Why include branded keywords?
There are a number of very compelling reasons why you should generally always include branded keywords in your AdWords PPC campaigns. I will explore some of these below as it is a question that frequently pops up.
Reasons to Include Branded Keywords in your AdWords account.
- Account Health
Having branded keywords in your account attracts a high click through rate for those keywords as they are extremely relevant. Your keywords and ads will also get very high quality scores on those keywords. Google attributes this good click through rate and quality score to the whole AdWords account (as all the campaigns are viewed as a whole for some metrics) and thus this improves the “health” of the account overall.
“Health” is Google’s idea of how relevant your account, keywords and ads are. High quality scores and click throughs = better health for the account. This can lead to lower cpc and greater impression share.
- Heading off Competition
Even if you rank in position 1 naturally for your brand terms you will still find competitors bidding specifically on your brand terms to steal traffic (ads appear for competition above your natural result). Competitors may also be bidding on terms that customers type along with your brand name, for example: “Rockhouses Realty Houses For Sale”. You may not have anyone bidding on “Rockhouses” but you will find many bidding on “realty” as well as “houses for sale”. Thus competitor ads will still appear diverting large portions of your traffic away. By bidding on your own brand terms you ensure you always have the number 1 spot above competitors either for exact match or long tail keywords that include your brand name. You will also ward off competition and also cause competitors to pay more when trying to steal your traffic.
- Click “Incrementality”
A phrase coined by Google to explain the phenomenon that happens when brands experience a higher click through rate on natural results when a paid result is also present.
Studies have proven that without a paid ad you may get 60% of the traffic clicking on your natural result. If you add a paid ad into the mix that figure goes up and also with a higher Click Through Rate. Thus an ad being present creates synergy between the natural and paid results for a greater end result. With a natural only rank in position 1 you may get 80 clicks out of 100 impressions. With a paid add included you may get 85 clicks out of 100 impressions on the natural result. You get a better end result.
- Professional Appeal
Having paid ads now days has become a standard for most brands especially all the big brands. Consumer psychology is starting to recognise this as a sign of a quality professional brand as all the high end big brands are doing it. It is something consumers come to expect. When a good quality paid add is present for your brand term it boosts your professional image and brand appeal. A paid branded result will also help your brand positioning, messaging and take up more shelf space to reinforce your key messages over competitors.
- Low Cost
Bidding on your brand terms is normally very low cost and over time will be very cost effective. As you get the majority of the clicks the cost per click comes way down. You wont have to break the bank to fund a brand campaign in your AdWords account.
- User Friendly
AdWords ads come with many different ad extensions that you can use to help consumers reach the right place on your website easily (e.g. sitelinks) or contact you with ease (e.g. click to call or maps). They also help you shout your key selling points better (e.g call outs) than a natural result does. You are thus helping a consumer understand and make use of your services with greater ease than a natural result can in isolation. You may also have a better landing page set up for your paid ads that converts better than your website home page. Fill that high conversion page with high quality leads that are close to the point of conversion.
When might you choose not to bid on branded keywords?
You may not want to do this if you have a very limited budget, you are 100% sure competitors are not bidding on your terms (beware they will probably jump in soon) & your brand is not often searched for with long tail keywords and products that may trigger competitor ads.
Only in certain rare circumstances would I recommend not bidding on branded terms. The reasons outlined above are too compelling an argument to opt for not running branded keywords. The results speak for themselves.
I hope this was helpful!