One of Google’s latest studies shows that search ads are affecting direct response, obviously, but they also have a powerful effect on branding, and even increase brand awareness.

Recently posted at the Google AdWords blog, the study reveals promising results – search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average 6.6 percentage points. The study tested searches for certain category keywords, and showed the users either a control SERP or a test SERP created for the study, putting the test brand in the top search ad position.

Afterwards, the users were asked which brand came to mind for the category keyword they’ve searched for earlier. Surprisingly, an average of 14.8% in the test group named the test brand, while just 8.2% of the control group named the same brand.

This is a 6.6 percentage point increase or an average 80% lift in top-of-mind awareness. There’s no doubt that any brand manager would love to see those numbers in their reports.