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November 30, 2009

Brand bidding strategies in search engine marketing

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It is obvious the importance of SEO and PPC advertising strategies to brand marketers, however to what extent should these strategies be implemented together for branding queries? It is quite usual to find corporations bidding on brand terms while at the same time running a PPC campaign, mainly because brand terms usually drive quite a large amount of traffic at a low cost per click (CPC). It has been proved that being in both top sponsored and top organic positions for brand queries can lift the site traffic, however it can also cause traffic cannibalisation. Should marketers bid on brand terms when a website is already appearing in top of the ranking in Google organic search results?

Brand bidding tips

Below are few tips why you should or shouldn’t bid on brands terms.

Generally it is not recommended bidding on brand terms when:

1. Your website is ranking number 1, your brand is trademarked in Google (therefore no one can bid on it) and you are the only one in the sponsored listing

optus

2. Your paid search ads are similar to your organic search results therefore there is no added value to it

a2

3. Your website is ranking number 1 for search queries that include a variation of your brand name and you are the only one in the sponsored listing

a3

4. Your website is ranking number one and only results not related to your brand are coming up in the sponsored search for search query – if users are searching for your brand, users are most unlikely to click to an unrelated ad

a41
Or
a42

Generally it is recommended bidding on brand terms when:

1. You are not ranking number one for brand terms (and generic terms)

b1

2. There are several results and businesses associated with your brand name

b2

3. You are on top of the organic search results, however you want to push users when looking for your brand to a special product/offer page

b3

4. You own different sites for the same brand and you need to differentiate

b4

5. You want to test different promotions

Recommendations

Make sure your brand is trademarked in Google, (you can submit your request directly to Google) to stop advertisers appearing against your brand. Test the impact of pausing PPC ads appearing for a brand related search query for a period of time (ideally 4 weeks). Look at conversion data for the same keywords from paid and organic and run a cost vs. revenue comparison.

Conclusions

Bidding on brand terms really depends on the industry you are in and how competitive it is. You should evaluate the ROI for these terms and test how much traffic you are getting from your organic search results when paid ads are paused. Even if the CPC for brand terms can be very small, the overall cost can become quite considerable for large brand that can drive a large amount of clicks. Don’t waste your money for traffic that you will get anyway, especially if you have budget restrictions.

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No responses to “Brand bidding strategies in search engine marketing”

  1. dhiraj writes:

    He one question I would like to ask… my site is coming top on google search but I am not getting good traffic but when i run PPc campaign i got good traffic, now I am very confused…

  2. Raffaella Bronzi writes:

    Hi Dhiraj,
    It really depends on the keywords you are ranking for and how competitive is your industry. Here are few scenarios for a real estate website to help you gain a better understanding.
    1) A site http://www.realestateexample.com is ranking number one in Google.com organic listing for the keyword phrase “cheap house for sale” and ranking number one in the PPC sponsored links for the keyword phrase “houses for sale”. The site will definitely get more benefit and traffic from the PPC ad because the keyword phrase “houses for sales” had over 4 millions searches in October (according to the Google keyword tool broad match results) and only 22,000 for the keyword “cheap houses for sale”.
    If your site is ranking for long tail keywords, you will probably receive less traffic then generic keywords
    1) The site http://www.realestateexample.com is ranking number 1 for brand terms like “Real Estate Example” (which has less than 1,000 searches a month) but not for generic terms in organic search results. The site is also bidding on brand and generic terms in the PPC sponsored listing. If the site is ranking in PPC for search results for generic terms, your PPC campaign will most likely receive most of the traffic because your brand is not strong enough to receive a large volume of traffic.
    In conclusion I suggest you measuring the traffic received for the same keyword and then run a comparison. I hope this helps.



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