Bidding on your own branded keywords may seem like unnecessary spending but studies have shown that by doing so, you’ll receive incremental traffic to your site — traffic you would not otherwise get. Where does that traffic go? Most likely to a competitor.

In fact, even if you rank No. 1 in the organic search result for your own brand, adding a PPC ad to the mix will give you an 89% lift in incremental traffic from those keywords, according to the studies.

Bidding on your branded keywords in AdWords requires a shrewd approach. There are a lot of easy mistakes to make here on what should be your cheapest and highest converting traffic. Businesses shouldn’t have to spend extra when simple strategies can minimize the costs.

 Advantages of bidding on your own branded ads.

· If you aren’t bidding separately on your own brand keywords, chances are you are likely showing ads on branded searches by accident. These keywords may, in fact, be skewing the results of your existing campaigns if you aren’t separating them out. That campaign you thought was profitable may suddenly not be doing as well as you once believed. Better data means better ROI.

· Branded searches are an indication of users who are ready to convert. A user who goes online to search for a particular product from a specific manufacturer has obviously done their homework and is ready to purchase. These can be said to be the most important clicks because they are directly related to converting business. Thus, you don’t want to lose them.

· Dominate the search pages; even though organic searches will almost always have your website ranking high for branded keywords. Other businesses may already be on paid search ads stealing business from your brand. More real estate in the search engines is always better for your business.

· Branded keywords should be inexpensive. Branded ads are usually cheap because you will have a high quality score and high click-through-rate. Maintain that high quality score, carefully optimize bids and you will spend less.

Some tips on bidding on branded keywords

AdWords has a variety of bid strategies that can be applied in different types of campaigns. The strategies are tailored for clicks, conversions and impressions depending on what the intent of the campaign is. Generally, you want to maximize your clicks. This is high converting traffic, make sure it doesn’t go elsewhere.

The AdWords auction happens in a matter of milliseconds. Within that short span the search engine decides where to rank different ads. A brand’s ranking in an auction is influenced mainly by these areas:

· The brand’s quality score for the keyword

· The maximum CPC bid for the keyword

· Relevant ad copy (including ad extensions and their relevance to the keyword)

There are some simple things to consider that will help the campaign be more relevant to the target consumers.

1. Keyword Research

The first thing that makes a good campaign is a keyword that is relevant. Use the keyword research tool to search your brand. Combine your brand name with common terms used in search queries and put it in front of the search term such as brand+review or brand+sale or brand+discount. Look for long tail search queries that contain  the brand name.

2. Carefully Consider Match Types

Match types can be key to success or failure in brand campaigns. The mistake a lot of businesses do here is focusing on one match type, usually broad matches (which can often pull in non-brand keywords). There are 4 match types which are:

· Exact Match. This is the kind of match where the keyword appears exactly the same as the search query.

· Phrase Match. This type of match requires your keyword to be typed in the same order as the search query for it to appear.

· Broad Match. This gives Google AdWords or Bing PPC a lot of room to decide which search queries match the keyword. The only problem is that Google’s or Bing’s interpretation of relevant may be different from yours. Too often, the keywords they choose won’t even have your brand name in it.

· Modified Broad Match. This is sort of a combination of the above. This allows you to choose which keywords must always appear in the search query. In a brand campaign, make the brand name as one of those “must appear” keywords. Leave the rest open for the search engines to determine.

We recommend using Exact, Phrase and carefully constructed Modified Broad keywords.

3. Carefully Construct Your Ad Copy

These are practices that help you push your competition out of the first page while improving the relevance of your ad. If you deliver a high Quality Score on a brand ad, you are going to drive down your competition’s Quality Scores and they will show less and less while paying more and more.

One of the proven ways to improve your brand ad is using the term “official site” in your ad copy to help identify it from competitors scavenging for clicks from your keywords.


Use ad extensions which will make the ad larger and owning more real estate on the page and also help deliver people quicker to different key areas of the site. The above Home Depot ad shows ad extensions to take people to the information about the “Kitchen & Bath Event” and the section on “Summer Home Organization.” The easier you make it for them, the fewer obstacles there will be to prevent a conversion.

Bidding for branded keywords gives businesses the chance to not only maximize this traffic, which ultimately improves sales…but it also allows you to control what you want consumers to see about your business. In the organic results, you don’t have quite that control. If you have a promo or special offer or event going on, the brand ad helps deliver that message in a timely manner. You can also quickly change it out for seasonal events.

Don’t lose out on that 89% of incremental traffic that bidding on your brand keywords can provide. And if you already have a PPC campaign but don’t have your brand keywords separated out, chances are your not only paying too much for that traffic, but it’s messing up your other campaigns. Make this a best practice to improve your results today.