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Paid Search

Why to Bid on Branded terms

Why in the world would anyone bid on their own brand terms?

Working in Paid Search for almost 8 years now, I’ve lost count of the number of times clients have asked me why they should bid on their own brand terms. “We already show up at the top of the natural search listings!” they say. Paid Search can mean very different things for individual brands so the best answer is specific and tailored to your business. To understand the right approach for you, answer these 5 questions:

  1. What shows up on Google when you search for your brand?
    Defence is one of the primary reasons for choosing to bid aggressively on your own brand term. Just because you decide not to bid on your brand doesn’t mean that no one else will. Be vigilant! Paid Search ads have the best visibility on Google and great offers from your competitors will get noticed. Make sure to search for keyword variations that include your brand with a product you sell. For example ‘easy jet flights to Spain’. The generic ‘flights to Spain’ component in this search term will increase the chances of more competitors appearing in the auction, even if they’re not actively targeting your brand terms.
  2. Would you like to target keywords that deliver really low CPAs?
    I’ve worked on campaigns that get 80% of sales through brand keywords at just 10% of campaign spend so you can be confident your brand terms will drive a low CPA for your account. The question is whether or not theses sales would have occurred without appearing on Paid Search. As always, the only way to know for sure is to test. Turn on Paid Search for a minimum of 2 months then turn it off and test the effects on sales.
  3. Will users take you more seriously if you combine natural with paid?
    Studies show that appearing simultaneously in first position for natural and paid search increases your credibility as far as users are concerned and as a result, websites stand to gain up to 50% incremental traffic. These figures will vary depending on your brand, industry and location. Again, the only way to truly know what a dual approach can deliver for you is through testing. Can you run tests to see what happens in high season versus low season or when you have a strong TV campaign running versus no TV activity?
  4. Do you have something you need to tell your customers about immediately?
    Paid Search campaigns can be up and running within the hour, making it the perfect media for updating customers on your weekend flash sales, promotional discount or simply wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day. Users will pay attention to individuality and enticing offers so use this to your advantage. Also, if you are part of an industry with only a few key players, users are liable to simply search for your brand and then your competitor’s brand to compare what’s on offer. Paid Search allows you to showcase your must-have online product and link directly to the relevant section of the website in an instant. This is great power, use it wisely!
  5. Are you sceptical about Paid Search?
    If the answer to this question is yes then put your money where your mouth is and test!
  • What happens to your overall site traffic when you turn brand Paid Search on/off?
  • Does the overall site conversion rate and sales volume improve when PPC is running?
  • Is traffic from brand Paid Search more valuable in terms of sales, conversion rates and time on site?

At the end of the day, Paid Search is the most measurable of media so you can always make sure you’re getting value for your money.