Branded Keywords: To Bid or Not To Bid?

April 18th, 2013

Search Engine MarketingBy Mandy Lauman

Branded keywords are words or phrases that include your company or brand name, as well as variations of those terms. When it comes to managing search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns, clients often wonder why they should spend their advertising dollars on their own branded keywords – especially when they rank at the top of the page organically for those terms.

Long story short, your brand is your reputation – it’s important to get your name out there as much as possible.  If you’re running a SEM campaign, bidding on those keywords can increase the traffic to your site from what you’re already getting organically.

It can be difficult to see the value in bidding on branded keywords, especially if their website already appears at the top of the organic search results. Let’s look at a few important reasons on why you should bid on your own branded keywords:

  • Branded keywords are relatively inexpensive. This is due to the fact that the search engines looks at the relevancy of the keyword by comparing it to your website. In general, the more relevant the keyword is, the less expensive the click will be. A company’s name is highly relevant to their campaign, meaning these types of keywords usually result in calls and leads for a relatively cheap cost.
  • Just because you rank high today organically doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. The search engine’s engineers are the only ones who know the algorithm used to rank websites on the search engine results pages (SERPs).  If your organic ranking slips for a few days, your sponsored ads will still show up at the top or side of the page.
  • If you don’t bid on your branded keywords, your competitors will. In the U.S., it’s legal to bid on competitor product and company names as long as the competitor names or trademarked terms don’t show up in your actual ad. Remember, if you’re not bidding on your branded keywords, competitors that are will always show up above your organic listings – even if you’re already ranking #1 organically!

Never take your branded keywords for granted. They contribute to the overall health and quality of your SEM campaign in the eyes of the publishers (ex: Google, Bing, Yahoo!). Utilizing branded keywords in your SEM campaign will help you to open the door for maximizing your profits!

Filed under: advertising, Paid Search | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »