Should I Bid On My Own Company's Name On Google?

In the world of Google AdWords, there’s one question that has resulted in a few heated arguments:

“Should I bid on my company’s name on Google?

When it comes to branded keyword bidding, those in the know can have strong opinions (and rightly so).

Those that don’t agree with it can’t see why they should pay Google for a brand they’ve put hours and hours of work into.

I get it, I do, the brand is yours and paying for the use of branded keywords sounds ridiculous.

But what even is a branded keyword?

Branded, or brand, keywords are search terms associated with your company's brand name. So you can see why people would be defensive about buying their own company’s name on Google.

But there is a lot to unpack with this topic and like with any argument there are two sides to the coin.

We have to ask the right questions:

  • Why do some companies bid on their own brand name?
  • Is it good practice?
  • Does it help with conversion rates?
  • Can other people bid on your brand name?
  • Can you stop them or do you have to outbid them?


Let's find out.

The argument against bidding on branded keywords

Here are some of the main reasons why companies don’t want to bid on branded keywords and why they think it’s a waste of time, money and energy.

‘I already have an established organic search ranking’

Most companies will rank near the top, if not at the top, of an organic search for their brand/company name.

Companies spend a lot of time building up the authority of their brand. They've already spent a lot of time and money solidifying their place on the top of the organic rankings.

So, why should they pay to advertise their brand with branded keywords if they’ve already put so much time, effort and money into it?

‘Google has enough of my money’

People already put a lot of money into advertising their business on Google. Why would they need to pay Google more for ads associated with your own brand’s name?

Some companies argue that you shouldn’t be throwing money at PPC (pay per click) branded keywords. Instead, you should be saving your budget for keywords that aren't related to your brand but help you rank on Google for phrases your organic efforts don’t rank for.

‘Google doesn’t own my name’

People believe that Google doesn't own their brand name, so they shouldn't have to pay them for branded keywords.

What they fail to remember is that Google owns the largest search engine platform and without them, your website wouldn't be doing very well traffic-wise!

google_adwords

They’ll click on us anyway, don’t bother with branded keywords

If somebody is searching for your brand using your branded keywords then they’re looking for your website anyway, right?

If this is true then why pay for advertisements at all? Your organic results are good enough to get you all the conversions you need.

The argument against bidding on branded keywords gets a bit rocky the more you get into it.

There are some strong arguments but not a lot of data to prove each point.

Does your customer have enough patience to find your organic search results?

Telling yourself that your customers are going to click on your website purely down to organic search results doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about it for a moment.

How many people out there actually have the patience to scroll past the ad pages and into the organic listing. If they find something they’re looking for in the ads at the top, they’re going to click on it.

The user would have to first scroll past any paid advert in relation to your branded keywords. Then past a couple of regular ads, that might have popped up, to get to your organic links.

I’m going to be honest with you, I wouldn’t even scroll that far. I’d just click on the first relevant page I saw.

Customers want their results quickly and they don’t want to waste time scrolling to get to the organic links.

Having adverts with your branded keywords will give you more real estate at the top of the search engine results page.

With more real estate under your control, you'll get more clicks from your audience.

Now, the question is, are you willing to pay Google so you can dominate the search results for your brand? Or are you going to give the top spot over to your competitors?

What are the pros of bidding on your company’s name?

Advertisements on branded keywords usually have a higher click-through rate (CTA). They’re also dirt cheap and will cost you less money compared to more popular key phrases.

Being at the top of an organic search is usually one of the main arguments against branded keywords. Why should you spend money on these ads when you’re already top of the search results?

Simple, your organic results bring your users to your home page. Paid advertising can direct your visitors to a landing page of your choice.

By bringing your visitors straight to your landing pages they won’t have to spend time navigating through your homepage to find what they want. Instead, they’re sent directly to what they need to read on your landing page.

Ads on branded keywords help your website perform better and the benefits of advertising with brand-related keywords are a lot greater than the cost it takes to run them.

Brand CPCs are only a fraction of the cost of other keywords so the majority of your advertising budget will still go towards non-brand keywords.

So, if you’re already spending money on keywords and advertising then why not pay a bit extra to secure your brand keywords and prevent your competitors from getting a hold of them.

Why do agencies bid on their own brand name in PPC?

If you don’t bid on your brand name in PPC then your competitors will target your brand name instead. If a competitor gets hold of your branded keywords then their company will appear at the top of the search results.

So, when someone’s searched for your name, they’re effectively recommended your competitor’s website instead.

This will cause you to lose out on conversions and allow your competitors to gain more attention.

Bidding on your brand name will allow you to have control over the top search engine results. The more of the results you control, the more clicks you're going to get.

How can you stop competitors bidding on your brand name?

You can’t stop your competitors from using your branded keywords in their advertising unless you trademark your terms at the national trademark office.

Once you have your terms trademarked, you’ll have to submit a Trademark Authorization form to Google with all the relevant information on it.

As soon as everything is submitted to Google they won’t allow anybody to use your trademarked terms in advertisements. Your terms are safe as long as the advertiser is targeting the same industry that you’ve registered your terms in.

Yet, if your brand name is generic or contains commonly-used words you won’t be able to trademark it.

How do you know if somebody is using your keywords?

It’s quite easy, simply look at the keyword planner on Google Ads to check the competition level.

You can also search your brand name and see if an ad pops up before any of the organic search results.

It’s important to note that any brand name that mentions what the service or product is can trigger ads that might not be specifically targeting your brand name.

There will always be somebody arguing against paying for branded keywords - but as far as we're concerned you should always try to advertise with your branded keywords.

If branded keywords aren’t working for you, this might be a hint at a bigger problem within your marketing strategy. Lucky for you here at Ireland Website Design we’re great at fixing problems.

Think your website needs a hand getting out into the world? Get in touch with us today and we can help build you a solid marketing strategy that will produce better results.

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