Perform a quick search of a company or brand you know, and an interesting phenomenon will occur. You’ll most likely see that company’s name show up in two places. Hopefully, they will show up organically, reflecting the optimization of their online presence to showcase their business when searched. But secondly, and more curiously, you may notice that an ad for the business shows up in the search results on top of the organic results.
This leaves many business owners to wonder, what is the point of paying for an ad for your own business name? If you already show up in the organic results for your company, is there any reason to spend money on showing up twice in one place? After all, isn’t the role of search engine optimization (SEO) rather than a paid ad campaign?
The reality is that while it may seem contradictory to pay for ads for your own business name, there are certain cases where spending a portion of your marketing dollar on these seemingly redundant ads is highly beneficial.
Let’s take a look at spending money on ads for your own business name and how you can include this strategy in a cohesive approach to your pay-per-click campaigns.
Paying for ads that show up when your specific business or brand is typed into Google’s search bar is commonly referred to as brand name bidding in marketing. This process involves setting up a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy which displays your ad when a customer types in your business name or a combination of keywords and your brand name.
Even if you are already ranking as the first search result organically, there can be a significant amount to gain from brand bidding when handled strategically. Let’s look at the benefits of a well-run campaign and then dive into a few considerations to stay aware of.
A well-run PPC campaign that bids on your own business name will include a few key characteristics:
- It will be actively managed. This is not a campaign to set and forget.
- It will be strategic. Brand bidding should be analyzed continually to ensure the spend is worth the return.
- It will be backed by intentional content. There is little to no point in running a brand ad campaign if you do not funnel this traffic to meaningfully built web pages.
If you can achieve the above, you’ll have the potential to gain the following benefits.
Protects You Against the Competition
One of the most important reasons to invest in PPC campaigns surrounding your business name is to ensure that your competition isn’t funneling important traffic away from your business. While those who are savvy about digital marketing and understand how Google’s search page results work will understand that the first listing displayed is an ad, many consumers aren’t aware of this.
The result is that if your competition decides to bid on your business name, and you aren’t running an ad campaign also targeting your brand name, your competition can actually design an ad to show up as the top result for a branded search. This can lead customers who aren’t aware to click on your competition’s link rather than your organic search result.
And, even if a customer is aware that it isn’t your business listed first, they might still be enticed to follow a link to your competition’s website if they are running a compelling enough ad.
For example, let’s say that a customer is looking for AC services in the area. They have used your business in the past, so they type in AC services + your brand name into the Google search bar.
As the results page opens up, they see that the first listing that shows up is for your competitor. But, the ad highlights an incredible deal on a free AC tuneup for first-time customers. Curious about the deal, they click through, and you have now potentially lost this sale and lost a loyal customer.
This is a situation where bidding on your own business name is critical. If you don’t know already, take a deep dive into what your competition is doing. If they are using your business name to bid on ads, it’s time to step up your game.
Allows You to Use Targeted Copy
While you may be ranking organically for your own brand name, when a customer searches for your business, the listing they see will most likely showcase the information related to your website’s home page.
You have to set this copy manually, and you cannot change it on a constant, real-time basis. Hopefully, you have implemented quality, optimized copy for your homepage title tag and meta description that does a good job of highlighting your business.
However, that information might not be the perfect fit for what your customer’s search intent is at the moment. This is where bidding on your business name can be a huge asset. When you design ads that will display after your business is searched, you have the chance to test out a wide range of copy options.
With this strategy, you can build out robust ad copy that promotes a specific discount or talks about a seasonal offer. Additionally, you can A/B test this copy, allowing you to hone in on what leads to the highest number of conversions — something that would be impossible with your static homepage title tag and meta description.
Gives You Extra Real Estate
Not only is your ad copy the perfect place to highlight important information about your brand, but it allows you an extra spot to enhance your brand. Using extensions, you can increase clickthrough rates by providing customers with a quick call button, location information, links to service pages, additional compelling copy, and more.
