A client writes: “If we include our company and product names as keywords in our PPC (paid search) campaign, won’t we simply be cannibalizing our SEO effort, i.e. paying for clicks that we otherwise would have generated for free?”
Answer: It’s true that you may have generated Web traffic from the same people anyway, but there are a multitude of reasons why including branded terms in your paid search campaign is a good idea. We find that including branded keywords in a PPC/SEM program can not only generate significant ROI but also improve the overall performance of a company’s search initiative. Consider the following:
* Delivering both paid ads and organic listings in search results has been shown to improve overall click-through rates. Studies indicate that when a term generates both a paid ad and organic listing, the result can be an increase in both clicks as well as conversions (leads). This may be because having your company appear in both organic and paid listings legitimizes your brand since it appears in multiple locations on the page.
* If you rely on organic listings alone, both the message delivered and the destination URL are at the mercy of search engine algorithms. However, with paid ads, you can use ad copy to deliver a brand message of your choosing, and direct visitors to a specific page optimized for PPC and conversion.
* Bidding on branded terms will help to thwart competitors bidding on your brand name (at least for now, a permitted practice in the case of Google.) Because only you can legitimately include your trademarked company name in ad copy, your higher quality score (due to ad relevance, click-though rate, and also landing page relevance) will enable you to achieve a higher position at a lower cost, pushing your competitors down the page. The same can be said for channel partners with whom you compete for product-related terms.
* In addition to the quality score variable, branded terms generate less competition than generic keywords, and thus demand a lower bid rate and generate a lower cost per click. This lower cost per click can boost your overall campaign performance.
* Branded terms can yield prospects at later stages in the selling cycle, at a point in the decision process when they are starting to evaluate specific brands or solutions. Here again, you’ll increase your chances of actually engaging with these highly qualified prospects by using paid ads to drive them to a page designed to generate leads, rather than simply dumping them onto your corporate Website.
For more tips on how to improve the performance of your search campaign, download a free copy of our white paper: “Top 10 B2B Paid Search Mistakes: Why Your Google Campaign Isn’t Working And What To Do About It.”