After posting a blog entry on our site titled, "How Big Brands Screw Up Search," I got to thinking... let me pick out one such company and give a live example. Today, I am picking on Nike.
I did a search on Nike as a keyword, and just that word alone came back with over 2.5 million searches performed last month according to the SEObook.com tool, which uses Overture's keyword suggestion tool. This does not include the long-tail terms like Nike football cleats, Nike air force one, Nike sports bra, Nike golf balls and the millions of other searches done with the word Nike in it somehow. I wouldn't be surprised if the branded Nike search volume were in the 15 million range.
Then think about all the unbranded search terms where Nike could get people to consider its brand -- terms like golf shoes, golf gifts, golf clubs, footballs, football cleats, off-road running shoes, running shoes. You can just imagine that the number of searches done for these terms could dwarf the search volume for Nike's branded terms. (Not to mention that an iProspect study found that roughly 36% of people associate ranking higher with being a better brand.)
OK, so now we know the potential. Let's uncover how Nike is missing the boat and how it could right the ship with a slightly more focused effort on SEO and improving the customer experience of customers coming from search engines.