Brand keywords are an important part of overall paid search strategy. However, many advertisers are either unsure or completely against bidding on their own brand name in Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), often challenging their digital marketing agency with the question: “Why bid on my own brand name if I’m already showing up number one in Google organic results?”
This argument may seem logical, but there are some very sound and proven reasons for bidding on your brand’s business name, trademarks, and copyrights.
1) Protect your brand in search results: Search engines allow advertisers to bid on virtually any keyword, including competitor brand names and/or trademarks. While some businesses consider it unethical, the reality is that it’s a common paid advertising practice. Why let your competitors or affiliate advertisers own that advertising real estate to either a) push their own product/service as an alternative or worse, b) use false or misleading ads to confuse your potential customers?
Controlling your brand image is crucial, and Google Ads is perfect for this. You can change and test ad messaging on the fly, and even use “Official Site” in your headlines to make clear that clicking on your ad will lead the user to the actual site they were searching.
2) Control the search engine results page: As suggested by Ali Wilson here – “Just because you’re the #1 organic result doesn’t mean you’re also #2-10. It also doesn’t mean that you’re prominent in other features on the SERP like maps, images, shopping, knowledge graphs, answer boxes, or anything Google will roll out next.”
3) Brand keywords yield lower CPCs and higher click through rates, which can also mean lower cost per acquisitions.
4) Send potential customers to a well designed landing page, which may convert better than the link to your home page they access from a top organic listing. You can also use this as an opportunity to promote a last minute sale or discount. From WordStream: “…remember that your organic results might not send searchers to the most ideal landing pages. Take advantage of paid ads and send your searchers to your highest converting landing pages.”
5) Overall search (including organic) revenue may be higher:
From Brad Geddes: “…users still click on organic listings, even when a paid search advert is appearing above it. In the vast majority of cases, running paid search ads for the same keywords as your organic listings produces more profit overall”
From 3Q Digital: “…brand keywords increased total brand conversions (SEO+SEM) by around 10% even though competition was rare on both paid and organic listings”
Building brand awareness and increasing positive interactions with your brand are key to connecting with new audiences and retaining loyal customers. And a Brand campaign can help you with both.
As with everything else PPC, you ultimately must decide what’s best for YOUR brand because every industry, company, product and/or offer is different. The only way to know how buying brand keywords impacts your bottom line is to test it yourself. Pause your branded PPC campaign and/or ad group for a set time frame, then closely monitor organic traffic and overall conversions to see if you experience significant decrease in traffic or loss in revenue.
NOTE: As an advertiser, you can file a Google Ads trademark complaint letter specifically advising Google that you do not want other advertisers using your trademark in their ad. This does NOT mean advertisers must stop buying your trademark. You can review Google’s Trademarks policy, verity if you are eligible, and also find the form to submit here: