Should You Bid on Your Brand Name in Paid Search (PPC) Campaigns?
Should you bid on branded keywords?
We’ll cut right to the chase. Yes. Here’s why:
- Control your brand messaging: By bidding on your brand name, you can ensure that your ad appears at the top of the search results when people search for your brand. This allows you to control the messaging and the content that potential customers see when they search for your brand.
- Increase brand awareness: Even if you already rank first organically for your brand name, bidding on your brand name in Google Ads can help increase your brand’s visibility and awareness. This is because your ad will appear at the top of the search results, which is the first thing people see when they search for your brand.
- Protect your brand: By bidding on your brand name, you can prevent your competitors from using your brand name as a keyword in their Google Ads campaigns. This ensures that when people search for your brand, they only see your ads and not those of your competitors.
- Improve click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates: Ads that appear at the top of the search results tend to have higher click-through rates than organic listings. By bidding on your brand name, you can improve your CTR and potentially drive more conversions.
- Cost-effective: Bidding on your brand name is generally less expensive than bidding on non-branded keywords. This is because there is typically less competition for brand terms, which means you can often achieve a higher ad position for a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
Overall, bidding on your brand name in Google Ads can help you control your brand messaging, increase brand awareness, protect your brand, improve CTR and conversion rates, and do so cost-effectively.
What do other sources say?
- A Google study reported that 89% of paid search clicks are not replaced by organic or direct traffic. Here’s the link to the full study that tested search incrementality: https://ai.google/research/pubs/pub37731
- A study in 2015 found that total paid search leads dropped from an average of 53 per week to 8 for the test week when they turned off the brand keywords. Organic leads only saw an increase of 13, so they estimated that shutting off brand for 7 days cost at least 32 leads. In addition, total leads for the week decreased by 65.
- Another study in 2018 found similar results when shutting off their brand keywords.
- Google Organic did pick up 21% additional users and 15% revenue. In this same time period, Google Paid revenue was 50% lower. Combined there was a 21% net loss of revenue.
- Bing Organic users increased by 25%, but the revenue was 5% lower. In this same time period, Bing Paid revenue was 63% lower. Combined there was 42% net loss of revenue.
- After we un-paused the Brand campaigns, the last click revenue improved by 35% and the assisted revenue increased by 8%. Plus, all the other channels had improvement in revenue performance compared to the period when Brand was paused.
Some more resources that list pros and cons:
- https://www.acquisio.com/blog/agency/branded-vs-non-branded-paid-search/ – this is a great analysis on click opportunity lost when competitors bid on your terms, but you do not
Still trying to decide?
Here’s a recap of CyberMark’s pros and cons on the subject:
- Control brand messaging
- Dominate the top of search results – the more you show up, the more credibility you have
- Make it easy for consumers to find the correct location and convert
- Competitors often bid on brand name – if we don’t show up there, they will
- The brand search is often the last click that drives the conversion – but different attribution modeling shows that the user journey is longer than just that one click
- Brand terms are cheap
- Synergize with brand awareness efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Display
- Improve ad rank across account
- If organic rankings are strong, brand will show near top anyway
- Money could be allocated toward other campaigns
- People searching for the brand theoretically know what they want
- It can be more expensive if competitors are also bidding on your brand name
We believe that branded and non-branded terms should be used in harmony, and that only a minimum budget should be dedicated to branded terms. The positives outweigh the negatives. However, it should always be up to the business owner to make the call after being educated on the subject. And if you do want to proceed with eliminating brand terms, then we suggest running a test for 60 days and measuring the following metrics for the period before and after making the change to compare:
- Total website traffic
- Organic website traffic
- Paid website traffic
- Total leads
- Organic leads
- Paid leads
- Total PPC budget
- PPC CTR
If you have questions about your brand’s strategy and whether you should be bidding on your brand name, please reach out to your marketing specialist via your support portal.