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Should You Bid On Your Brand Name?

Bidding on your brand name in AdWords is something that divides opinion amongst PPC practitioners. While some see it as an important part of most AdWords strategies, others see it as a complete waste of money – what is the point of paying money for people to click on your brand ad when they were looking for you in the first place? And what is the point in shelling out when these people would most likely click on your free organic listing?

Well, there are many reasons. Here are just a few.

1) Our competitors’ ads may show for our brand search

If we choose not to show an ad for our brand keyword, it may be that a competitor appears above us in the Google search results, as their ad may appear above our organic listing. For example, if we want to show an ad for “Wildbean Cafe Melbourne”, there are likely to be a number of advertisers who are showing ads for the broad or phrase match keyword “Cafe Melbourne”. This way, our potential visitor may be distracted by the other ads, and click on their link rather than ours, costing us a customer. If however, our ad appears at the top of the paid search results, this potential customer is more likely to click on our ad.

2) Our competitors may be bidding on our brand name

In addition to the point made above, the competitor may even be bidding on our brand name in an attempt to steal these potential customers from us. This is a common strategy in PPC, and it is important that we combat this by showing an ad which appears above theirs, and ensures that this visitor comes to our site, rather than the competitor’s site.

3) You can use sitelink extensions

Sitelink extensions are an excellent feature of Google AdWords and one which, even now, not all advertisers are using. Sitelinks allow us to show an additional 380 characters of text on top of the standard 95 characters, and we can use them to give more information about our company, talk about the products or the services we offer, and direct people to certain areas of the site. Of course, a similar feature exists in organic search, but in AdWords we are able to choose exactly what we want to show.

4) You can alter messaging at any time

One of the major benefits of showing PPC ads, instead of relying on our organic listing, is that we can change the text at any time. We do not have to wait for Google to crawl our pages, as our ads can show just minutes after we set them live in AdWords. For example, we can use this to promote special offers, such as promoting a “Winter Sale” which is not easily done in organic search.

5) Increase your presence

The combined use of our organic result, our paid result and the extensions that we can use give us an overall increased presence on the Google search results. Look at the following example – the listing is taking up the entirety of the visible search results page. If we can achieve this, we can bring our overall CTR (Paid + Organic) up to nearly 100%

6) Increase your credibility

In the same way that we are increasing our presence, showing a paid search ad along with our organic listing, Google+ data increased our credibility. If a potential visitor wants to check out our company’s online presence before hiring us, then taking up the entire page on Google is a pretty good way of achieving that. This is certainly more effective than asking our potential customer to filter through the paid search results before they find our site.

7) You can use call extensions

A significant benefit of showing ads for your brand search is that you can show call extensions alongside your ad. This enables you to show your phone number in the paid search result, which can be very useful for companies that rely on phone call leads. Why? Well if someone is searching for your company because they want to give you a ring, they can do so without even clicking on your ad, so you get this for free anyway!

8) You can use location extensions

Similarly, you can use the location extension feature to show your address alongside your ad. As with call extensions, if someone is looking for your address, they are able to see this in the AdWords ad, and again, do not click on your ad and do not cost you a penny.

9) Your brand may not come up in organic search

Of course for some brands, bidding on your brand may be entirely necessary in the case that your website is not coming up organically even when the brand name is searched. Therefore, showing a paid ad for your brand will be an essential may of attracting customers to your site that have heard of you someplace else.

And lastly…..

10) It’s cheap!

It certainly is. Even in a competitive industry where clicks come in at $20, a click on your brand name can cost you $1. Who doesn’t have one dollar to spare to get someone who is looking for your company onto your website?

So what are the drawbacks?

The primary drawback in bidding on your brand name is that it costs money. However, if you are a small company, then chances are there are not a huge number of searches for your brand name each month, and therefore bidding on your brand name this will not cost you much. On the other hand, if you have a well known brand with thousands of searches per month, then chances are you are a big company and have a large advertising budget of many millions of dollars, and you will easily be able to afford the costs associated with showing brand ads via PPC.

However, what if you are a well known brand that is not a big company with a huge advertising budget? Say you are a small company that gets featured on national television, for example. Or say you have a highly successful product which has a low margin, and cannot afford to squeeze margins any further? Well in that case, maybe you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars a month getting people onto your site that have already heard of you and are looking for you. For most companies though, the benefits outlined above surely outweigh the relatively small cost involved in bidding on your brand terms, and should be incorporated into your AdWords strategy.

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