While there are many benefits of pay per click (PPC) advertising—including the potential for immediate traffic—there are two questions you must first answer:
- What is your PPC budget?
- Which keywords will you target?
The answers to these questions will vary from one company to the next.
For example, the average cost per click (CPC) on the Google Ads Search Network is between $1 and $2. However, for the most competitive keywords, $50+ is not out of the question. What you pay depends on the competitiveness of the keyword.
Once you pin down your budget, it’s time to turn your attention to the second question: which keywords will you target?
It’s likely that you already have a list of your primary and secondary keywords. This is particularly true if you’ve optimized your website for search engines.
Before you dump all your budget into these keywords, there’s something to remember: you should also pay for branded search.
What is Branded Search?
The definition of branded search is straightforward: a branded search is a query that includes the name of your brand, business, or company.
But what are branded keywords?
Let’s take for example a company with the name “John Smith Auto Insurance.”
Branded keywords may include:
- John Smith Auto Insurance
- John Smith Auto Insurance agency
- John Smith Car Insurance
- John Smith Insurance
- [City Name] John Smith Auto Insurance
You get the point. All of these branded keywords include some variation of the company name.
Three Reasons to Bid on Branded Search Terms
What’s the point of wasting money on branded search terms? Do buyers really search for branded terms? Do these keywords convert?
If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, it’s safe to assume you have some reservations about bidding on branded search terms.
Rather than ignore these keywords and spend your budget elsewhere, here are three reasons to head down this path:
1. Show Up First on the First Page
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about paid or organic search results, your goal remains the same: to secure the top spot on the first page.
And even if you’ve reached the top of the organic search results, there’s no reason to stop there. You can also bid on branded keywords to secure the top (or one of the top) paid positions.
By doing this, you end up with two links to your website on the first page of the search results. This gives searchers more than one way to find your website.
2. Low Cost
There’s nothing better than finding cheap keywords that send targeted visitors to your website. The only problem with this is that these terms are few and far between (even if you’re in a relatively obscure industry and/or location).
If you want low-cost keywords, branded terms are worth your consideration. And don’t just stick with your company name. Bid on your URL, specific products and/or services, and possibly terms associated with top competitors (more on this below).
Not only are these keywords among the most affordable, but they’re likely to have an above-average click-through rate. Add this to the fact that you can control the messaging and you have a winner.
3. Stay Above Your Competitors
In a dream world, you’d own the first page of the search results for all your keywords. But in reality, this will never happen. Even if you’re successful with both organic search and paid advertising, your competitors aren’t likely to lie down.
There’s a good chance your competitors are already bidding on your branded keywords. So, if you’re not doing the same, they could be stealing traffic (and sales) right from under your nose.
When you bid on your own branded terms, you give yourself a legitimate shot at pushing more visitors to your website.
Just the same, you can bid on competitor branded keywords to give their prospects and customers an alternative option.
More so today than ever before, it’s critical that you maintain a strong presence in the search engines. It’s good for visibility, building your brand, and of course, generating high-quality traffic that converts.
Final Thoughts on Paying for Branded Keywords
As you can see, there’s no shortage of reasons to pay for branded keywords.
By targeting branded keywords associated with your company, as well as competitors, you’re implementing a powerful PPC strategy that will drive targeted traffic to your website
You don’t want to spend all your PPC budget on branded keywords, but these can play a big role in your online advertising success. Start small, track your results, and scale up as you see what is and isn’t working.