The importance of Branded terms in Search advertising

It sounds crazy, right? You’re likely already number one in organic search for your branded terms, so why waste your cold hard cash bidding on them? Wouldn’t it be wiser to spend those advertising dollars on different keywords for your PPC campaign? All valid questions. With that said, these concerns could be costing you a lot of revenue.

The surprising truth is that branded terms can be incredibly lucrative for your business. But before we explain why, there are probably a few of you out there scratching your heads right now, wondering, “What are branded terms anyway?” Here’s a quick rundown for beginners.

What are branded terms?

In the world of Search advertising, branded terms are keywords that relate specifically to your brand. For example, the word “swim cap” is obviously a non-branded keyword. Any business can sell them. Now, if you add the word Speedo or Reebok in front of the word, like “Reebok swim cap” or “Speedo swim cap”, then Voilà! Suddenly you have a branded term. In other words, the brand’s name (Speedo, Reebok, etc.) comes in front of the generic keyword (swim cap).

So why do branded keywords matter? And why pay for them when you’re likely already getting clicks from them for free? Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons.

Capitalise on high conversion rates

When it comes to Search Advertising, it’s all about ROI. So we’ll start out with probably the most important reason to bid on branded terms: high conversion rates.

Consider the people who type in branded keywords. They are obviously already familiar with your business (or else they would be clueless about your branded terms), which means they are likely closer to buying a product than someone who’s never heard of you. In other words, the people searching for branded terms will convert at a higher rate than those who discover you in organic search.

Studies actually back this statement up, as they’ve revealed that branded keywords can convert at a rate four times higher than organic clicks. Still skeptical? Well, take Google’s word for it then, as the search engine juggernaut has reported that branded searches have double the conversion rate as their non-branded counterparts.

What’s the reason for this high conversion rate? As mentioned earlier, trust and familiarity with a brand plays a large role. But also, paid ads allow you to control what page a potential customer is directed to, whereas organic branded searches generally drive traffic to the homepage. How does this benefit you? With a paid ad for your branded terms, you can direct visitors to a landing page that is optimised for conversions.

Block out competition, bury negative publicity and control the fold

As everyone knows, the higher your brand is at the top of a search, the better chance you’ll have of a potential customer clicking your link. So while you may rank number one organically for your branded term, what happens if your competitor pays for your branded keyword?

You guessed it. They will appear higher in search results than you, and a searcher may just click on their link before yours. Essentially, your competitors could steal your customers. But if you bid on your branded terms, you can prevent that from happening in the first place.

Looking at the bigger picture, blocking out competition is just one small aspect of the amount of control you gain from bidding on branded terms. What you really get is complete control of what search customers see above the fold. Did you get some bad press from a few angry customers? Bidding on your branded terms can push it down in search results, out of potential customers immediate sight.

Bidding on branded terms also enables you to direct the attention of customers. As mentioned earlier, you can capitalise on this by sending them to a landing page, but you can also quickly direct them to a special promotion you’re having or even share a personal message with them (such as wishing them a happy Father’s Day or Merry Christmas). Best of all, your paid ad can be up within an hour, which means you can share a time-sensitive promotion or message with them.

Boost your credibility and gain more traffic

Credibility equals trust, and trust equals sales. When your business shows up in paid Google ads and number one for organic search, it gives your business a big boost of credibility. In fact, studies have shown that when a brand is positioned first for paid and organic search, it can gain up to 50% more traffic.

Why does this happen? Well, you could say that paid search for branded terms shows web users you’re serious about your business and brand. Let’s take the concept of product reviews as an example. When you buy a product online, you not only look at its rating, but also at the sheer numbers of reviews it has. If you’re considering two products, which both have a 4.5 star rating, which are you more likely to choose, the one with 20 reviews or 5? My guess is, most of the time you’ll choose the one with more reviews. Think of showing up multiple times in a Google search as an extra review or vote from Google that your brand is credible.

Why not give branded terms a try?

So the secret’s out. As you can likely see now, branded keywords just may unlock the new streams of revenue you’ve been hoping for. And as they generally come at a low cost, you have no reason not to. While it’s understandable some business owners are sceptical of trying them, the fact is many people have achieved excellent results. Whether or not you can do the same, there’s only one way to find out. Test it out.

But if all this sounds too overwhelming and you’d like the help of an expert’s support with your branded keywords or paid search campaigns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Google Adwords specialists at DIGITAL BASE. Call us today on 02 541 4407, and we’ll be happy to help in any way possible.

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