One of the most common questions when considering what keywords to bid on is why should i bid and ultimately pay for clicks on my own brand keywords when the user is actively searching for brand and i rank first in the organic search results? This is a fair question and this blog attempts to address just that.
Protect your brand
Many company’s will simply bid on their own brand to protect their position. Unfortunately only because a user is searching for your brand, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t be tempted by a competitor offer. Party Poker below is a perfect example of an industry where competitors are aggressive. If you bid on competitor terms, the CPC is often more expensive however conversion rate will likely be higher than other generic terms which makes your CPA more efficient. There are instances where company’s agree to not bid on each others brand, or even instances where nobody will bid on your brand. If there are no competitors bidding on your brand, it may be worth testing a removal of your paid ads and just appear organically for a period of time to determine whether you see any loss in conversions.
Having paid and organic listings increase conversion volume
There are arguments and statistics which show an increase in conversions when an advertiser has a PPC ad and an organic listing, rather than having just an organic listing. This is worth testing further by linking your webmaster account to your AdWords account to identify whether the results prove the same within your industry.
Brand keywords drive CPC efficiencies
By having brand keywords active in your account, of which will naturally hold a higher quality score, this improves your whole accounts quality score. This in turn will drive CPC efficiencies throughout your account.
Deter competitors from bidding on your brand
By not bidding on your own brand this can encourage competitors to start bidding as it will be seen as a ‘quick win’. Competitors know that these types of keywords can drive efficient CPA’s even if CPC’s are slightly higher than their broader generic keywords due to a user being closer to conversion. Therefore if an opportunity presents itself, it is quick and easy for your competitors to start bidding on these keywords.
Control messaging and landing pages
Organic search results provides minimum opportunity to present your brand in the best light. Paid ads give you the opportunity to utilise more space within the SERPS, to test alternative ad variations, create ads which mirror your offline marketing efforts, market multiple products within one space, to drive users to your highest converting landing page and much more.
Assess the landscape for your brand keywords and establish whether you need to protect your brand or whether its worth testing a period without paid ads and a period with to identify whether this has an impact on your conversion volume. Remember that if competitors are bidding on your brand term, they can bid but they cannot use your name in their ad. If you find they are using your business name you can complete a trademark form with Google to get those ads remove. Finally if competitors are bidding on your brand terms if may be worth reaching out to them and asking them to stop, a gentleman agreement can go a long way when it comes to reducing your CPC’s across these terms! If you find competitors remain competitive on your brand keywords, it may be worth bidding on their brand keywords, although keep in mind that A) not all competitor brand keywords will lead to efficient CPA’s and B) only bid on those you can afford to bid on i.e. dont bid on competitor brands who have a larger marketing budget than yourself. To comment below if you have any questions or have anything to add.