PPC advertising has become an essential marketing solution for SaaS businesses that want to show off their products, pinpoint a targeted demographic, and rank higher in search engine results.
But what if you are already ranking high organically?
Should you still advertise for your own brand keywords, and should you pay if the user is already searching for your business?
Truth is, PPC trends are changing at exponential rates, and bidding on your brand can be a viable strategy to help your business adapt to the changing landscape, align with the user intent, and maximize returns.
Let’s take a closer look at brand bidding and how it can benefit your business.
What Is Brand Bidding?
Bidding on branded search terms – or brand bidding – is the practice of placing PPC bids on your own (or your competitor’s) branded keywords, including a company or product name.
With branded keywords, the main goal is to reach users who are already familiar with your brand name or the product that you sell.
Why Should You Bid on Your Brand Name?
When it comes to brand bidding, the key thing to keep in mind is that users who are searching for your brand keywords are potential customers and you should be converting them into new clients.
Essentially, bidding on your company or product name ensures you are covering your core brand terms in all searches and protecting your brand against competitors trying to steal your customers away at the last minute.
While brand bidding can be a divisive topic, it’s worth noting that 89% of PPC traffic is incremental. That means that the majority of paid ad interactions come from users that would not have otherwise gone to the advertiser’s site.
If you are not sold on the idea yet, here are eight reasons why you should bid on brand keywords.
Reason #1: You Get More SERP Real Estate
SERPs offer a finite amount of space (also known as real estate), and, ultimately, no matter how great your site is, if it’s not ranking effectively, it’s likely to go unnoticed.
Conversely, brands that own as much SERP real estate as possible are the ones that have the best chances of capturing traffic.
Bidding on your brand queries can help you occupy more positions and, consequently, allow you to take up more SERP real estate.
That said, it’s also important to note that – along with organic results and paid ads – Google’s SERPs include a variety of features, such as rich snippets, site links, and knowledge panels. To own your brand SERP, you should be taking advantage of these features, as well.
Reason #2: You Gain More Control
No one knows your brand as well as you do. When customers are searching for you, they expect a certain branded experience. Relying solely on organic results often means that the message searchers see could be whichever organic description they hone in on.
By leveraging brand bidding, you have the opportunity to fully control the message and make sure your brand is represented in the best possible way.
Reason #3: Brand Bidding Can Be Cost-Effective
Because there is less competition, branded keywords are likely to be more cost-effective than non-branded terms.
If you have people searching for your brand name, bidding on your branded keywords can be a wise investment, even if you are already ranking for them organically.
Reason #4: You Can Block Out Competition
Sometimes, your competitors may bid on your brand terms in an effort to divert and steal valuable clicks. If they do, chances are that whenever someone does a search for your company, your competitor’s ad will show above your organic listings.
In such cases, bidding on your brand name is important for keeping the traffic from going to the competitor and ensuring it’s harder – and more expensive – for them to outrank you.
Reason #5: You Can Focus on a Message or Highlight a Promotion
When users type your brand keywords into Google, they will likely end up on the first result that they see, which is typically the homepage.
By bidding on your brand name you can highlight a promotion or draw a particular emphasis regardless of the search term. This could be a seasonal sale, a promotion that mirrors other online or offline campaigns, or an important company announcement.
Whichever the case, branded ads allow you to steer navigational searchers towards the single thing that you want them to care about at that exact moment.
Reason #6: You Can Send Traffic to a Dedicated Landing Page
Because your homepage typically ranks atop the organic results, sending visitors to a different page organically will be a difficult task.
With paid search ads, you are in control of where you send the visitor.
As most users searching for your actual brand name are close to the conversion point, you must also make sure you are capturing them with great landing page content. To nudge prospects to take the next step and convert, focus on creating action-oriented landing page copy.
Reason #7: You Can Provide Users More Information Right Away
Most ad platforms allow advertisers to customize their ads through various extensions.
This can include user reviews, new products, promotions, or high-performing content that you might not otherwise be able to share in your homepage meta descriptions.
Here is what ad extensions look like in action:
Codespark is a great example of how you can use paid ads to influence what the search results for your brand look like, as well as directly present users with valuable information. This makes it easier for the searcher to find what they’re looking for (or what you’d like them to find).
Note: Because Google’s algorithm automatically selects the most relevant ad extensions to show, you should aim to create at least 50% more extensions than you actually need.
Reason #8: You Can Boost Conversions and Profits
Branded searchers are highly relevant to your brand, and while it might seem counter-intuitive, conversion rates are often higher from PPC because you have more control over the ad message, landing page, and conversion funnel.
For many brands, combining this with the overall boost in clicks received often results in branded ads that increase revenue and site profits.
Is Trademark Bidding Legal?
In practice, trademark bidding is allowed as long as the trademark terms are not included in the ad creative.
Overall, you can include trademark terms in the ad title or copy if:
- You are the owner of the trademark
- You are an official reseller of the trademark
- You are an informational site
If none of these cases are true for you, you can still bid on trademarked keywords, but you are not allowed to include them in the ad title or copy.
Who Else Can Bid on My Name?
In short, anyone can bid on brand keywords, including:
- Marketing partners
- Competitors and third-parties such as search arbitrageurs
- Affiliate partners
It’s important to remember that when other parties bid on your brand name this increases CPCs for your ads, decreases CTRs, pushes you down the page in SERPs, and provides a poor user experience for your customers.
If someone else is bidding on your brand and you are running paid ads, consider optimizing your landing pages, increasing your budget for your brand’s keywords, and improving your quality score (e.g. landing page UX, CTRs).
If you are not running paid ads but want to minimize any negative impacts on your business from competitors bidding on your terms, you should focus on improving your organic rankings.
Elevate Your PPC Strategy
With PPC advertising, your ad doesn’t just show up in someone’s feed, it shows up when it’s the answer to the question they are looking for.
Bidding on your own brand name can be a great way to gain more control and flexibility on your brand SERP, as well as reach your audience with the right message.
Head to our blog for more PPC insights, as well as tips on how to prevent brand bidding in affiliate marketing.