11Feb 2019

The Importance of Bidding on Brand Terms

Katie Ryan
By Katie Ryan

It’s a common question: “Why should I bid on my brand terms?” The logic here is understandable — why spend money bidding on your own company name, URL, product names, etc. when you’re already going to show up in the organic search results? Won’t this cannibalize your organic traffic? That's what eBay thought, too. The reality is that in PPC, bidding on brand terms is our secret weapon. Here are the top 5 reasons you should be bidding on your brand terms:


1) Increase Your Visibility and Authority

So let’s address the main reason people don’t see the need to bid on brand terms: They’re already showing up in the organic search results. A term we like to use in search marketing is “real estate.” The more spaces you take up in the search results, the more authority your brand has. You double your visibility by showing up on the SERP twice, making the user more likely to click.


2) If You Aren’t Showing Up, Your Competitors Are

If your competitors know what they are doing, they are probably already bidding on your brand terms. That means if your ad isn’t showing up, theirs is — most likely BEFORE your organic listing. Not to mention that if a user is already searching your name, they’re already further down the sales funnel and more likely to convert. Further, 64.6% of users click on paid ads when they are looking to buy an item. If they decide to click on your competitor’s ad, you likely just lost a sale. An offense is the best defense.


3) Create the Message You Want Users to See

Organic search listings are, for a lack of a better word, boring. Paid search ads give you more control and creativity when crafting your message. You can construct catchy headlines, add sitelinks and use different ad formats to entice users to click on your ad. You also get to decide which landing page they go to, making the path to conversion shorter.


4) Brand Terms = High Quality Score

Branded terms are going to have the most relevancy to your ad copy, landing pages and overall website, so it makes sense that those keywords will have high Quality Scores (9s and 10s). This will make your account’s average Quality Score higher and help offset some of your lower-scoring keywords. A healthier overall account Quality Score can help boost some of your newly added terms right from the get-go.


5) Brand Terms Are More Cost-Effective

Depending on your industry and number of competitors, non-branded terms are almost always more expensive. For example, for one of our e-commerce clients, the average CPA for their brand campaign was $14.66, while the average CPA for their non-brand campaigns was $314.41. That is 21 times more expensive! If you’re only bidding on non-brand terms, you’re probably spending more money than you’re making.


Don’t get me wrong, non-brand keywords bring in a lot of traffic and can be great for brand awareness! So, here are a few best practices for bidding on both brand and non-brand keywords:

  • Make sure to keep non-brand and brand keywords in separate campaigns. This allows you too control how your budget is being spent.
  • Keep your brand-term campaign covered, and don’t limit the budget. Use what is left over for your non-brand campaigns.
  • To make sure your brand campaign is prioritized, use the accelerated ad delivery method for it, and use the standard delivery method for your non-brand campaign.
  • By increasing your ROAS for branded search terms, you will have some extra money to push toward non-brand terms and start building some brand awareness.


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