by Daniela Araujo
Google recommends advertisers include brand terms in paid search campaigns, however one might ask: if users know my brand and my website has been indexed by Google, won’t they find it organically anyway? This argument becomes even stronger when you naturally rank number one for your brand. In Part I of this article I discuss situations where brand terms will be a necessity in your paid search campaigns.
Competitors are bidding on your brand keywords. Internet users often look for your website using search engines rather than typing your web address directly into the browser. In this case, if your competitors are using your brand terms in their paid campaigns, their ads will be shown on the right hand side of the search results page next to your organic listing. In the worst scenario, competitors ads will be displayed above your organic listing with a highlighted background meant to draw attention to the ad. In a case like this, there is no doubt that you not only should bid on your brand keywords but also outbid your top competitors. Paid listings above organic results can mislead users into thinking that the number one listing is organic.
The figure below illustrates a situation where the first result is a paid listing. The search “Cisco” brought a Google paid listing as the number one result. If Cisco wasn’t showing for its brand keyword, the competitor juniper.net (top right listing) would have appeared as number one on the results page.
Finally, to prohibit competitors from using your brand in text ads, filing a trademark complaint with Google Adwords is recommended. In the U.S., Google will monitor the use of trademarks in text ads to ensure intellectual property compliance, if a formal complaint is filed. However, bidding on trademark keywords will be allowed.
Brand and domain don’t match and you have landscape competitors. In this case, users can be confused when searching for your brand in the search engines (even if you rank number one) because there could be listings with your brand terms in headlines or in domain URLs. A paid search ad and an optimized organic listing containing your company’s brand terms and slogan will secure multiple placements so users can find your website quickly; increasing your click through ratio.
In the screen shot below I searched for “body central” looking for a women’s fashion clothing company. The number one result was what I was looking for, however result number two was also targeted to my search query. Fortunately, Body Central has an optimized listing title describing the business precisely; however the paid listing on the right is a real life competitor that will gain part of the traffic share.
Rank number one for brand and no competitors are using your brand in paid search campaigns. Before concluding that paid brand terms are unnecessary, advertisers should experiment with a brand campaign and make a conclusion based on stats. In part II of this series I will discuss a case study and best practices for an optimal branded paid search campaign.
Category: PPC Advertising