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.

A Beginner's Guide to PPC

Considering leaping into the world of PPC, namely Google Ads? Prepare to be overwhelmed, as there is so much to consider before you see that first advert appear. While it might feel a little (or a lot!) like stepping out into a maze, we guide you through the five main checkpoints to building a successful PPC account.

#1 – Goals:

Firstly and most importantly, you’ll need to lay out your marketing goals (i.e. what do you want to achieve?). If you think about it, we apply goals in every aspect of our lives. You wouldn’t set off in a car without knowing where your destination is, and it’s the same for PPC.  

Take a moment to think about where you want your PPC account to lead you. For a lot of businesses, their goal will be to increase lead flow and ultimately generate more sales, but it may also include targeting brand awareness.

Having a clear understanding of your goals also helps to inform your Return on Investment (ROI), which provides an important calculation to whether your PPC expenditure is offering value for money.

#2 - Budget:

It’s equally important to have your budget figured out early. Start by defining an outline budget…

To do this, you will need to consider how many clicks you want your budget to buy you and how much you are willing to pay overall for a lead. A lead will be recorded as a conversion - whether that’s a form being filled out or a transaction being carried out, it’s the action you want to user to perform once clicking on your ads.

With this decided, you can then look into how to split your budget across different campaigns, by either allocating the budget to each individual campaign or use a shared budget where Google will automatically adjust how it allocates the budget to help improve your ROI.

#3 – Industry Research and Keywords:

Both sector and keyword research are both very important when planning and setting up a new PPC account. Doing some research around the prospective industry will give you an insight into the kind of jargon that potential customers might use in their searches.

Implementing this research into your keywords can give you a serious head start against your competitors as the keywords will be relevant and suited towards the customer’s search terms, meaning your ads will have a better chance at showing.

Another great tip is to use the Google Keyword Planner as it allows you to see either the historical or forecasted search volume for potential keywords. If you are operating on a small budget, then the keyword planner will also allow you to see which keywords have lower competition and will therefore be cheaper to bid on.

#4 – Negative Keywords:

Negative keywords are an essential tool to ensure all search traffic is relevant. The search term report is an incredibly handy tool that allows you to view all search terms that have resulted in a click on your ads. You can then filter out the less relevant searches and put in place negative keywords.

#5 – Conversion Tracking:

Finally, conversion tracking is an essential part of monitoring the performance of your account. By using conversion tracking, we can measure the number of times a goal has been achieved, which forms an essential part of determining ROI.

Furthermore, you can use attribution tracking to view the conversion pathway, in order to look at areas to improvement, for example improving the landing page experience..  

Hopefully the above checklist will help you begin to figure out the maze that is PPC. However, PPC is complicated and can be expensive if you get it wrong. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like any guidance.