Ep 17: Why You Should Bid On Branded Keywords

bid branded keywords podcast Sep 22, 2020

One of the very first questions I get from new Google Ads clients is whether or not they should be bidding on their own brand name keywords. I have very strong feelings about this particular topic. So let’s talk about it.

Hey everybody, Jim Lastinger here. Hope you’re doing well. Today on Marketing in 10, we’re going to be talking about branded search campaigns and why I think every business should be writing them. They’re a crucial part of the overall Google Ad strategy, and I’m about to explain why. Clients always ask me why they should be spending their limited advertising budgets on brand name keywords when they already ranked well, or at the top of the organic search results pages.

Well, there are five primary reasons:

Control Your Brand Messaging

So reason number one, you get to control your brand messaging. When you search for your brand terms, you typically only control one to two spots on that search results page. So it’s possible for other sites to put information about your brand out there, or to encroach on your space some other way, whether the information they’re putting out there is factual or not. When you run ads on your page or on your branded keywords, you get to control the ad creative, which gives you more control over the overall messaging that people are seeing when they search for your brand terms.

Control SERP Real Estate

Reason number two, you get to control more of the real estate on your branded SERP, just like how you get to control more of the messaging, you get to control more of the actual real estate or space on that search results page. You having more space means that other sites get less space, which is definitely an advantage for you.

Keep Competitors Away

Reason number three, keep your competitors at bay. So just as you can bid on your own brand keywords, so can your competitors. It’s a bad look for a brand if only competitors show up at the top of a brand search results page. So if you are Nike and someone searches for Nike shoes, you don’t want Adidas and Reebok and all the other brands to show up on that page and not have an ad from Nike. That’s a bad look for brand.

Don’t give your competitors power over your brand messaging. So running your own ads on your branded SERPs and being sure to show above the competitors as much as possible is highly important.

They’re Usually Cheap

Okay. So the fourth reason. Branded search campaigns are really cheap, but the returns are usually really good. Always think about eCommerce companies in this example. It’s totally normal for an average eCommerce company to make a 15 to 20 X return on ad spend on a branded search campaign, which means that for every $1 that you spend, you might make 15 to $20 in sales. So can you afford to not run that branded search campaign if those numbers are for you?

SEO & PPC Crossover Effect

Okay. Reason number five, last one. This is definitely the haziest of the reasons I’m talking about here, but it’s something to think about.

There seems to be a bit of a crossover effect between having a paid ad on a page and having a top organic listing on a SERP. It’s definitely kind of hard to quantify, but there’ve been a lot of studies out there that have done this and the studies tend to support the notion that paid ads actually increase organic click through rates for brands. I’ve seen all different kinds of numbers, but even if it’s something modest, like a 15% increase in organic click through rate, then it’s definitely worth it.


I have a pretty detailed blog post about branded search campaigns on my Deep Field blog. So I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, and it talks about all these things in a bit more detail and it has some good examples. So be sure to check that out when you have a second.

That’s all I have for today. Please take a minute to leave a rating or review for the show if you haven’t done that yet. That’s the number one way that I can grow this thing and serve more people. Until next time, take care, everyone.

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