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5 Reasons you Should Be Bidding on your Brand Terms in Google AdWords

If you’re running a Google AdWords campaign to drive traffic to your website, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to get inexpensive traffic by not bidding on your brand terms. In many cases, not bidding on your own name in AdWords is fine, however, there are times when website owners may find themselves competing against other sites with similar names or even worse, have a competitor bidding on your brand terms and stealing easy traffic from you.

Setting Up your Brand Term Campaign

For most of you, this is easy, but there are some things to remember when setting up your branded campaign.

  1. Create a new campaign for your brand terms. Mixing your brand terms in with your normal ads can cause huge problems with your ad budget.I audited a campaign where more than 60% of their budget was being spent on their name when they dominated that search space naturally. Removing the brand terms caused no drop in overall traffic while freeing up money for more important keywords and ads.
  2. Use only your brand terms in this campaign. This should allow you to get the highest possible quality score for this campaign.
    Your ad quality score is a huge aspect in the cost of your ads, so having your brand ads score a 9 or 10 on the quality score will help you keep the ad prices down.
  3. Check the search terms that trigger this campaign on a regular basis to see what else may trigger your brand term ads.You can do this by logging into AdWords, selecting your brand terms campaign, and then selecting “˜Keywords’. You’ll see an option for “˜Search Terms’. These are the keywords and phrases that triggered the ads in this campaign.
  4. Be aggressive with your negative keywords and phrases to keep these ads on target. When looking at your Search Terms be sure to set a short date range back to the last time you checked to keep the list manageable.

1. Protect Your Name from Competitors

In a crowded market, there’s little worse than having multiple people show up for your brand name. When someone types in the name of your jewelry store you want them to find “you”, not someone with a similar name, or even the same name. Look at this search result.

Brand term PPC

In the first 5 listings, there are 3 different jewelers listed. In the next 5 results, there are 2 more. With that many people listed on page one, it can be very difficult for your customers to find “you”.

2. The Ads Are Cheap

One of the factors that can determine the cost of an ad is the quality score. Since you should have a quality site for your own brand name, your quality score should be higher than on your other ads. This reduces the cost of those ads and may even help reduce the cost of other campaigns by association.

3. More Traffic

In 2014, Bing conducted a study to see what the effect of having both paid and natural results in the search listings was. Surprising no one, having more control of the search results leads to more traffic, as much as 32% more. We know that position #1 gets more clicks than position #2 and so on. We also know that a large percentage of internet users still don’t realize that the top listings are paid ads. By purchasing your brand terms as an ad you now get the traffic from being both #1 and #2 and push the former #2 down to #3.

4. You Control Your Message

Ranking well in natural search is great, but the search engines can, and will, change your listing to better suit what they think the reader wants to see. This takes the control of your ad message away from you. By running an ad you get to say exactly what you want in a way that may improve your chances of gaining another customer.

Along with your message, you can use ad extensions such as your phone number to make it even easier for your customers to reach you and buy.

5. Advanced: Using RLSA To Convert More Customers

RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) are a great way to leverage your brand name and terms. RLSAs allow you to show specific ads to people that have already visited your website allowing you to laser target your message at people that already know you. These ads can include custom discounts for people that have added a piece of jewelry to their shopping cart but did not complete the purchase. I wrote more about RLSAs on our business website.

A Time to NOT Buy

Even with the above information, there are times when you should not ‘buy your name’. If you already have a dominant position in the search results, especially in local search where you dominate, it makes no sense to mess that up by paying for ads. Look at this search result.

Brand Term Search

As you can see, there is no reason to pay for an ad with search results like this.

Not everyone should pay for brand term ads. If you aren’t already running a paid traffic campaign then it makes no sense to start one just to run brand ads. But brand term ads can be a great way to supplement your paid traffic and allow you to begin to experiment with more complex advertising such as RLSA.


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