Brand Bidding In AdWords – Should You Bid On Your Company’s Name?

When running an AdWords campaign, should you bid on your own company’s brand name as a keyword?

The short answer: Yes.

That’s an easy answer, and there are some very good reasons behind it which I will discuss here in detail. In AdWords, it is essential to target your brand name as a keyword and to create ads specifically for those search queries (I call these “branded ads”). Here’s why:

1.  Branded Ads Protect You From Pesky Competitors

If you’re running a successful business, there’s a good chance some of your competitors are already targeting your business name as a keyword. Even if they aren’t, Google often matches broad keyword with relevant business names.

Do a search for your company name and see if any ads come up. You may recognize that these are ads, but a large number of Google users do not know the difference between paid and unpaid search results. Many people assume that the top result on the page is the most relevant result – even if it is a paid ad.

So YOU need to have the top result on the page at all costs. Simply having the top organic result is not good enough. If a competitor has an ad that appears above yours, you will lose business to them.

2.  Branded Ads Help Improve Your Overall Campaign Performance

AdWords has a metric called quality score that affects your ad placement, impression share, and cost per click. According to Google, one factor in determine the quality score for a keyword is “Your display URL’s past CTR: The historical clicks and impressions your display URL has received.”

This means having a high CTR (click-through-rate) on one keyword will help improve the quality scores of all your other keywords.

Nothing gets better click-through-rates than branded keywords. People searching for your company name are looking for you, and ready to click on your link. Branded ads often have CTRs as high as 20%-50%. This increases the average CTR for your domain and, in turn, increases the quality scores of other keywords in your campaign.

3.  Branded Ads Give You More Search Term Data For Your Business

Within Google Analytics, there’s an annoying piece of keyword data labeled “not provided” that usually includes the vast majority of your traffic. You used to be able to see the Google search queries that produced traffic to your website. Google changed all this with a privacy policy update in 2011, and website owners have been in the dark ever since.

With AdWords, you can get some of this data back. The search term report shows you the actual keywords people typed in before clicking on your ad. Sometimes the report even shows you search terms that received zero clicks.

Are people searching for reviews about your company? Product pricing? Sales? Lawsuits?

By targeting your brand name as a phrase match keyword (“brand name”) you can see search queries surrounding your brand name. This information will enable you to better understand the needs of your customers and to tailor your marketing accordingly.

4.  Branded Ads Provide You With More Real Estate On Google

Even if there aren’t any competitors bidding on your brand name, and even if your website is the top organic result, it’s likely that there will be other search results on the page.

If you have an AdWords ad at the top of the page, AND you are the top organic result, then you will be taking up a significant portion of the results page. This will help box out any competing results and ensure the customer visits your website.

Also, an AdWords ad allows you to instantly change your messaging and your landing page – so you can send the customer exactly where you want them to go.

5.  Branded Ads Allow You To Advertise On The Search Partners Network Without Wasting Money

Google’s Search Partners Network is a collection of non-Google websites that display AdWords ads. This network can sometimes help bring additional profitable traffic to your campaign. However, it’s often best to stay away from the Search Partners Network.

If you’ve done your testing and determined your website doesn’t perform well on the Search Partners Network, it’s still a good idea to target your own company name on this network (for all the reasons explained above). Having a separate branded campaign allows you to do this.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Branded ads are a crucial component of any AdWords campaign. The cost per click is usually much cheaper than any other keywords you can target, so bidding on your own company name usually isn’t even very expensive. Some companies ONLY run a branded campaign.

Go set up your branded ads right now, or contact AdLeg and we’ll incorporate a branded campaign as part of our strategy for your account.

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