This is the perfect way to test out new conversion paths, creating a clear call to action that is personalized based on the user’s search.
For example, suppose a customer has trusted you in the past for automotive service, and they type your brand name into the search bar, hoping to schedule their next maintenance service. You could implement an ad extension that automatically rings your front desk. This is a much easier path to conversion than asking a customer to click through to your website to locate your contact information.
Increases Your Brand Footprint
The more you can put your brand name out in front of your local audience, the better. While someone who searches for your business by name has probably already heard about you, the more real estate you take up on the first page of results, the less chance of losing that customer. In addition, this strengthens your brand image, preventing your customers from forgetting your name or missing out on your brand information.
Funnels Traffic to Customized Landing Pages
While your website’s home page serves a vital purpose, it isn’t always the ideal place to send a customer, depending on their search intent. This is where using the right paid strategy around your brand name can be extremely beneficial.
Rather than having a customer who is close to conversion land on a home page, then need to navigate to what service they are interested in or find your contact information, you can funnel these customers to customized landing pages.
You can optimize this landing page to create a clear path to conversion. Forms that autofill a customer’s information, personalized specials, and more can all improve your business’s ability to convert customers who are ready to make a purchasing decision.
Low Cost with Potential for High Reward
One of the best parts about paying for ads that implement your own business name is that your cost per click will generally remain fairly low. It is easier to earn these ad placements as well, as Google will recognize your business’ website as a better ad result to surface than your competition. This can make it a highly rewarding strategy if you utilize the space to promote deals or increase brand loyalty.
While there are a lot of benefits to be gained from paying for ads for your own business name, there are also some pitfalls that can end up costing you precious marketing dollars.
Before you set up an ad campaign to bid on your brand name, make sure to pay attention to these words of caution.
Don’t Waste Money Where It’s Not Needed
In some situations, paying to surface an ad for your brand name is not necessary. For example, if your competition isn’t bidding on your name and you have an extremely strong presence in search results, it might not be worth spending your money on brand bidding.
It can also be cyclical. During the busy season, there might be points where it is worthwhile to spend on your brand name, and there might be slower times during which it is best to cut back on this spending. This is why it is critical to continually measure the results you are seeing from these ads and only utilize them when the timing is ideal.
Consider the Traffic
In addition to ensuring that you are not throwing money at brand bidding needlessly, you’ll want to constantly take a deep dive into what traffic you are pulling in via these ads. In some cases, you might be spending money to funnel traffic to your website that has no intention of converting.
For example, if your business is hiring and a large number of interested applicants are searching for your website, you might wind up sending money on ads that will not be relevant to these searchers.
Make sure that, periodically, you pull information about the traffic that is resulting from these paid ads. Cut down on spending if you see a spike in non-converting visitors.
Analyze and Adapt
If your plan is to invest in PPC to target your business name, but you have no intention of monitoring this campaign, analyzing the data, and continually adapting, you can waste a lot of money. You should oversee these campaigns carefully, ensuring that your bidding is adjusting at the right rate based on the goal you set up. If you aren’t comfortable navigating ad analytics, work with a team that is.
While there are many scenarios in which paying for ads for your own business name can be extremely beneficial, you can wind up wasting a large portion of your marketing spend when you simply throw money at this strategy. Realistically, because brand bidding is nuanced, it is ideal to set this campaign up with the help of an experienced team. Digital marketing specialists who understand how to monitor, track, and adapt brand name bidding can help you make the most out of this tactic without wasting money on clicks.
At J&L Marketing, we will be happy to work with you to put together an ad campaign that includes brand name bidding. We have years of experience helping local brands optimize their online presence, including strategies around paid ads involving business name search. We will work with you to analyze your existing rankings, determine whether or not your competitors are spending money to capture your branded searches, and more. The result is that we can help you build a customized strategy for brand name bidding.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to our team for more information. We look forward to empowering your small business to grow locally through intelligent marketing tactics.