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Is your magic search bullet right under your nose?


If we had a pound for every time clients asked us why in the world they should bid on their own brand terms, well, we’d have enough to keep us bidding on brand terms for a good while. Which is exactly what we plan to do. Because whilst our specific suggestions of course vary from client to client, bidding on brand is sort of an ever-enduring philosophy for us.


‘But…’ we hear you cry, ‘we already show up at the top of the natural search results!’


And we get it; why bother spending time and money on your branded terms when they already trigger organic listings? SEO is incredibly important, don’t get us wrong. We’ve built half of our Search business on building amazing organic traffic, but if you’re not bidding on your own brand terms, you’re missing out. And here’s why.


Two really is better than one

Having an organic and paid listing doesn’t only double your visibility (though it does do that) – research shows it increases your click-through rate, too. So, let’s be clear – it’s not a case of organic versus branded search. On the contrary, the two work hand in hand. Chop the latter off and you’re going be left with picking up only half the traffic. Because here’s the thing; you simply can’t capture all searchers, or their searches, organically. Even with the top organic result. Even with multiple top organic results.


Instead, because a handful of paid ads are always going to pop up above your organic results, some searchers are always going to end up clicking on those instead. And by some, we mean a lot. According to Google, around 85% of click-traffic will be lost and not replaced by organic clicks.  

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Why? There are myriad reasons. But the crucial one is that searchers like the look of sparkling ads up top, particularly because they usually do something that your organic listings don’t: they give them more of what they’re probably looking for.


Our Head of Search, Dan Whitehouse, says it best:


‘Whilst it’s in Google’s interest to push brand bidding in PPC, what brands have got to remember is that they don’t get 100% of searches by default. We can’t take paid away and bolster it with content to gain traffic back. It just doesn’t work that way. If you’re not bidding, you’re losing customers to those who are.’


Think about it: organic listings might be free but, let’s be blunt, they’re usually pretty boring. Or unspecific at least. But when you bid on brand and appear in both the organic and paid ad spaces, you engender really great things. Paid ads allow you to craft your messaging in a way that will do three things: align with your potential customers’ more specific, branded search results; captivate their interest, and incite them to visit your site. And when they’re there, you can make sure they land on the best possible pages. The pages they were looking for – and your highest converting ones.


You’ve got what they want

But there’s something else about these searchers we need to remember; if someone’s searching for your brand specifically, it’s because they already know it. And they’re interested. Perhaps they heard about you through a friend or your website, maybe they follow you on social media. They could be a returning customer! The point is, they’ve got familiarity with your brand and they know you have what they’re looking for. The value of capturing potential customers when they’re this far along the purchase funnel is huge. 


Your magic bullet’s right under your nose

Apart from this, branded terms are that magic combination of what you’ve been looking for when it comes to biddable keywords: they’re usually very affordable, and they have actual search volume. This goes for your particular products or services, or even your URL, too. Bidding on these isn’t only kind to your wallet – they’re most likely to glean your highest click-through rates and Quality Scores as well.


If you don’t show up, your competitors will

On the flipside, it’s important to recognise that not bidding on brand doesn’t just mean some potential customers not clicking on your organic listing. Nope – these customers are high-intent, remember? And if your competitors are sharp enough, they’ll be bidding on your branded terms and stealing high intent customers from right under your nose.


Because when your potential customer is met with your competitor’s pretty, shiny ad – matching their search more specifically and sitting smack bang at the top of their results – they’re more than likely going to click it over your vanilla organic listing. Just like that, your almost-traffic runs into the welcoming arms of your competitor’s landing pages.


We’ll cut the melodramatics and say this instead: understanding what your potential customers are looking for – and why – is hugely important. Intentions vary hugely behind different searches, and bidding on brand puts you in the best possible position to capture that intent. Deciphering this intent can be tough, but it’s crucial when choosing how best to navigate branded search (and we’re going to go ahead and hopefully assume we convinced you that bidding on brand is definitely for you).


The good news is, we’ve got the knowledge and expertise to understand your potential customers’ intentions, so that when it comes to paid ads and bidding on brand we can help you craft your message in just the right way.


Give us a call and we’ll show you how.