Bidding on Brand – the Eternal Debate!

Whether to include your brand keywords in your PPC campaigns and bid on these brand terms has always been a hot topic of discussion. It can be very hard to justify to your finance team and senior managers why budget should be spent on these terms, especially when your company website will already be showing in the organic section of the search engine results page.

I however believe it is very important to bid on your brand and that it is a must for any successful PPC campaign. Bidding on brand terms will help to ensure that your company, no matter how small or localised, is dominant online for the business services you offer in your targeted geographic area.

Why bidding on Brand is important

These are the top three reasons why I believe it is important to include your brand terms in your PPC activity –

  1. Bidding on brand will help you to dominate the search engine results page by taking up more space and pushing your competitors further down the page. If your PPC ad is displayed at the top of the page, with ad extensions, and then your organic listing is just below this at the top of the organic listings there will not be much room left for competitor ads before the user has to scroll down the page. This is extremely effective on mobile and tablet devices when there is less space on the results page for both PPC ads and organic listings to be displayed.
  2. It is easier to control and update your messaging when using PPC ads rather than relying on organic listings only. You can update the title, description lines, display URL and sitelinks to reflect the message you want to convey. This can be extremely useful if you have a limited time offer you would like to advertise.
  3. If a competitor bids on your brand terms, their PPC ad will be displayed above your organic listing giving them the opportunity to steal some clicks away from you. It will cost your competitors more than you to maintain this position as they will never be as relevant. You do not want to give them the opportunity to divert customers away from you, even in the short term.

What to think about when bidding on Brand

Three of the top considerations when bidding on brand terms are –

  1. Place in a separate campaign and ad group so you can control the daily budget for this term. This will also enable you to control the messaging in the ad copy and the ad extensions for this brand term. Remember to continually optimise your ad copy in order to improve the relevance.
  2. It is vital that you consider the match types when bidding on brand terms. In order to only display your ad for your exact brand or company name you should select exact match. If you use the broader match types such as phrase you must include negative keywords to prevent your ad being displayed for irrelevant search queries.
  3. When measuring the success of bidding on brand don’t just focus on the conversion generated by these PPC campaigns alone. For the time period that these campaigns have been live look at the uplift in overall conversions from Organic and PPC results. By dominating the Search Results page you will be increasing the number of clicks to your site on both the PPC ad, and its extensions, and the organic listing.

The brand terms within your PPC account should have a high click through rate (CTR) leading to a high quality score. This should result in low CPCs for these brand terms. When optimised well a click on your brand term should only cost pennies.

So, why not give bidding on brand a go? To get started you may just want to bid on your company name on Exact Match and measure the impact on conversions.