Many people think they shouldn’t bid on their brand name because they already occupy the top organic position on Google/Bing.
Because they’re getting this traffic for “free”, they begrudge paying Google/Microsoft for it.
You should definitely load up ads and test whether you get a higher volume of visitors than when you just have your organic listings.
Even if you don’t get a bump in visitors, or if you don’t think it’s work the additional cost, I suggest you should still bid on your brand name.
Some reasons why you should bid on your brand name
1) You get accurate stats on how often people search for your brand
You can count impressions, divide by impression share, and can see search volumes rising or falling. (This assumes you’ve the right account structure to be able to determine impression share by branded searches.)
You can then detect the outcome of other marketing initiatives.
For example, we ran a YouTube campaign and the video ad finished with a new product name. By running a search campaign at the same time we could see people starting to search for the new product name.
2) You get to iterate the ad copy, sitelinks, and callouts
This enables you to improve CTR and volume of visitors.
More importantly, it allows you to learn WHY some ads resonate more with people.
These small insights are often the ones that help you find the small actions that have a large impact.
3) You get to send people to the landing page YOU choose
The page that gets ranked top organically for a particular search term is not necessarily the page that will best convert that visitor into a buyer.
By running an paid ad, you can control which landing page to send people to, and can change this instantly when you want to promote a different offer.
You can also test landing pages to continuously improve visitor to subscriber/buyer conversion rates.
4) You protect your branded searches from being hijacked
If you didn’t bid on your brand, then your competitors can do so and insert an ad above your organic listing.
They will effectively steal your branded searches, which are the culmination of all your other marketing efforts.
Why do all the hard work to generate demand for your brand, and then let another business capitalise on it?
A good example of a business bidding on their brand
The ad below doesn’t even have all the available ad extensions in use, but it’s still MASSIVE.
The sitelinks below the actual ad are showing with description text below them.
It’s pretty much the only time I see the sitelink descriptions being used (when it’s a branded search and you ARE the brand).
I think sitelink descriptions give you SUCH a boost in CTR that Google won’t show them when the search term is something businesses compete over.
Notice how the ad is probably going to take me to the best page for me as a searcher (I’m searching from within Dublin), and that the ad headline mentions Dublin, but only one of the organic listings does?
I’m more likely to find relevant offers on the page that the ad sends me to, than pages via any of the organic listings.
60%+ CTR anyone?
A good example of a business NOT bidding on their brand
Check out the search volumes below for 123.ie and FBD in particular.
Both offer car insurance, and both have done a great job of increasing brand awareness and getting people to type in a branded car insurance search.
How do you think FBD is doing capitalising on all those branded searches?
Heck, even an arbitrageur can put the branded search term in their ad headline (see the about.com ad on the right).