The subject of “brand bidding” has been a topic that has been discussed to great lengths in the paid marketing industry. Businesses, agencies, consultants, in house experts all seem to have a different opinion on what seems a quite simple notion, do you want to pay for traffic that you can get for free organically?
Well, in this blog, I will provide the reasons for why you should bid on your brand and how only relying on your organic ranking (no matter where you are positioned) is limiting your control, and ultimately an opportunity to maximise traffic to the website in question. Let me explain.
What Is Brand Bidding?
It is worth spending a bit of time confirming what bidding on brand keywords actually means. Simply put it is using a company’s name as a keyword (e.g. Sky). Additionally if you include a product with the brand name this is also considered brand bidding (e.g. Sky Broadband) as well as any offers or sale promotions (e.g. Sky broadband sale or Sky sale).
Now that we have established what brand bidding is let’s take a look at the reasons why you should bid on your brand name.
You Receive More Traffic
There have been various studies that confirm you will receive more traffic, if you run paid ads in conjunction with your organic listing/ranking. Bing in 2014 produced a study that confirmed that when you have a PPC ad and an organic listing in 1st position that you are likely to receive 88% of all clicks. If the paid ad is shown on the right hand side of the results you will receive 67% of all clicks. Finally with an organic listing alone the figure drops to 56% of all clicks. Below is a graph to represent this:
The difference between 88% and 56% is significant. If you want to receive the maximum amount of clicks possible, then you need to be bidding on your brand name. If you don’t trust Bing, Google made a study producing a similar conclusion.
Fend Off Your Competitors
Competitor bidding has been around for a very long time, the legality around it has been tightened up over the years but there is nothing stopping anyone bidding on your brand term. The severity of this varies from industry to industry but if you are not prepared to ‘protect your turf’ then you can expect to lose website traffic & potential conversions to your competitors. Let’s look at an example below:
This screenshot of a search for Compare The Market, a trademarked phrase, this shows how important it is to bid on your own brand. Despite their number one ranking, if Compare The Market did not bid on their brand name they stand to lose traffic to either Google’s own insurance aggregator, Moneysupermarket.com, Uswitch or Confused.com (as well as others).
Just to confirm that this is perfectly fair – remember as long as you don’t include a trademark/brand in your ad text title or description you are able to bid on any competitors brand.
Have Control Over Your Message
Bidding on your brand gives you a chance to provide an alternative message or even promote a special offer with more immediacy and effectiveness as opposed to changing the meta information of your organic listing. Also you can use your site extensions to effectively send traffic to other areas of your site, organically you can only remove certain pages so they don’t appear. Below is an example where this is being used very well:
As you can see Virgin Media are taking the opportunity to bid on their brand name to promote their current offers, and to feature a completely different message to their organic result. The two compliment each other well. Notice another example of a competitor bidding on a brand name in this example as well. The opportunity to have two different tones and marketing intensions on Google’s search result page is extremely valuable.
Dominate Real Estate
Occupying as much space as possible will enhance your chances for people to engage with your brand. Dominance of the first page provides several opportunities for your customers to interact with one of your many marketing channels. This could be paid, organic, social, PLA’s or local, look at the example below of Reebok:
Incidentally Sports Direct have done a fantastic job of ranking in position 2 for their Reebok category page in this search but because of Reebok’s monopolisation of space, ranking 2nd for this page means they are buried below the fold.
Low CPC’s & High Quality Score
If all the points above are not enough to convince you that bidding on your brand is not a bad idea then perhaps this last point will be the final deciding factor. The cost per clicks associated with bidding on your brand will be significantly lower compared to any other. CPC’s such as 10p – 15p are normal for a brand campaign, even lower can be achieved. A matter of pence to guarantee a visit to your site, money well spent.
Below is a screengrab of the CPCs for John Lewis brand terms:
In addition because of the relevancy of brand campaigns you will also get consistently high Quality Scores (8-10), which will further boost your overall score for your account. Essentially a brand campaign could plug gaps in other areas of your account, which are not performing as well. Need a boost of Quality Score in your account? A brand campaign will help.
In the past there has been many occasions where the thoughts of creating a brand campaign or even a brand ad group almost instantly is ruled out. Mainly due to good organic performance, however the opportunity has not ended, quite the opposite. Your marketing efforts don’t end even once you have conquered Google’s organic mountain, the digital landscape is vast and varied with opportunities in other areas. Bidding on your brand is one of many of those opportunities.
Some may claim that this will only work with big brands that are known as ‘worldwide brands’ and I would agree that it is certainly more effective for better known brands, but the methodology is exactly the same no matter what size business. Using Google AdWords to promote your brand is an investment; hopefully after reading this you will be thinking differently when it comes to brand bidding. In fact, can you afford not to?
If you would like to discuss Pay Per Click marketing for your business, please get in touch with the StrategiQ team today.