It’s a question that many clients (rightly) ask of PPC experts: why waste money bidding on branded terms that are successfully returning organic results? Won’t paid ads cannibalise my organic traffic?

These are fair queries and, on the surface, it seems fruitless to spend when you could be getting clicks for free. But there are some key reasons most PPC managers recommend bidding on branded terms. Here, we outline these.

Branded terms help you dominate results

When it comes to search engine results pages, more is more. Giving users more opportunities to click through to your website is generally advantageous, in much the same way as providing a number of links in an email campaign increases click-through rate. Bidding on your brand also helps you to present your business as a prominent player in the marketplace.

You can fend off competitors

It’s no secret that many businesses bid on their competitors’ brand terms. Why do they do this? So that if someone searches for your company, theirs appears near the top of the results too, potentially snatching a conversion from under your nose. If you’re not bidding on your own brand terms, that risk is even higher.

Ad traffic isn’t necessarily replaced by organic

Despite it being an old study (2011), Google’s investigation into whether organic listings pick up paused PPC ad traffic is still relevant. After all, the fundamentals of a search results page haven’t altered that drastically. The search giant found that as much as 89% of the traffic generated by search advertising isn’t picked up by organic clicks when the ads are paused.

You can make an interesting pitch

The thing about organic listings is that the text often says whatever Google decides to pull from the page. It’s now widely acknowledged that meta descriptions aren’t a direct ranking factor – so how can you make an attractive pitch to a potential customer with no control over the messaging? The answer is paid adverts. Bidding on branded keywords gives you the opportunity to present your message as you choose when users search for your company.

You can choose which landing pages customers are sent to

Another key advantage of bidding on branded terms is that when customers search for your brand, you can send them to the most relevant landing page. Organic listings don’t always direct searchers to an ideal page, so paid advertising is a chance to increase conversion rate via the use of site links and promotion extensions.

Branded terms are cheap

Far from being a waste of money, branded campaigns are often the cheapest ones to run. Returning significant search volume yet not as popular to bid on as generic terms, the clicks rarely cost more than a few pence and you can ensure all variations are covered. It needn’t just be your company name either – if your products have branded names you can add those to your campaign too.

To find out more about branded PPC campaigns, contact The Search Mechanics today.

Founder at The Search Mechanics | | Website | + posts

Jon is the founder of the Search Mechanics, specialist PPC agency based in Kent.
He has worked in the PPC industry for over 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things related to online paid search including Google Ads and Bing Ads, he also has a thorough understanding of ad server systems as well as Google Analytics.