American Express and Unilever bid to unlock undervalued search terms

Brands including American Express Insurance, Land Rover and Unilever are attempting to improve conversions on their websites using a new type of click-through modelling.  

Land Rover is among the brands exploring the new organic SEO technique.

The modelling has been developed by GroupM’s agencies Maxus, MEC, Mediacom and Mindshare, after conducting a research study, with Experian Hitwise, aimed at better understanding the motives behind consumers’ search terms.

Richard Rowley, head of SEO at Mindshare UK, says: “This is about identifying the intent behind the keyword. Google is able to tell you how much volume [of clicks] there is behind a keyword, but not they’re not necessarily able to tell you intent [behind the search].”

The practice of using click-through modelling has helped improve keyword targeting plus conversions to brands’ sites, according to Rowley.

“Getting [prominent placement on search engines] and traffic to a site is all good but you have to be able to make sure they convert when they get there,” he adds.

The agencies, which handle SEO rankings for brands including American Express Insurance and Land Rover, are now using social media monitoring tools to better identify non-branded keywords to index on. For instance, using the term “4×4” for Land Rover.

The move comes in the wake of the latest Google Panda update, dubbed ”Penguin 2.0”, introduced last month which was aimed at demoting or removing altogether poor quality content from its listings. 

One of the key findings from the research project was that brand authority and trust are decisive factors in whether or not consumers click through to a website, adds Rowley.

It also suggests a direct correlation between investment in brand awareness and performance in organic search results indicating a direct correlation between the above-the-line activity and organic SEO, he adds.  

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here