JEMSU has done PPC management for the last decade, so we’ve become quite accustomed to some of the FAQ’s that we get from clients. One of the biggest ones we get comes in regards to brand campaigns, and why someone would want to run them. The question we often get is, “Why should I pay for clicks on my brand name when I show up first in the organic listing?”
It’s a fair question, as the fundamental principle of PPC is that you pay for each click. When budgets are limited and non-branded keywords are pricey, should any budget be put toward branded keywords?. My response is always YES! In fact, there are several reasons why you should be bidding on your own brand name in all major search engines.
What is a Brand Campaign Anyway?
A quick refresher: A brand campaign is a search campaign that includes your own branded keywords. This can include company name, product names, and even members of your team if you are a doctor or lawyer. These campaigns can often include popular misspellings of your brand name.
Many of our clients worry about wasting spend on brand campaigns, or even cannibalizing their organic traffic to the site. However, studies show quite the opposite.
Here are the 7 reasons you need to be running a brand campaign in Google Ads.
#1: Control Your Brand Message
One of the best parts of running search ads is that you get to decide the message. When Google crawls your website to list it organically, you have little control over what information shows. While you’re able to give it suggestions about which parts of the meta description or title tag should show, Google will often try to match the search query that a user imports. This means your listing can look messy, pull in pages that aren’t relevant, or statements can even be taken out of context.
On the other hand, when you pay Google to show an ad, you are able to completely control the message. You can highlight sales that you’re having, popular products, free consultations, and positive reviews. You also have the added feature of ad extensions, which can show site links, product catalogs, nearby locations, and more. Utilizing ad extensions makes your ad larger and more likely to get clicks on the site. Which leads us to…
#2: Dominate Your Search Engine Results Page
Search engine results pages, or SERP’s as they’re known in the industry, are changing all the time. Google is constantly toying with their user interface while also layering in different assumptions about a user’s intent when search. This causes the search engine results page to show many different variations depending on a user’s location and what they’re searching.
One of the constants through more of these variations is ads. Having ads running on your brand campaign can increase your presence on a SERP, making it even more likely that a potential client clicks to your site versus another one.
#3: Protect Your Brand From Competitors
Not everyone knows this, but competitors are able to bid on YOUR brand name. This means that your competitors can steal away people that may be intending to go to your site, and they can do this at a pretty low cost.
Below is a screenshot of a competitor outbidding the brand on their own keyword. While some potential site visitors may be savvy enough to avoid the ad and click on your site, many could end up on your competitor’s site instead.
With a brand campaign, you can easily beat any competitors trying to poach business from you, while spending relatively few dollars to do so. Additionally, since Google wants to give their users the positive experience possible, they tend to let brands bid on their own keywords for much less than a competitor would.
#4: Compete On Your Generic Brand Name
We’ve had plenty of clients over the years with unique, proprietary brand names. We’ve had even more clients who have business names that spell out exactly what they do. Take for example one of our newest clients, Cherry Creek Family Dental.
Cherry Creek Family Dental is a dentist office in Cherry Creek, but I’m sure you figured that out already. However, the search query “cherry creek family dental” is very common for dentists in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver to bid on. Because of this, having a brand campaign was essential to our Google Ads strategy.
If your business name is generic, you could likely have the same problem. By adding a brand campaign to your mix, you’re able to protect your brand name from competitors who are bidding on non-branded keywords that happen to be your brand name.
#5: Complement Other Advertising Channels
While Google Ads is one of the most popular advertising channels, it’s far from the only option. There are hundreds of digital and traditional advertising platforms that you can be running at any given time, and almost all of them can be complemented by a branded search campaigns.
Social and Display advertising has grown tremendously in recent years, with major companies running ads in as many places as possible in order to increase the number of impressions with potential customers. While these channels can drive conversions, they also tend to drive increased brand awareness when showing to potential customers. Not everyone who sees a social or display ad takes an immediate action, so having a brand campaign guarantees that you’ll capture all of that traffic.
Traditional advertising channels, like print, tv, and radio also lead to more brand awareness among potential customers. People who hear a radio ad or see a television ad are likely to turn to a search engine to find more information about a business. Branded search campaigns ensure that you will capture that traffic.
#6: Close Lower Funnel Leads
If a potential customer is searching for your brand name, there’s a good chance that they are aware of your product or service and are probably interested in purchasing from you in the near future. They tend to know what they are looking for and are typically farther along in their purchase journey than someone searching for more generic terms. Why not capitalize on that traffic?
#7: It’s Relatively Inexpensive
We’re all about finding a cheap, high-quality keyword and branded keywords are a great option. Google already wants to give you priority since your website is the most relevant result to a branded search query. This means you’re likely to have high Quality Scores and low CPC’s – and budget can go much further.
For most of our clients, we see branded keywords account for 10-15% of the budget, but those same keywords can drive 50% or more of the conversions. While these clicks may have converted organically if your ad wasn’t there, there are studies that show PPC clicks convert as much as 4x higher than organic clicks, predominantly because they have more control over what specifically shows. A brand is able to control exactly which verbiage shows in their ads, and they can send potential customers to landing pages on their site that is more relevant to their searches, leading to cheaper clicks and more conversions. Furthermore, there are many studies that show that running branded search ads can increase overall site traffic.
There are plenty of reasons to run a branded search campaign and any one of the reasons above could be the one that changes your mind. However, I’m sure there are still skeptics out there that think otherwise, and that’s ok! Every business is different and every business needs a customized strategy to make sure they are getting the best return on their ad dollars.
If you’re looking to get a second pair of eyes on your account, hit us up! We offer free Google Ads audits and are happy to talk you through your next PPC strategy.