Why Do I Need to Bid on Branded Keyword Terms?

September 5, 2017 Written by Nicole Blanckenberg

We already learned in our does Google Ads work and ppc vs. seo guides that even if you have good seo, ppc is essential. that choosing the right keywords is the penultimate aspect of running adwords keywords campaigns. so, if keywords are the most important aspect of your campaigns, would it be a ‘waste’ of time and money on selecting branded keyword terms?

What Do We Mean By Branded Keyword Terms

Branded keyword terms are those that are include your store/brand name, while a branded keyword means bidding on your brand name, for example Amazon would bid on the keyword ‘Amazon’. There are a variety of variations of branded keyword terms that you can use. Here are some examples:

  • Brand long tail (“Get 4% off EasyJet flights to Prague”)
  • Brand + product name (“EasyJet Europe Flights”)
  • Brand + sale (“EasyJet Sale”)
  • Brand + website (“www.easyjet”)
  • Brand + coupon (“EasyJet Coupons”)

If you are not currently using branded keyword terms, ask yourself these four questions: Who is showing up when you search your own brand? Do you have something your customers absolutely should know about NOW? Are competitors encroaching on your territory? Are you getting a high enough conversion rate for your clicks - AKA good ROIs!?

If you’re not already adding your brand name to your bidding keyword list, then chances are you’re not alone on your search page, your competitors are encroaching on your territory, your ROIs aren’t as high as they should be and your customers are not hearing what you have to say.

In this post we take a look at the top 5 reasons why you need to bid on branded keyword terms from today:

1. To Dominate Search Pages with SEO and PPC

If you’re not bidding for branded keyword terms, you can bet your bottom dollar your competitors will. Why should it matter? Have a look what happens when you search ‘Nike shoes.’

Offense is the first form of defense - just because you’re not bidding on your own branded terms, it doesn’t mean someone else isn’t. The first thing to appear is the AdWords search ad with the highest bid for that term. And chances are, if a site with stronger SEO is using your branded keywords or is bidding on your brand name terms, they’re going to beat you to the top spot. When picking keywords, ensure you include your brand with product search terms to ensure your competitors are not reaping the rewards of your customers searching for your store and that you are dominating the page.

2. To Have More Control While Enjoying Better Traffic Management

If you’re looking for more control over your eCommerce store messaging, then using PPC branded keywords gives you just that. Although your online shop may be appearing on the first page of SERPs (search engine results pages), the display is limited to SEO metadata. Using paid ads allows you to get more crafty with your messaging and attract a higher CTR to your promotion or product pages with the highest conversions.

Using paid ads with branded searched allows you to link to more landing pages than your organic SEO listings. This means you can direct customers who are searching for your brand to specific pages and therefore have more control over your traffic management - driving traffic to specific deals, promotions or community participations.

3. To Stick it to Your Competitors While Spending Less

If your competitors are already bidding on your brand terms, once you start you’ll drive up the bid price on those terms. Couple that with the fact that your ads will have a higher quality score because your brand using your brand name in keywords terms makes your ads more relevant to users. The higher quality score means better positions, higher CTRs and ultimately forces your competitors to either raise their bids to compete, hurting their bottom line, or to drop out of the race altogether.

At the same time, even if your competitors are using your brand name in their keyword terms, they are not using a fraction of the options available to you. Branded keyword terms, especially if you’re a smaller or newer eCommerce business, are going to cost much less to bid on; guaranteeing you a lot more exposure for your money and therefore a higher ROI.

4. To Get More Clicks and Higher Conversions

Bing conducted a study at the end of 2015 that found that you’re 31% more likely to get clicks when using branded terms in your search ppc campaigns. by bidding on your keywords, and putting your brand front and center, you are guaranteed to get more clicks than by your organic listings - especially if you’re not on the first five.

People who are searching for your store name or products are keen shoppers. They know your brand and are ready to buy, making them high-quality leads. High-quality leads equal highly targeted traffic, which equals higher sales conversions.

These searchers are further down the sales funnel and therefore by including branded keywords in your PPC bids, you will ensure - no matter where you are in your SEO developments - that you’re first on the results pages. This is not a new concept; a number of eCommerce studies since 2012 have shown that branded keyword phrases are up to 5 times more likely to convert potential shoppers. Even Google pointed out that branded searches can double your conversion rates.

5. To Increase and Protect Your Visibility

You want to ensure that when people search for your online store, it’s your store they are seeing first, not that of your competitor. Your store visibility is the foundation for eCommerce success. By bidding on branded keywords and phrases, you’re not only increasing your visibility by increasing the number of links, but protecting it from your leading competitors. More links means more visual real estate on SERPs, and more real estate establishes you as a formidable, trustworthy store.

Space on the first page of Google is limited and search ad space is limited, but by using branded terms you’re protecting your stake in these spots. When it comes to mobile phone searches, where screen space is even more limited, branded term bids are of the utmost importance if you want to be found and seen.

Bonus Tip: How to Compare the Cost Of Brand Search To The Benefits

In a study by Search Engine land, they found that, in an average scenario, 50% of existing brand ad clicks would go elsewhere if you were to turn off your brand campaigns. To test the benefits and compare them to the cost of these keyword term bids, here’s a formula to show you what it will look like when brand search keywords are being used.

You need to work out how much traffic you’re getting from paid search, how much you were getting before branded search organically and multiply it by your sales conversions. If that number is greater than the cost of the bids, you’re winning.

Looking for more tips? Take a look at our comprehensive adwords guide.