5 Reasons to Run Branded Campaigns in Google Ads

A common question PPC management agencies get regarding branded campaigns is “why would I spend money on branded keywords? Those people already know about my business.” Many of us have had this thought and although it may seem counterintuitive, there can be great benefits to running branded ad campaigns. The value may be different for each business, but below are 5 reasons why you may choose to bid on branded keywords.

What Are Branded Keywords/Campaigns?

A branded keyword is any phrase with your business name in it. For example, if you own a business named Jennifer’s Hair Salon, a branded keyword would be anything that included your business name. A searcher looking for “Jennifer’s hair salon” is an example of a branded search in which the searcher already knows about your business and is more likely to click on your ad. Someone doing a non-branded search, such as “hair salons near me”, is less qualified and may not know about your business yet.

Generally, businesses new to Google Ads don’t think to run branded campaigns because they believe those leads are already likely to visit their website. They put more focus on non-branded campaigns to get their business in front of new leads who are not familiar with their business yet.

Although this may be true in most cases, there are still a handful of reasons why a business may choose to run branded ad campaigns.  

5 Reasons to Run Branded Campaigns in Google Ads

1. Your website isn’t organically ranking for branded keywords.

Depending on how unique a business’ name is, some may find it challenging to get their website to rank organically for branded keywords or phrases. Generally, brand names are much easier to rank for than service keywords because they are unique to you and the competition for a branded keyword is virtually nothing. There are two cases in which you may find it challenging to appear in branded search results.

The first example is if your business is brand new and your website is light on content. Naturally, your business’ name will appear regularly across your site, and creating more content, and giving it time will help your rankings. The second example is if your business name uses a lot of common keywords for your industry that many businesses are targeting. The less unique your name, the harder it may be to rank for branded keywords.

If you fit into either of these categories, you may choose to run brand awareness campaigns to make sure you are the first result in search engines for your business name. Once your website has had time to rank and optimize, you may find that you don’t need to run branded campaigns anymore, unless one of the other 4 reasons apply to you.

2. Branded searchers are not always returning customers.

It is a common mistake to think of branded searches as returning customers. Although this may be true for a percentage of your branded traffic, in many cases, these are new customers that have not had time to purchase your services yet.

The vast majority of new traffic to a site leave without making a purchase or converting. This is truer now than it’s ever before and as more businesses move their operations online, conversion rates are only dropping.

The typical buys journey from Google Ads starts with a general service or product search. An example might be “hair stylists near me”. The search results include a combination of sponsored ads, a map of local businesses, and organically optimized sites that rank for that phrase. Depending on search intent, they will either look at the map results to locate a salon nearby or they will click through the ads and organic pages to compare what different businesses have to offer.

It is common to shop around before making a buying decision. It is also common to do research for a product or service, but not make a decision until later. When the buyer is ready to purchase or visit a business, they then return to Google and search the brand name of the business instead of the original keyword. In this case, this branded search is a new lead who has never purchased, and if no brand campaign was running, could have been lost to a competitor. This leads me to the next reason to run branded ad campaigns.

3. Your competitors are bidding on your business’ name.

One of the most common reasons to bid on branded keywords is because your competition is trying to steal your clicks. Running competitor ads is a common way to find leads who are looking for your products or services.

It is very easy to find out if your competitors are targeting your traffic. Go to Google and do a search for your business name. If you see sponsored ads at the top of the search results and they aren’t for your business, you are being targeted. This is a strategy that is used in some industries more than others, and generally is more common the larger your business gets.

If you find competitors targeting your business, don’t worry. Running your own branded campaign is an easy way to steal back that valuable ad real estate. The best part is that your ad clicks will cost a fraction of your competitors and it is easy to outrank them.

4. Branded clicks are extremely cheap.

To understand why branded keywords cost less than other keywords, you need to understand how the bidding system works in Google. To determine what a business pays per click, Google multiplies the ads bid by the quality score of the keyword. The result is your ad rank and the higher your rank, the higher you appear in search results.

The main factor that gives you a leg up over your competition is that your keyword quality scores will be much higher because Google recognizes the branded keyword appears across your website. Your competitors on the other hand should not have your branded keyword on their website so Google gives them a poor quality score and makes them pay more to get the click. This won’t always be the case, but for most businesses, they will find it easy to outbid their competition.

5. Promote special offers and time sensitive content.

The last reason we would suggest running branded ad campaigns is if you wish to push out content faster. Most businesses don’t have full time marketers that create content and update their website. An easy alternative to push out a new offer or promotion is to run a branded ad campaign mentioning the offer.

Putting the new content upfront makes leads to your website aware of the content before they ever see your site and can improve conversion rates. From an organizational standpoint, this is a simple bypass that allows businesses to not have to regularly update website content and rethink their content strategies.

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of the value of running branded campaigns in google ads. If you are curious about how to run competitor ads and attract already qualified leads, check out our blog, 3 benefits of bidding on competitor brand keywords.

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