Guessing if Fossil’s Search Traffic is One to Watch

Fossil Watch

Image from: Kaboodle

Last month, I decided it was time to finally purchase a new watch. After a brief discussion with a close friend, I narrowed my choices down between either a Guess? or a Fossil watch. Now it was time to hit the web and I immediately found myself on Google. Understandably, I began my search using the keyword “watch”. Once on the first search results page, I was intrigued to discover that Fossil’s site appeared, yet the Guess? site did not.

Looking at’s Search Referral tab under site profiles for and we can see the top fifteen keywords bringing traffic to each site.

Daily Search Referrals to guess.comDaily Search Referrals to

As you can see, self branding is important (and driving a lot of traffic) for both Guess? and Fossil. It appears that Guess? received their branded traffic via natural share while Fossil does receive traffic on their paid keywords (both branded and non-branded). Fossil’s marketing and analytic departments are doing a great job in choosing the most effective and important keywords to focus on.

One other important piece of information to notice within the above Search Referral Keywords is that “watches” is the keyword with the twelfth highest search referral share for Fossil. The share of this keyword is driven by both paid and natural share, with natural driving a slightly larger share. This is advantageous for Fossil, as the keyword is absent from the top keywords driving traffic for Guess?.

Fossil’s decision to pay for a share of the keyword “watches”, as well as their branded keywords, is definitely functioning well for them. If Guess? took a more natural approach, as well as bid on more generic terms such as “watches”, my search this past month may have led me in a different direction. Unfortunately for Guess?, my search for “watch” landed me on (as it came up on the first page of my Google search), rather than on In the end, this was crucial. As I arrived on, I was immediately engaged by their products, and ultimately purchased my new watch from them. This made me wonder if other viewers of at that time (early June) were also engaged. Thus, I took a look at Fossil’s Daily Attention metric for the past 30 days on

Daily Attention to

Clearly, I was not the only one who found myself engaged on Fossil’s site in early June. June 4th, the actual date I landed on the site, began the upward trend for the first week of June. Hopefully for Fossil, the increased times spent on the site during the peaks indicate that visitors are actually making purchases, as it did in my case.

Is your company taking a similar approach to bidding on both branded and non-branded keywords as seen with Fossil? Is this practice a key factor in boosting your brand awareness for search? If not, what approach is your company taking and is it proving to be as effective as you would like?

About Melissa Smith:
Melissa comes to Compete to work in the Sales department as a Business Development Intern. Melissa is currently a student within the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst studying Marketing. Find Melissa on Twitter @melissas6492 or connect with her on LinkedIn.