When we began our organic search research for Cars.co.za (An online car sales company which represents a significant portion of motoring related traffic in South Africa), our findings led us to ask one very important question: which brand is stronger internationally — Honda or Toyota? Or, to put it plainly, which brand is better?
Before we answer that, we need to ask a more fundamental question: why did this come up during a quest on organic search? Well, search engines have become the fuel that drive many of our most important decisions, from mundane requests to life-altering changes. So, by analysing what people search for more often, we can decipher what people think about, what people like, and what people want.
Personally, before I undertook this research I had no doubt that Toyota would come out as number one globally. As someone with a lifelong relationship with the Toyota brand (one love, one Toyota), I already know that the only thing my new CHR cannot do for me is fly. But sentiment aside, research is about facts, not emotions or conjecture. We had to get to the bottom of it using the best tools available. We needed to compare both car manufacturers objectively and come up with conclusive proof of which brand is superior, according to the global audience.
So, where to begin?
To compare both brands, we looked into organic metrics like:
- Domain Authority
- Domain Trust flow
- Domain Ratings
- Backlink profiles
- Toxic links
- Traffic estimates
- Number of ranked generic and brand terms
- Keyword positions, etc.
However, we soon realised that we were looking in all the wrong places. After all, these metrics have more to do with SEO and a company’s ability to show up higher in the SERPs than customer sentiment — in other words, this might mean that one brand ranks higher, but not necessarily that it’s more desirable.
To discover which brand is more popular worldwide, all we needed to do was to compare the number of people searching for Toyota vs. Honda.
The results of our findings are accessible here: Toyota vs. Honda: Which is the Stronger Brand? But, before you take a peek, who do you think performs better?
This simple comparison will give a clear picture to help you understand which brand is stronger.
Why is organic search a great indicator of which brand is more popular?
If you find yourself on the less popular side, you might be inclined to argue that search metrics don’t provide concrete proof. What is undeniable, though, is that organic search produces the best prospects. People actively looking for your product are more likely to buy than those who stumbled upon it by accident. They already have an intention to buy — they just need the right circumstances.
Another reason organic search is important is that, it has staying power. Organic search shows you what people really think of a product, i.e. how much information they would like to gather about it and how often they search for it. If, for example, users only search for a brand because of an advert, they would lose interest when the ad disappears, and organic searches would taper off — assuming you haven’t converted them by then, of course.
It’s clear from our research that Toyota is a more popular brand across the world. However, not every country is the same.
With the right SEO research tools, it’s possible to select any country and find out how your product (or your competitor’s) is performing there. If you are interested in getting access to the advanced study, please contact us directly.
Here are the key findings from the research:
Each month, over 11 million searches are made worldwide for either Toyota or Honda. Of this amount, Toyota accounts for 65.86%, or 6,324,580 globally, leaving Honda with 5,349,100. One of the most interesting results of the research for me is that the gap between the two companies is not as significant as I thought it would be.
Unsurprisingly, most searches occur in the US, amounting to 2,720,000 for both cars and 55% of these belonging to Toyota. Turkey had the second highest search volume, also in favour of Toyota. Brazil came third, but with a 69.1% majority in favour of Honda cars. This means there are over 300,000 more searches for Honda cars in Brazil, compared to the 280,000 difference in Toyota’s favour in the United States.
In most countries, there seems to be an overwhelming preference for one car over the other. Despite how bad the percentages might look, these differences amount to no more than tens of thousands of searches. In other words, a great marketing strategy could easily turn the tide. If you require access to the full study, please contact us.
The data displayed in this document has been extracted from Ahrefs, SEMrush, Majestic SEO, Link Research Tool, Moz and Google Trends. It is important to note that although the data found on the tools listed above is believed to be reliable, The Media Image cannot make any guarantees on the validity or level of accuracy of this data.
Max Brockbank is Head of SEO at The Media Image. He previously served as Global Director SEO at Hilton Worldwide and Senior Client Success Manager at SearchMetrics. As a journalist, Max worked as a reporter and editor with regional and national newspapers including the FT and the Sun, and on global publications such as TIME Magazine.