My brand: to bid or not to bid?

Posted on 05. Sep, 2011 by in Digital Marketing



In paid search the question has always been whether it’s worth bidding on one’s own brand or not. Is that not money wasted on clicks that would be picked up anyway through organic traffic? What value do brand ads have, when the organic search result already gives the user all necessary information? Is this not just a way for search engines to make “easy money”?

The somewhat old debate seems to have been further fuelled with the appearance of a new format for natural search results:

SERP_new_format

New SERP format

If this is all the space a brand can occupy in the search results, we must surely be asking what is the point of brand bidding?

Truth be told, our answer to this has not changed and is unlikely to change. If you want to take advantage of all traffic available you need to continue bidding on your brand terms. There are a number of reasons for this but I have highlighted the 3 I feel are of most importance:

  • Brand protection – you want to occupy all available space for your brand, to avoid any competitors taking advantage of it instead
  • Incremental revenue – our brand bidding tests typically reveal a 10-15% increase in combined SEO and PPC revenue for e-commerce sites, when brand bidding is in place
  • Seasonal offers – paid search ads are quickly and easily changed allowing for an effective promotion of new products, seasonal offers, or just driving traffic to sections of the site that are new

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we are still a long way from discouraging brand bidding.