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Why Bidding On Your Brand Name is Important

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Why Bidding On Your Brand Name is Important

Tim Soulo, CMO & Product advisor at Ahrefs questioned the need to bid on your brand name in Pay Per Click. What the SEO community shared may change your mind about bidding on your own brand name.

Brands are Entitled to Rank for Branded Searches?

Bidding on branded search queries is the practice of placing pay per click (PPC) bids on the name of your own product or brand name.

Tim tweeted his amazement that companies bid on their brand names. He affirmed that it’s Google’s responsibility to rank brands number one for those queries.

This is Tim’s first tweet:

“It never ceases to amaze me how many brands are bidding in Google for THEIR branded keywords.

Isn’t that traffic yours by definition?

Isn’t Google’s primary job as a search engine to give people exactly what they’re looking for?

Props to whoever at Google pulled this off”

Tim followed with this tweet:

“..in anticipation of PPC experts/agencies jumping in with some “juicy benefits” of bidding on your brand keywords and getting “cheap PPC traffic…”

Sorry, I’m not going to pay for my branded keywords.

It’s Google’s job to rank me #1 for my brand.

Period.”

Screenshot of a tweet by Ahrefs' Tim Soulo

Patrick Coombe tweeted that bidding on branded search queries is a defensive tactic, a response to competitors bidding on the name of your product or company name.

“…this started 10+ years ago when competitors bid on YOUR branded keyword and brands would lose say 30% of their organic traffic to a competition. In some scenarios it really muddied the waters. It’s s really a response not a tactic.”

Patrick has a point. You should always check to see if someone is bidding on your product or company name. If someone is then you should seriously consider bidding on your name in order to keep the traffic from going to your competitor.

Others tweeted their agreement that this is a defensive strategy.

“Unfortunately Google job is to make money… And letting competitors bid on your branded keywords made sometimes necessary the bidding on your own branded keys… No way out or alternatives…”

This was happening to a friend who was in local search a few years ago. The friend to made it expensive for that competitor to bid on the brand name.

Additionally, to give the competitor a kick in the pants, he began bidding on the competitor’s brand name. No doubt that kind of bidding war is good for Google.

Bidding on Own Brand Name is Sensible

Then Martin MacDonald tweeted his opinion:

“I’m obviously on the SEO side here – but – have to point out:

I’ve tested this multiple times, against hundreds of millions of dollars of brand spend, in controlled tests.

Bidding on your brand term, every time, was the ROI winner.”

Respected search marketer, Ryan Jones, agreed. Ryan  tweeted:

“Done this test too. bidding on your brand is always better -except when not doing it means that Google shows 0 ads, and you rank #1. But that requires constant monitoring and tweaking because when you stop, others will start.”

Bidding on Brand Name in PPC is Sensible

It’s true that Google should rank the correct site for a brand name. But that doesn’t always happen, particularly when a business site lacks basic search optimization.

Martin MacDonald elaborated on reasons why it makes sense to bid on your brand name:

“1) incremental clicks otherwise lost to other positions further down
2) clicks lost to potential competitive brand bidders
3) the ability to funnel people to higher converting landing pages
4) dropping people straight into the “CRO” optimized version of the site”

Wow, that is an insightful tweet! The ability to send brand name related traffic to an optimized landing page is a good strategy.

Martin MacDonald has extensive experience working with big brands. He’s an authoritative voice in the SEO community due to his work history and the quality of what he says about SEO.

Bidding on PPC may sound like the ravings of a mad scientist. But it’s a strategy that should be seriously considered. This is especially true if a competitor is bidding on your brand name.

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Roger Montti

Roger Montti is a search marketer with 20 years experience. I offer site audits and link building strategies. See me ... [Read full bio]

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