Should I Run Google Ads For Your Own Brand Keywords?

This is a question I very often get asked, so I put together this guide to help you decide.

It is almost always a good idea to run ads on your own brand terms, especially as clicks will usually cost you only a few cents each, so I usually advise my clients to do it.

Sometimes Brand Bidding Is A Must

In these situations it is essential that you advertise for your own brand keywords:

  • You do not rank for your company name organically. This might be either because you are brand new and Google or Bing has not picked up on you yet. That will probably change soon if you have set your page set up properly. Another reason might be that your name is not very unique and hard to rank for – then you definitely have to run ads on your own brand because if a potential client cannot find you on Google you might as well not exist.
  • You rank on position 1 organically, but your competition is running ads on your brand name. In that case you should also run ads, because otherwise your competitor’s ad is the first thing that a user sees when they type in your name. Unfortunately, more often than not they will click on the first thing that comes up so they might end up on your competitor’s website. If the competitor has an attractive enough offer you might lose that customer to the competition. It will only cost you a few cents or pennies for each click, so it is worth it when the alternative is losing the customer. Also, just because you do not see your competitors ads doesn’t mean they are not running it. If your competition is cunning they might exclude your location from their campaign or only activate it outside of your office hours. This is not the rule, but it happens regularly so if you have the suspicion ask friends in other part of the country to check for you and check at random times. There are also tools that can do this automatically (AdPolice is one of them – which I am not affiliated with).

When To Avoid Brand Bidding

There are also two reasons not to advertise on your own brand:

  • If your brand name is a common term or name that a lot of people will search for and look for something other than your company. You will then probably waste a lot of money on these people. In a perfect world with rational human beings people would not click on ads that are not relevant to their search, but they do. I tell myself it is because they are curious. You can better target your ads by combining your industry or product category with your brand (In my case it could be brauer digital marketing) to still capture some of the demand.
  • If you are severely budget constrained (maybe because you are just starting out), and none of the two must-do scenarios above apply, then you might want to save the few bucks for the brand campaign.

Benefits Of Brand Bidding On Search Ads

As I said in the beginning of this article, I would always recommend running ads on your own brand terms. And here is why:

  • The prices you pay per click are usually very low (because you are by far the most relevant result for that user’s query. You can read more about ad relevance and click price in my post about the quality score.)
  • You are safe against competitors at all times
  • You have complete control over the messaging that gets displayed and can choose the landing page that the user gets directed to
  • Because it is the most relevant answer to a user’s search query your ad will be shown with a lot of extensions, so you can maximise the space you take up in the search results and crowd out the competition.

How To Structure Your Brand Keywords in Campaigns

When you decide to run search ads on your own brand terms you should set them up in their own campaign.

This keeps the budget separate from your other generic campaigns. Because the brand terms will perform very well for you, you want there to be always budget available for these terms. For other keywords, where the performance can be less predictable,  you might want to limit the budget.

Separating your brand keywords from your generic keywords also helps you better analyze the performance of your ad spend. Users coming to your site via your brand terms are more likely to turn into customers than somebody searching for your products or services in a generic way. Blending brand and non-brand campaigns does not give an honest snapshot of how your campaigns perform and skews the results of your generic campaigns, so it’s best to keep the campaigns separate.

I hope you are finding this helpful! If you want to discuss this further, why don’t you join my Facebook Search Ads Community? I am looking forward to seeing you there!