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Paid search is one of the most effective ways to capture demand as it is driven in real time by the user looking for something right now. But, many businesses wonder should I be bidding on my brand?

They may be looking for more information on returning a gift, or a recipe, or the definition of “soporific”. (Hopefully you will not find this blog post a soporific). But some keywords and the context of the search may lead consumers to purchase your product or service and you do not want to miss out on that revenue!

2 Ways to Gain Web Traffic

There are two general ways to approach improving the visibility of your website on search engines.

1) SEO search engine optimization.

This is where your website ranks for search queries based on your content, UX (user experience), and other factors that determine the quality and relevance of your website. This is sometimes referred to as natural or organic search.

2) SEM search engine marketing.

On search engines this is accomplished through PPC (pay-per-click) bidding on keywords to buy ad space on the SERP (search engine results page). Together with other SERP features including the local pack (Google My Business data) and rich snippets, your visibility will increase how much traffic you can drive to your website.

Branded Keywords

One question that is often asked by businesses is, “should I bid on my brand?”

Branded keywords would include your business name specifically and would usually be used by a customer that is already familiar with who you are.

They may be looking to buy from you at that moment. If you have reasonably good SEO and not too much competition, your business should near the top of the page organically.

So, why would I spend money to pay for that traffic if I can get it for free?

There are several reasons why bidding on your brand makes sense and I will highlight a few of them.

1) Protect Your Brand

Setting up paid search ads gives you the ability to control content more directly in real time. In other words, if there is anything that you want to promote to a customer that may already know you in order to improve conversions, this is your chance!

2) Control Your Messaging

Also, you can control your messaging including: promotional content, and take advantage of many extensions that will improve the user experience and increase engagement and take up more real estate on the SERP for your brand.

This is a way to protect your brand if and when competitors are bidding on your keyword. Yes, this is a strategy, and this is business. To compete, you may need to bid on competitor keywords to give the consumer another option. Maybe they didn’t know about your brand and that you offer the same service in a different or more appealing way.

Help limit exposure to competitors by bidding on your brand and help to maintain that visibility if this happens.

(Example below shows competitor ads showing us with the branded query for an agency “Marketing Mojo”)

3) Limit Your Spend

Lastly, for small businesses that are budget conscious (aren’t’ we all!) the CPC (cost-per-click) for branded keywords is typically very low compared to more competitive keywords since your quality score (a big factor in determining the cost you pay in the auction) should be very high for your brand. So, this is a low-cost option.

There are other reasons to consider bidding on your brand as well as other bidding strategies that we discuss with our clients as we begin to manage a paid search campaign.

In future blog posts we will dig into bidding on competitor keywords as well as other ways to improve quality score, lower CPC and increase higher quality traffic.