You probably often wonder whether it’s necessary to advertise on your own company/brand name. And it makes perfect sense. When searching for a company/brand name in Google, you almost always will top the search results, right? So why would you even consider advertising on your own company/brand name? Wouldn’t it be throwing money away to advertise for something that generates free traffic on itself?

“Adidas…” search query with branded Adidas ad.

While all these questions make perfect sense at first, we would like to challenge you to think a little further. There are, in fact, several reasons to consider advertising on your own brand name. First and foremost, your competitors could be advertising on your brand name, drawing traffic with high conversion rates (they are explicitly searching for you on the web) away from you. Secondly, advertising on your own brand name allows you to add site links that steer traffic to the right place on your website.

Advertising on your brand name is beneficial

“But what if no one is advertising on my brand name?’ we might say. Great question, as you could be doubting the benefits of paying for clicks in that case. To prove that it can be beneficial, however, we’ll dive a little deeper in the world of data. Besides the fact that SEO is reinforced by SEA and vice versa, we’ll split up both traffic sources and poor them in fancy graphs to prove our point:

 

As you can see, SEO-traffic (coloured in green) is clearly in decline. In October, however, that was all about to change, as we launched a branded search campaign. The total number of website visitors significantly increases due to impact of SEA-traffic (in red). In the right graph, we saw a relatable evolution as regards to turnover.
To make sure this wasn’t a coincidence, we recently tested our assumption again:

During a limited period in time, we decided to pause all branded campaigns to see what this would bring… As a result, organic traffic obviously increased with 50%. However, looking at the total picture, we saw a decrease in total traffic of 31% going hand-in-hand with a decrease in turnover of 13%.
So, the costs of branded advertising (avg. PPC of EUR 0.02,-) were worth the return after all.

How is this possible?

This can be explained because of the following reasons:

  • You buy up more space in the search results, making you more present and impossible to miss. Ad extensions such as site links, product links, etc. generate and steer your visitors to the right place on your website.
  • Advertising on your own company/brand name makes you look trustworthy.
  • It discourages competitors to advertise on your brand name, as they know it’ll be a battle they’ll never win.

Remarketing for search

Using ‘remarketing for search’, we set up another test in which we solely targeted the people who had never visited the website before. At first sight, we discovered that by targeting new visitors only, our ads had a negative effect on turnover, which resulted in a decrease of +/- 19%. However, costs saved due to branded advertising as oppose to the loss in turnover, show that branded advertising has added value for your online marketing efforts.

Branded advertising results in cheaper SEA

Another reason to advertise on your brand name worth mentioning is the fact that people most likely search for your products in combination with your brand name or a related category. Not including your brand name in SEA campaigns would therefore result in higher PPC-bids and the chance of competitors ending up above you in the search results.

Conclusion

Branded advertising certainly has an added value to your online marketing campaigns. The reinforcement of SEA on SEO and vice versa results in a significant increase of total traffic that is driven towards your website. Moreover, branded advertising can be done almost always at a lower PPC. So, why not start today?

Conclusion 2.0: new research

Recent research we have done with our clients revealed an additional view on the best practise as described above. We have clients with well known brandnames (lucky them) but the downside is that advertising on your own brandname, for the reasoning mentioned above, is expensive and you start wondering if you couldn’t spend that budget somewhere else. The research we have done showed that well known brands are not as vulnerable for competitors that advertise on their brandname. For brandnames that don’t have this power protecting your own brandname is still essential. In some cases, under specific conditions you can consider not to continue to advertise on your own brandname. Below you can find a list of things to keep in mind/ check:

  • Check competition on branded keywords (keyword per keyword it might differ)
  • Control budget for auction insights (keep a small budget in place to monitor competitors on branded keywords)
  • Loss of traffic (check the sum of SEO & SEA traffic)
  • Loss of turnover / profit (check the sum of SEO & SEA revenue)
  • CTR branded search terms in search console should increase
  • Treat shopping and search ads separately
  • Check affiliates who advertise on brand name (affiliate keyword buying)

 

Keep in mind that when you change tactics (start / stop advertising on your brandname) you will see a big change in analytics as your distribution of traffic changes.