Is it Beneficial to Use Your Own Branded Terms in AdWords Campaigns?
It seems a reasonable question – after all, you often rank really well organically for your brand terms and assuming that’s the case then why waste money to appear for your own brand terms?
Even if you are in top of the organic results, there are potentially three competitor ads and a map showing other competitors above your organic listing. The ads above you may also have site links or other ad extensions pushing your organic listing further down the page.
You therefore quickly risk to loose sales to greedy competitors if you’re not careful about defending your brand. We have identified eight key reasons why bidding on branded keywords can be a good idea (and a good investment):
What is Considered a Branded Keyword?
A brand keyword is in this article considered to your company name, domain, mascot or other brand-associated names around your company.
1) Professional appearance
An ad at the top of the page can give an impression of a bigger, more established and a more savvy company. It suggests that you’re anticipating the visitor and welcoming them to your site with a paid ad.
2) Organic vs. Paid Search
With your paid search ads, you have absolute control over which messages your searchers will see. You can quickly and systematically test different brand messaging in your ads. You can set start and end dates to your messaging. I wouldn’t recommend trying those things with organic listings.
The disadvantage of organic search is that it can be tricky to get top rankings if you don’t know what you are doing.
Search engine optimization services base their entire businesses around raising their clients’ rankings. Because a top position in Google for a competitive keyword can skyrocket leads and sales.
3) Better traffic control
A paid ad can help your customers reach your site’s best page (according to you, not Google’s crawler). Believe it or not, a company’s home page is not always the best place to send branded traffic.
Your company’s top organic search result may not be the most ideal landing page. Is there a different page that’s better designed and has a higher conversion rate? If so, use a branded ad to get people there.
4) Two links are better than one
One more link on the page makes your site easier to find. It’s one more search result that you have control over, and one more chance to create a positive impression of your company.
Own as much of the results page as you can.
5) Guard your customers from distraction
If someone’s on their way to shop at your store, you don’t want them seeing other people’s ads, offers or companies along the way.
Bid on your terms and be the first one to catch their eye.
6) If you don’t, someone else will
Competitors’ ads can show up for your terms too, potentially robbing you of sales and customer loyalty. It’s very common for competitors to bid on the company names of close competitors – Sometimes even with great profits.
More commonly, ads from your own affiliates and authorized resellers can chip away potential profits and erode your bottom line.
7) Make it tough for your competition
If competitors bid on your branded keywords, then you can raise their costs substantially by simply slapping your ad next to theirs. Yours will very likely have a higher CTR, better position and better quality score.
Great for you, bad for them. As a result, you’ll reduce their conversion rates, increase their CPA, lower their position and diminish their traffic volume – all while requiring them to jack their bids to compete for your same ad slot.
If you don’t bid on your own branded terms, you make it cheaper for your competitors who might.
8) Prepare customers for their visit
A paid search ad can effectively reroute the visitors’ attention to specific events or issues:
Promotions & Sales
If you have a sale or a special promo, branded ads are the best and fastest way to get the word out to people before they come to your site. Holiday specials, upcoming sales, coupons, etc.
News, product launches, contests, slogans, mottos, credibility, testimonials, phone numbers, etc. Search engines might not show the text you want.
If you have a clear and effective “value proposition” that’s nowhere to be read in your organic rankings, think branded ads.
Click-to-call mobile ads
The click-to-call features only show on mobile devices, but can be a great addition to your current campaign. These will allow new and recurring customers quickly call you quickly with only the cost equivalent to one click.
Ad Site links
You can send traffic to up to 10 more highly-targeted pages. If you want to direct traffic better down to your most visited pages, you can do it directly from your AdWords ad and thereby skip risking that your users can’t find what they’re looking for on your front page.
The location extension shows a map of your store(s) underneath your ad. If you usually have walk-ins or if it’s important to show a local presence in your niche, the location extension can be very beneficial.
More Benefits than Drawbacks by Bidding on Branded Terms
There are many situations where it makes sense to bid on your own brand name keywords. It may not be the best option for all company’s (after all, there is no ‘one size fits all’ policy when it comes to PPC), but I’ve personally seen it work for many company’s including our own clients.
I would personally never start an AdWords campaign without considering using a separate campaign for branded terms.