Should I Bid On Brand Keywords In Google Ads?

It’s a constant debate in the PPC search industry as to whether bidding on brand keywords adds value to the account - in fact there’s over 4,700,000 results on Google debating this whole argument…  

It’s a valid argument and there are many ways of approaching it, clearly demonstrated by the 4,700,000 results. And while the situation differs from client to client on whether bidding on brand names adds value, I think in most cases the good generally outweighs the bad which is why I’ve dedicated the majority of this post to the reasons why you should bid on brand names, starting with probably the most obvious (and the most important):

1.    Maximise your coverage on the search page.

Searching just your brand name compared to a longer search term, such as your brand name and the product or a location bring very different results on the search page.

In my experience, searching basic brand terms provides what you’d expect – your natural listing at the top. However, more complicated, longer-tail keywords associated with your brand might not have the same results.

Competitors bidding on broad keywords associated with your brand could start showing ads on the search results (e.g. competitors bidding on the broad keywords ‘estate agents’ would start showing ads for keywords like ‘Joe Bloggs estate agents’). In addition, keywords featuring locations, such as ‘Joe Bloggs estate agents Clapham’, could prompt Google Maps to offer even more competitors based in this area before the user even reaches the organic search results.  

For example, an estate agency not bidding on brand keywords shows organically at the top of the results and on the map with no competitors when you search just their brand name. 

However, adding the ‘estate agents’ and any of the locations they cover in addition to their brand cover gives very different results. The top 2 results show competitor ads before the agency’s own ad, while Google maps presents users with 3 competitor options all before the organic listings.

That gives the agency a 1 in 7 chance of capturing that customer if they don’t scroll to the organic listings.

So bidding on brand keywords gives you the opportunity to maximise your coverage on the search results, giving you all opportunities to capture loyal customers so that lead isn’t snapped up by any competitors.

2.    Brand keywords operate at a cheap cost per click, therefore giving them a low CPA.

 What’s not to love about low cost per acquisition and low cost per click? A lot of people believe spending on brand keywords could lead to wasted media spend but actually when the cost is so low per click (one client of ours has brand terms costing £0.01…) and you’re still getting actionable results then it’s a no-brainer.

3.    Improve your overall account health by improving quality scores.

 We know that brand keywords come with a high click-through rate as users searching for the brand will have a high intent audience. High click-through rate combined with high ad relevancy will boost the quality scores helping with the account’s overall health, even of the non-brand keywords.

Branded keywords are also known to improve conversion rates and even Google has said that brand keywords can have double the conversion rates of non-brand keywords. In a similar way to high click-through rates improving overall account health, having a high conversion rate for brand keywords will increase the account’s overall conversion rate which can help your account’s performance when using Google’s automated bidding.

To wrap up, there’s no definitive answer as to whether you should be bidding on brand keywords. It’s always subjective to the account’s set-up, the goals and also personal preference. However, there are plenty reasons as to why it’s a good idea, with the most important reason being getting the most coverage in the search results and the cheap cost per acquisition.  

To find out more about PPC and bidding on brand keywords, feel free to get in touch with us.