When you’re bidding on keywords for a paid search campaign, you might feel tempted to neglect branded terms. After all, you’ve put considerable effort into organic SEO, so why should you funnel money into the same work your website already does?
Maybe your website pops up first in the SERPs (search engine results pages), and perhaps prospects will find your site automatically using the search engine’s auto-complete functionality. However, this doesn’t mean you should leave branded terms on the table when designing your paid search initiative.
Losing Incremental Clicks
A study conducted by Search Engine Land determined that when businesses stop bidding on branded terms for their search marketing campaigns they lose around 50 percent of incremental clicks. That means that you not only miss out on those clicks, but on the conversions and sales that might have resulted from them.
That’s only if you already rank first organically. If you rank in the second, third, or lower slots in the SERPs, you’ll lose even more clicks because users would have to scan further down the page to find your website. Unfortunately, when you shop bidding on branded terms, you might also see your organic position drop.
Sending Clicks to the Competition
A Bing advertising study on several industries, including retail, determined that failing to bid on branded terms caused businesses to lose clicks to their competition. If you’re not buying terms related to your brand, your competition might.
It’s an age-old strategy that corporations still use today. If you can capitalize on other business’s traffic (whether foot or web), you stand to gain sales down the road. It makes sense to bid on competitors’ keywords because it drives more traffic to their sites.
Reducing Average Order Value and Revenue
Case studies also demonstrate that neglecting to bid on branded terms will reduce both average order value (AOV) and revenue. It makes sense in the context of overall visibility and clicks. Computer users have trained themselves to take the easiest possible route to a destination. When they see your competitors’ ads or organic search results, they’ll click rather than scroll farther down the list.
When AOV and revenue plummet, you face a difficult situation. It can be difficult to bounce back after a drop in organic search listings, so it’s best to bid on branded terms so you remain competitive in the digital marketing space.
Understanding the Bottom Line
Digital marketing consists of numerous puzzle pieces that must work together.
Ultimately, your digital marketing strategy should incorporate as many tactics as possible as long as they work together. Bidding on branded terms not only provides your business with a boost in paid search visibility, but can also increase your position in the SERPs when it comes to organic search.
It’s understandable why businesses think they don’t need to bid on branded terms. This is just another example of why data and testing remain essential for modern digital marketing. For more insights, read Zach Morrison’s interview with Internet Retailer on the subject. .