Branded keyword bidding strategy

Personal Investment: Why Brand Keywords are Essential in Paid Search

As the Greenhaus paid-search specialist, I field lots of client questions about why to bid on branded keywords—the ones that contain their own brand name. Their top concern? That it’s a waste of money to run ads for keywords on which their organic listings will show. Here’s what I tell them: Branded keywords can be one of the most important tools in your paid-search campaign.

Why? For one, not bidding on your own brand keywords comes with risks, the biggest being that a competitor bids on your brand terms instead, and winds up as the top search result when users are trying to find you.  This is bad. Not only do you risk losing a potential customer, you also lose control of the essential conversation around your brand name. You always want your preferred messaging to be the first thing a user encounters when they type your brand name into Google. The only way to do that? Bid on it. This is particularly important when your message is time sensitive, like when your company is running a sale or having a grand opening. That should be the first message your consumers encounter.

Then there’s the SERP: Bid on brand keywords and you can dominate more of it, pushing any results you don’t like further down the results page. And finally, thanks to the way Google’s bidding model is set up, branded keywords are a low-cost, high-conversion investment. They combine extreme relevancy and typically very-high click-through rates, generating clicks for a fraction of the cost of non-brand keywords. Taking advantage of these low costs gives you the chance to bring in a strong number of conversions on a very limited amount of spend. We call that win-win.

Of course, though, balance is key, and your keyword strategy shouldn’t be exclusively brand heavy. Instead there should be a robust mix of brand and strategic non-brand keywords. That’s how you bring in the conversions.


[Caroline Beury is a Paid-Search Specialist at Greenhaus and a lover of all keywords both brand and non-brand.]

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