Posted by Ian Hopkins, Account Manager “Why should we bid on brand keywords when we are already appearing in top position organically?” It’s one of the most popular questions we are asked by our clients. The common concern is that bidding on brand terms depletes marketing budget by cannibalizing traffic that could otherwise be captured by the brand’s organic listings. While it’s important to determine the overall profitability of bidding on brand keywords, there are other factors to consider before pausing your brand terms. Highlighted below are five key benefits of bidding on brand keywords. 1. Controlling your message Unlike an organic listing’s text (which is determined by the search engine), paid search gives you absolute control over what messaging participants will see when they search for your brand. This enables you to instantly adjust your ad text based on situational factors such as short-term promotions, new offerings, offline events or even bad press. Furthermore, you can continuously test multiple text ads at once to see which messaging is resonating stronger with participants and optimize accordingly. 2. Managing your traffic Organic listings systematically link to the landing page that the search engine determines is most relevant to the participant’s query. When a participant searches for a particular brand, the top organic result is most often the brand’s home page. However, the landing page the search engine deems most relevant might not be the best page to direct branded searches. Utilizing paid search ensures control over which landing page the participant is directed to when searching for your brand. This gives advertisers the freedom to drive participants directly to new offers, promotions or a higher converting page. 3. Increasing your visibility By bidding on brand terms, you’re putting an additional link on the search results page. One more link makes your site easier to find and can increase the likelihood of engaging the participant. Enabling ad extensions, such as sitelinks or image ads, can also take up more real estate on the results page and help make your brand stand out amongst the competition. 4. Protecting your visibility When someone searches for your brand, you want your ad to be the first that they see—not your competition. Bidding on competitors’ brand keywords to push one’s own products/services is a common marketing strategy known as “conquesting.” If competitors are bidding on your brand terms and you’re not, it allows your competitors to appear above you on the results page and potentially steal valuable clicks. This is especially concerning on mobile devices where visible space is limited and competitors have greater chance of dominating the top results. Brand keyword bidding can help protect your search visibility by ensuring your ads appear above the competition on the results page. 5. Making your competition pay If competitors are bidding on your brand terms, you can raise their costs by simply bidding on those terms as well. Because your ads are more relevant to the user’s query, your ads will have higher quality scores, better position and a higher CTR. This forces competitors to raise their bids to compete for the same ad spot, which results in higher CPCs, lower position and less traffic for the competition. It’s important for advertisers to consider implications beyond an immediate ROI when determining the overall value of investing in brand keywords. Paid search provides better control of how and where your brand is being seen on the search results page. Protecting brand visibility is fundamental for any online brand advertiser’s success.