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Should you bid on your brand keywords?

08 December 2023

Should you bid on your brand keywords?

The age-old debate continues: should you invest in bidding on your own brand keywords? You might be tempted to think that there's no need since your brand already holds the top spot in search results. After all, why pay for traffic that you're already getting for free?

However, there are undeniable advantages to bidding on your brand keywords. In this blog, we'll delve into the numerous benefits that come with this strategy, and why it's worth your consideration. 

So, what are branded search terms?

You may have heard of branded search terms before, but what exactly are they?

Search terms are words that users type on search engines like Google and Bing to find the information they need.  These can be anything like 'how to change a tyre' or 'mechanic shop in Adelaide'. These are terms used by your potential audience when they are trying to look for answers to their problems/pain points. 

A branded search term is a search term that includes your brand. Simple!

A user might search for your brand, product, or service by name or other related extensions.

As an example, think about our brand, Refuel Creative.
The brand term would be ‘Refuel Creative’.
An extension might be ‘Refuel Creative jobs available’.

With these search inquiries, our website or related content is likely to be on the top-ranking search results. This means people’s search terms are being answered if they were looking for our company or marketing assistance. 

Why is being on the top-ranking search results so important

You want your brand to come up in the top-ranking search results. According to SEMrush, ‘top-ranking Google search results see a 22.4% click-through rate’. The goal for business is to be in the first 3 results of your search category. Being on top will mean users will click on your website first. 

The search engine results page (SERP) plays a crucial role in whether your brand will be clicked on first by users. Just by being on the first page it shows new potential customers that you have authority and are a trusted source. If your website is well-optimised for SEO, it makes it easier for new customers to find you on the first page. 

You can increase your brand presence and lead generation by being on the first page. By having a search engine optimised website, online ads and landing pages you can reach your target audience. Even if they don’t convert straight away, it will help your brand be top of mind when they are looking for help.

By not bidding on brand search terms, what are you ignoring?

Competitors targeting your brand terms

If you don't bid on your brand terms, your competitors might capitalise on the chance to attract and gain potential customers from you.

By bidding on keywords, you make your competitors work harder to be on the top of SERP. Your increased bid means they have to spend more money to outbid you, which could impact their bottom line. This can put you in a better position to capture potential customers and a dominant presence in the digital landscape. 

You have complete authority over the messaging and storytelling surrounding your brand ads. This allows you to emphasise specific keywords and promotions, effectively influencing the story around your brand. Which gives you the competitive edge over your competitors.

Bidding on brand search terms allows you to outmanoeuvre competitors and establish yourself as the authority in your industry. Securing your position in branded searches helps you connect with potential customers who are looking for information or solutions related to your brand. 

Maintaining a strong presence in branded searches not only increases your brand's visibility but also reinforces its credibility and trustworthiness. When customers repeatedly encounter your brand in a search query as a recommended option, it builds trust and increases brand awareness. The sense of trust makes them more likely to choose your brand over competitors.

For your competitors, bidding on their competitor-targeted keywords becomes a very expensive process. Businesses sometimes compete aggressively by bidding with higher bids, which can drive up advertising costs for everyone involved. This cutthroat competition ultimately results in financial strain and wasteful spending for many companies.

Organic vs paid search

You may be ranking 1# in organic search results, which is great as you have done a great job with your SEO. The top organic search result may find itself in the fourth position right after three sponsored ads due to its placement below them.

This is where you need to consider bidding on keywords. Your blog may be the best SEO written piece but with it being underpaid searches, users will choose them before you. 

The placement of your content in SERP plays an important role in the user’s decision on what link to click on. Creating a strong brand in search results helps users trust and click on your website. It also gives you control over your online reputation and visibility, so you can stand out online. 

With branded search ads, you have the power to personalise your message and enhance your brand's appearance. This approach generates exceptional content that effortlessly guides prospective customers to convert. While there may be some similarities with organic search, it is crucial to see branded paid ads and organic search as a harmonious duo. They work hand in hand to maximise brand exposure and attract relevant visitors.

In our experience running branded search ads for our clients, there has been a significant halo effect on conversions and traffic attributed to organic search. When we've switched off or dramatically reduced budgets for brand terms, we've seen a drop-off in conversions and traffic attributed to organic search.

Cheapest CPC ads

Brand terms are the cheapest cost per click (CPC), and the cheapest cost per acquisition (CPA) to bid on if done well.

With branded search ads, you have the power to take control and personalise your ad content, effectively. This enables potential customers to convert more effectively. By strategically allocating some of your marketing budget to these ads. You ensure that your brand gains optimal visibility, drives relevant traffic, and successfully accomplishes your marketing objectives.

Branded keywords play a crucial role in driving higher click-through rates (CTR) for ads. Including multiple links in an email can be likened to boosting the click-through rate (CTR). Just as having two links in an email is more effective than having just one, the same principle applies to search engine results pages (SERP).  According to WordStream, ‘incorporating branded keywords can skyrocket CTRs by 3-5 times compared to non-branded keywords.’

This significant increase in CTR not only boosts the visibility of your ads but also has a positive impact on your Quality Score. As a result, you can enjoy a lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC) on Google Ads.

By leveraging branded keywords, you increase the relevance of your ad to the user's search intent, driving more traffic to your website. This indicates to Google that your content is highly valuable, improving your Quality Score. A higher Quality Score reduces your CPC, improves your ad position, and makes your ad more competitive in auctions.

Using branded keywords in your ads can increase click-through rates (CTR) and lower cost per click (CPC). This not only helps you drive more qualified leads to your website. But also ensures that you make the most of your ad budget by maximising the performance of your ads.

Allocating a budget to branded search ads allows you to reach potential customers actively searching for your brand or related terms. Which increases conversions and generates a positive ROI. Unlike content marketing, SEO, and social media engagement, branded search ads provide immediate visibility and can quickly drive traffic. This makes them ideal for time-sensitive promotions or new product launches.

Wrapping up the race

While branded search ads are undoubtedly a valuable SEO tool, it is important to acknowledge that they are not a cure-all solution for every marketing challenge. Sometimes you need a team of marketing professionals to help you make the right decision on keyword bidding. That’s where we can help. 

At Refuel Creative, we’re your dedicated Google Ads and SEO team. Our experts are always ready to assist you in fine-tuning your paid search strategies for the best performance. Until our next in-depth discussion, keep innovating and leading in the thrilling world of digital marketing!

Tori Haywood

Tori Haywood, our former intern, is now our Marketing Assistant. She moved from the countryside to the city to pursue her passion for marketing and creativity. With a Media and Communications degree and a strong retail background, she brings valuable experience to our team.