Your brand is one of your businesses most valuable assets. It’s what separates and defines you from the competition. Building a brand takes considerable time, money and resources. Once your brand is established, you should guard it jealously and leverage it at every turn.
Assets such as logos, trademarks and slogans all hold brand value. But in the world of search engine marketing, your brand holds a different, more tangible value in the form of search terms. Branded searches are one of your most valuable sources of traffic and the gateway to SERP listings that have a direct impact on your business. And so, your brand should be valued accordingly in your Paid Search strategy.
Still, many advertisers struggle with the concept of paying to advertise for their brand name when they already rank #1 organically for it. You may be asking yourself, why pay for something I already own? I’ve had many clients ask me the same question. So I wanted to share some of the key benefits I often share with our clients who are on the fence about adopting a branded search strategy.
Why Bid On Branded Terms?1. Avoid losing traffic to competitors. If your competitors are smart, or have a smart ppc agency behind them, they are going to bid on your name. That means even if you are #1 organically, you’ll no longer be #1 on the SERP. The CTR’s for position 1 on Google’s search results pages are staggering, even compared to position 2. By losing your stranglehold on the #1 spot you could stand to lose some serious traffic. And if there are multiple companies bidding on your name, the numbers get worse and worse.
2. Change up your messaging. Organic listings are usually written in a much different way than ads. They generally lack strong calls to action, timely messaging and can just be downright stale as they don’t frequently change due to the impact they have on SEO. Advertising for your name gives you the opportunity to change up your messaging, promotions or calls to action on the fly.
3. Control the landing page experience. 9 times out of 10 it’s your website’s homepage that ranks #1 organically. And while your homepage may be a decent landing page for general web traffic, it’s likely not optimized for conversion in the same way that a landing page is. By using the combination of a paid ads and landing pages for your branded terms, you can push current promotions or messaging in a much stronger and more deliberate way.
4. Bury undesirable search results. Hopefully this one you can ignore and your page 1 of Google is perfectly clean for your brand name. But if there’s an undesirable listing such as a bad review, ripoff report or even a brand impostor on page 1…you can push them one spot further down the page with a paid ad. That’s cheap, cost effective reputation management at it’s finest!
5. Maximize your real estate above the fold. “Above the fold” is an old newspaper advertising term referring to the premium content and space that appeared above the fold in the newspaper. The same concept applies with Search Engine Marketing. The search results that show at the top of your screen before you are required to scroll down to see more are considered above the fold. This space on the SERP is the most desirable, and you can control nearly all of it for your branded terms. Between 3 headlines, 2 description lines and ad extensions, you can take up some serious real estate on the page with an ad. Under the ad you should have your organic listing and possibly even a maps listing if the search is local. Add all of that up and you dominate 100% of the space above the fold for your branded terms.
6. Score easy conversions. Branded terms are as bottom-of-the-funnel as it gets in PPC. People searching for your name are most likely existing customers or people who are already familiar with your product or service and are very close to converting. Increase your chances of closing the deal by sending to a landing page that will convert better than your home page (see above).
7. Brand keywords are cheap. If everything mentioned so far isn’t quite enough to convince you to add a branded campaign to your PPC strategy, consider this…branded keywords are generally the cheapest, highest-converting keywords you can buy. You get all of the benefits above at a fraction of the CPC you spend on most keywords. Set aside a couple hundred dollars a month or so for your branded campaign and it will almost certainly net you a seriously positive ROAS.
And now that you’re (hopefully) sold on the fact that bidding on your brand name is a no-brainer, in our next post we will cover a few common strategies and pitfalls to avoid when you do run a branded campaign. But in the meantime, don’t wait to start building that fence around your brand with your PPC strategy!