Anyone doing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising will eventually confront the following question:
“If I already rank #1, why would I do PPC for my brand name?”
It’s a common enough question. I recently came across an article about advertising on your brand name and felt like small businesses needed to understand the pros and cons.
The Cons of Advertising on Your Brand Name
- You spend money to get a click you might have gotten anyway – nobody wants to spend money. Especially small businesses where every penny has to work harder.
- Brand terms perform significantly better than my other PPC terms and will skew my data.
The Pros of Advertising on Your Brand Name
- You take up more space on the search engine results: By having your PPC ad show up you increase the amount of real estate you occupy, thus increasing the likelihood that a search user ends up on your site.
- You control what your listing says: Organic results are great but the search engine controls what your listing says. PPC ads are 100% under your control, so you can ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
- You pick the landing page: When a user clicks your PPC ad they go where you feel is best. That might be a current promotion or it might be the homepage. The point is that you choose, not the search engine.
- You “box out” the competition: If you don’t advertise on your brand name, a competitor might. Advertising on your brand name allows you to push them down.
- You can get more clicks: Having your ad and organic listing on the same page can actually increase your total response when done correctly. I won’t dive into it here, but Search Engine Land has an article titled, “Brand Ad Cannibalism: A Tale of Two Tests.”
In my experience the pros outweigh the cons. If you’re still on the fence, consider the following arguments:
- First: You may indeed have to pay for a few clicks you would have gotten anyway, but you’ll be able to control the message and direct them to exactly the right page in exchange.
- Second: If you put brand terms in a separate campaign in your PPC accounts you’ll be able to track them separately from your other campaigns, thus keeping your data clean.
Just like all PPC efforts, as you test and monitor performance you’ll soon determine if the effort is profitable and ensure your PPC dollars are pulling their weight.
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