be posted. This is expected to induce interest and increase awareness of the contents of the site.

As illustrated above, using BSAs effectively with branding measures when launching new products and services, as well as during events like Christmas sales and when running campaigns for peak periods when searches for specific keywords increase, will have a significant impact on users who are actively searching for your products or services.

*Carousel: Ads that display multiple images as slides

6.Cases: Fashion retail site succeeds in attracting customers

Here’s an example of a fashion retail site using BSAs.

(Figure 6: Example of a BSA strategy used in conjunction with branding measures for a fashion retail site)

BSAs were used and bidding for search ads on Yahoo! (Yahoo! JAPAN Ads Search Ads, hereinafter “YSA”) was strengthened to coincide with the sale period.

(Figure 7: Example of a BSA listing for a fashion retail site)

For designated keywords (the company name), the sale promotion increased the number of searches by 30% and the number of incoming users by 50%, which led to increases in the click share (ratio of ad clicks to keywords) and click rate. A comparison of pre- and post-BSA results shows the number of clicks increased by a total of 150%, with approximately 51% of the clicks coming from BSAs alone.

It can be inferred that running BSAs in conjunction with enhanced bidding for search ads has a significant effect on driving visitors to the website if they are deployed when an increase in the number of searches is expected.

7. BSA hypotheses: Measures to prevent outflow to competitors

Are you concerned that your competitors’ ads and websites are also appearing in the search results for your brand or service name, and that potential customers may be flowing to your competitors without you even noticing? Using BSAs can prevent customer outflow to competitors. Use BSAs to increase the occupancy rate of search results above the fold to prevent content from competitors’ from becoming visible, thereby preventing customer outflow to them.

8. Summary

The following is a summary of key points on search-linked branding ads, which allow large banners to be placed in search ads. By making good use of BSAs during the three periods when searches for specific keywords increase, significant effects on users actively searching for your products and services can be expected. As a result, you can also expect to attract more customers and prevent outflow to competitors.

It’s worth noting that the click through rate (CTR) can vary greatly depending on the timing of the increase in keyword searches and the duration of the ad. Therefore, keyword selection and appropriate creative design are critical when planning BSAs.

IREP excels at managed advertising and proposing branding ad strategies and solving challenges by utilizing its knowledge of various industries.

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Irep Inc. is an award-winning global digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our headquarters are in Tokyo and our network spans more than 20 countries. In Japan, we are ranked No. 1 for performance-based marketing. We also offer highly specialized market entry, as well as integrated marketing and localization services. Since 1997, our data-driven solutions have effectively led our diverse international clientele to continuous success in Japan, Asia, and beyond.


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