5 reasons to buy your brand’s keywords on Google
Targeting brand keywords* in search marketing is a simple, cost-effective tactic that could have a very interesting strategic influence on the brand.
Targeting brand keywords allows you to:
- Negate weak organic search rankings (no brainer)
- Hold off the competition
- Promote special offers
- Improve user experience
- Influence click-through rates
1- Negate weak organic search rankings
Paid search is a quick fix for sites where organic ranking is not up to par. If your site isn’t the first link that appears organically when your brand name is typed into the search bar, you need to buy it.
Here are some common scenarios:
- A brand new site is launched, but hasn’t yet built enough reputation to appear organically
- A company’s brand name is a common word
- A site isn’t indexed in a particular language and/or redirects to the brand’s site in the requested language, but changes countries automatically (for example, a French-language site that redirects to France). Both situations can impede navigation and create frustration among users.
2- Hold off the competition
Even if your site is ranked first in organic search, your competitors might still be bidding on your brand name, relegating your site to 2nd or 3rd position. Bearing in mind that 55% of clicks go to the top three search results, occupying the top spot is essential for brands.
When you’re analyzing the competition, it’s important to have an understanding of who your competitors are: are they direct competitors, or resellers?
If you’re facing direct competition, there’s no question – you have to protect your brand! In the example below, ww.afiexpertise.com, a direct competitor of Technologia, is targeting their brand name. Thanks to a paid search campaign, the competitor’s site is relegated to second position. What’s more, by implementing good organic search practices, Technologia has been able to take up the space on the right, further reducing the space afforded to the competition.
In the case of a reseller buying your brand keywords, we usually tell our clients to position themselves above the resellers. Better to pay a few cents per click than to pay a ransom to a reseller. Of course every case is unique, and before getting into a war with a reseller, we always discuss and analyse the situation with the client.
You can use the ad preview tool to check whether a competitor is targeting your brand keywords on Google. A little trick: when you use this tool, try it in different markets. It could be that your competition is only trying to rank for your brand in certain markets. And don’t forget to look at Bing! 😉
Brand keyword campaigns need to be monitored over time, since it’s possible that from one day to the next, a new competitor could come on the scene, or an old one could drop off, and impact your results.
3- Promote special offers
Another interesting way to use this tactic is to promote special offers available on your site. For example, for Boxing Day, it’s easily possible to adapt the messaging of your ads to promote a special offer, and program ads to run online for only a certain number of days.
Even if your brand ranks well in organic search, changing the text that appears in search results for just two days would require a lot more time, and be a lot less flexible.
4- Improve user experience
When a person is searching for your brand, you want to maximize the likelihood of them visiting your site by making their experience as interesting as possible, and maximizing the visual space you occupy.
There are a number of ad extensions that allow you to enrich the content of your paid ads.
- Site Links: Allows you to promote new products, promotions, contests, and special events.
- Review extensions: Allows you to quote an external source, for example a newspaper review of your product.
- Call extensions: Allows you to include the phone number of the location nearest to the user.
- Location extensions: Allows you to include the address of the location nearest to the user.
- Call out extensions: Allows you to add an addition line of text, to further promote the value of your product.
In addition, when there’s competition for your brand keywords, these extensions allow you to take up more real estate, and push the competition further down the page.
5- Influence click-through rates
Targeting brand keywords also has a positive influence on CTR. In fact, for one client, we saw a 50% (0.2 point) increase in the click-query ratio when an AdWords ad appeared alongside the organic result, versus the organic result alone. This means that, regardless of whether the user clicks the paid or organic result, the chance of the user clicking is greater if both appear than if only the SEO result appears.
From this behaviour we can construe that SEO and paid search are complementary, and ultimately allow you to reinforce the strength of the brand when a user is scrolling through search results.
You can see your results in the Paid & Organic report in AdWords. The results come from Google Webmaster Tools, so your accounts need to be linked. The data in the report isn’t 100% accurate, but it will allow you to analyze trends. To measure the performance of organic versus paid links from a conversion standpoint, you would be better off using Google Analytics or Adobe (as the case may be).
In the end, there’s no magic formula: every brand is different, and none or several of the above arguments might apply to your situation. The important thing is to treat brand keyword campaigns as a tactic in and of itself, that can help you reach your campaign goals.
*When we talk about bidding on brand keywords, this includes all possible variations of the brand. For example, Adviso, +Adviso +services, “Adviso Consulting”, etc.