To bid or not to bid? We’ve had clients opt out of brand terms to help them cut budgets. We get it, the PPC world is competitive, and you want to make the most out of your penny. However, we’ll always argue that in most cases, it’s always a good idea to start bidding on your brand keywords.
To cut to the chase, the #1 reason to bid on your brand is to ensure that your competitors don’t capitalize on the success of your brand name. It’s always important to run a search query analysis on your brand terms, to ensure your business findability plan is on point. Here are a few other reasons to bid on your brand.
Advantages of bidding on brand keywords
1. Capture more SERP real estate
First things first, while you may rank as #1 in organic results, you could choose to rank both first and second with both paid and organic search results. Owning as much real estate as possible between PPC ads, organic listings, the knowledge panel, social media, etc., clearly establishes your credibility and trust, leading to higher click-through rates.
Sample some examples:
Additionally, with mobile searches making up a sizable portion of searches, where the top spot (paid or organic) takes up the majority of the screen, the importance of bidding on your brand terms cannot be overstated.
2. Prevent Competitors from benefiting from your brand searches
The advantage of bidding on your brand terms is further enhanced if you consider the fact that if your competitors bid on your brand terms, what you could be staring at, is your organic listing topped up by your competitor’s ad singing paeans to their product and services. This could result in traffic that would have actually landed on your site, being diverted to your competitor’s landing pages. Even with stellar SEO, therefore, there could be a sizable chunk of revenue that you could be losing on. Data shows that competing ads can win as much as 40% of branded search clicks when the brand isn’t running an ad; that number drops to 11% when a branded ad shows.
Without making this an indictment of Google’s ad policies, this is only one of the reasons why you need to bid on your own brand terms- else you could very well have your competitor take over your SERP real estate.
3. Control your messaging
Relying only on organic results to convey your message to users implies that you need not necessarily get searchers to see what you want them to see. With paid ads, on the other hand, you can carve the message you want them to see, besides directing them to the most ideal landing pages. You could highlight a current promotion, include a specific call-to-action and more. Google also allows advertisers to add many customizable ad extensions such as site links, structured snippets, and promotions, to their ads to provide users with a lot more information.
Besides, with an ad, not only can you ensure that you have high-performing content, but it is also a great ground to test what messaging works the best for your brand. In fact, this can be a great way to test your content strategy for your other offline communication as well.
4. Capture high-quality leads
The big advantage with branded searches is that they help you capture people who are further along the buying cycle. Strategically bidding on branded terms, therefore, can bring in highly-qualified traffic.
Branded terms are also likely to be far more cost-effective than non-branded terms, thereby offering high ROI. In fact with branded terms what you have is a high quality score and high CTR, which reduces average CPC. Additionally, if competitors bid on your terms, they generally have lower quality scores and thus have to bid higher.
Brand Keywords Bidding Best Practices
While the advantages of bidding on your brand terms are many fold, it is best to ensure that you define your own objectives before making the decision to bid for brand terms. If, for example, the goal of your business is net profit, it will be worthwhile to see if branded paid traffic revenue less your media spend plus organic revenue is higher than revenue with no brand ads. In which case, it will be worthwhile to run brand ads.
Other reasons to bid on the brand can include negating bad P.R., promoting new products, and more.
Which brand terms should you bid on?
That said, it is important to note that not every brand term deserves to be bid on. It would definitely be prudent to bid on brand terms such as your company name and product names so that you cover your core brand terms in all searches. However, it may not be worth your while to bid on:
- Career and job related terms
- Stock terms
- Login terms
- Customer service terms
- Services/products that you aren’t keen on promoting
A good rule of the thumb would be to periodically run the search query analysis to ensure that you are reaching out to the right audiences.
Some of the other best practices around bidding on brand terms include:
- Having dedicated brand campaigns so that you can control spend, measure performance and optimize for KPIs
- Have optimized ad copy
- Have high-converting landing pages
- Follow segmented reporting that allows you to keep track of the objectives that you have set.
- Working with partners and affiliates that can help you build a wall against competitors, dominate SERP and drive revenues.
So as long , bidding on brand keywords is a business decision that is driven by your brand strategy, there is no way you can go wrong. That you will have more control over your brand in SERP besides driving lower CPC and more conversions, is a given. That said, it isn’t necessary that you should be in the absolute top position for every brand mentioned? In fact data seems to suggest that as you get closer to the 100% impression share, the law of diminishing returns may set in, somewhere along the 90-95% mark. Be sure to test to ensure you optimize your ROI/ROAS as you take advantage of bidding on brand terms. To bid….did we hear you say?