“Why should I spend money on branded keywords?”
“My organic search listing is already showing up!”
“Why should I waste money on it??”
When it comes to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, to bid on brand or not to bid on branded keywords is the question. The age-old debate will be around as long as Google dominates the search universe. Although you may be spending 53 cents on a paid search ad that the user would have found your website for free, that 53 cents is worth its weight in gold.
After boiling down the benefits of why you should bid on your branded keywords, five of them withstand the scorching heat. Here are five reasons why you should be bidding on your brand’s keywords in paid search.
- Control Your Message
The best way to control your brand’s message in search is by bidding on it. The ad copy and landing page you want consumers to go to when they search for your brand name are best controlled with PPC. When you don’t, and a user types in your brand name, they are most likely going to see your home page, and what they see may be a bit broad for the desired action you want them to take. Being able to control your message, highlight a product or service, or action you want your customers to act on is done with PPC marketing.
For example: Let’s say your Zoo, amusement park or local attraction, is currently offering discounted rates for season passes. When someone searches for your brand name, you can make sure they know about this discounted rate in the ad copy. When they click on that ad, they go straight to the landing page to learn more about the season passes with a call to action (CTA) to buy them. It is just one less notch in the cycle that the customer has to go through to buy a season pass.
2. Data Collection
Although you can track your organic search data with things like search console, it is somewhat limited, and more insight is available with a paid search campaign. When bidding on branded keywords, valuable insights about your consumer’s habits are gained. Not only can you gather consumer data from clicks on your ad, but additional extensions can be utilized for insights. Ad extensions such as the call extension, or sitelink extensions can be deployed to take a specific action.
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With PPC conversion tracking, you can track if the call from the call extension, lasted more than the allotted time you determined a conversion. You can also gather data on demographics, which days are more successful, and the times of the day that you get the most traffic. With this data, you can make better decisions with not only your PPC Ads but also your SEO efforts.
Another point to note is that If you add a modified broad match keyword for your brand’s term, you can get a better feel on how consumers search for you. For example, the search term +John’s +Roofing may unveil a lot of searches for “john’s roofing and windows,” “john’s roof repair” or “john’s roofing financing.” These types of searches can reveal services, questions or topics to put in your message for other ads, or even products you may want to start offering.
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Don’t forget; your competitors can bid on your branded keywords. When someone types in your brand in Google, you may be the first organic listing that shows up, but a competitor could be showing up with a search Ad above you. That cross-town rival that puts a bad taste in your mouth every time you hear their annoying, yet catchy jingle on the radio, maybe showing up above that listing, taking customers from you. The way to negate this is to bid on your branded keywords.
Due to the relevance of your ad to your landing page and the search terms, your quality score should result in low Cost-Per-Clicks (CPC). The competitor will have to pay much more than you will, to outrank your ad. This way you can better assure you are there when your customers search for you. Bask in those low CPC’s while you stick it to your competitors, scrambling their diabolical plan.
For a lot of service companies, your industry is in your brand’s name. For example, Brock’s Heating & Air Conditioning, or John’s Roofing & Windows. When someone types in these type of brand names, it is more common that other brands PPC Ads will show up because they are targeting keywords such as “Heating & Air Conditioning” or “Roofing & Windows.” Bidding on your brand’s keywords will help you stay on top of the page when those competitors show up.
4. Improve your SEO with PPC
Not only can you dominate the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) with a branded PPC campaign, the paid keywords can help improve your overall SEO efforts. Running a branded keyword campaign shows Google you are a reputable business, and helpful to your customers. In turn, this can help your overall organic listing ranks. This is not only true in Googles eyes, but searchers who see a paid ad will perceive your brand as reputable and may be more inclined to click on your organic listings.
5. Improve the rest of your PPC campaign
Branded paid search terms typically come along with high click-through-rates (CTR) because people are clicking on precisely what they are looking for, which helps strengthen your campaigns high-quality scores. These high-quality scores play a big part in assisting Google to realize your PPC campaign Is helpful to others, which may result in lower CPC’s, and better performance for the non-branded keywords you are targeting.
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Do I think you should bid on your branded keywords in PPC? Yes! The data, the low CPC’s, the message control and benefits for the rest of your marketing has a lot of upsides. I know it’s hard to get over paying for clicks that your customers would have found your organic listing regardless for ‘free.’ Once you get over that mental hurdle, you will come to realize the benefits you are getting. At the very least, test it out for three months or so, to see what happens. If it does not align with your objects, then you can turn it off.
Do you use Branded keywords in your PPC campaigns? What results have you seen? If you don’t, why not? Any and all feedback is welcome, comment below!