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Should You Bid On Your Brand Name?

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Should you bid on your brand name? If you run a paid search campaign, it’s something to consider. Let’s examine the factors in determining whether or not you should display ppc ads for keywords that contain your brand name. ​

First, website visitors that arrive to your site after searching for a keyword containing your brand name are typically higher engaged visits. It’s not uncommon to notice lower bounce rates and higher page depth from this segment. You may also notice more conversions  and higher conversion rates as well from this group. The main reason being is that this web visitor has some prior knowledge about your brand. Maybe they heard your name on the radio, read it in an article, or saw an online ad. Maybe they have engaged with your product or service in some capacity, and searched your brand name to locate your website. They aren’t discovering it for the first time, and have a reason for seeking you out.

It’s important to understand that chances are, you’re ranking fairly well for your brand name in organic search results.  Why would you need to run paid search ads for these terms as well? The reason might surprise you! It all comes down to how many website visitors you’ll miss out on if you don’t run the ads. In other words, by running ads on branded terms, would you get incremental visits from this valuable segment?

Bidding On Your Brand Name Works

​A really interesting study that Google published in 2012 shows up to 89% of the clicks from search ads are incremental, i.e., 89% of the visits to the advertiser’s site from ad-clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when the search ads are paused.  So, where do those lost incremental clicks end up? Most likely to your competition. By bidding on your brand terms, you are filling an ad slot that otherwise would be filled with your competitor. I see it all the time, especially for service based, local businesses like mosquito control, maintenance services, real estate agents, and deck builders. When you bid on your own branded terms, you might not prevent your competition from showing up in the paid results as well, but you’ll certainly make it harder for them.



Why? Google typically assigns a higher quality score to the brand owner. Why? You (the brand owner) will have a website, ads (and sometimes ur) that will most likely have a more relevant association with the branded term in question, and be rewarded for it. You will pay less per click and get prime placement in the paid listings, knocking your competition further down the ad slots for your branded terms. Ever wonder if anyone is displaying ads in paid results for your branded terms?

There’s a handy little report in your Google AdWords account called the Auction Insightreport. I can plug in the branded term in question, and it will show me  impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, top of page rate, and outranking share between me and other AdWords advertisers who are eligible to show for that term. It’s useful when you want to know where you stand in paid listings for your branded terms. While it’s true you can get some of this information by searching for your branded terms and noting which ads display, this report makes it much easier to gather and understand who is advertising, and how you compete.

How To Access AdWords Auction Insight report

Sign in to your AdWords account.

  • Click the CampaignsAd Groups, or Keywords tab based on what information you want to see in the report.
  • If you’d like to select specific campaigns, ad groups, or keywords, click the box next to each item. Note: you can only select keywords on a single page at a time (unless you run a report for “All”).
  • Click the Details box at the top of the statistics table.
  • In the drop-down menu, under “Auction insights,” click All or Selected.
  • You’ll now be taken to your Auction insights report. Note: only keywords and ad groups that meet a minimum threshold of activity will have the Auction insights report.
  • If you selected only Search or only Shopping campaigns or ad groups, you’ll see the corresponding Auction insights report. If you selected a mix of Search and Shopping campaigns or ad groups, you’ll need to select the Search campaigns or Shopping campaigns radio button
  • As a ppc campaign manager, I usually include brand name bidding should be part of the campaign strategy.

Do you bid on your branded terms? Why or why not?

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