“To bid on your brand or not to bid?” That is the question…
Many people believe that bidding on your brand through Google Adwords is a waste of money, especially when you dominate the organic rankings for the term.
But is this really the case?
We’ve completed some testing over the last few months based on our own brand marketing, to see whether the evidence stacks up against the theory.
Of course Google would love for us all to run campaigns for our brand terms, as they make money from their advertising as opposed to the organic results. But from a business perspective, if we’re going to get the traffic through SEO anyway, why would we bother paying for it.
What we’ve found from our tests is
Brand PPC Campaigns = Increased SALES!
Without disclosing the exact financial details of the trial (cause that’s top secret of course), we saw a noticeable decline in sales when we turned the “ineedhits” brand campaign off.
How We Tested It:
Given our unique company name “ineedhits”, we pretty much own the organic rankings for that term. However, we’ve always run PPC campaigns with keywords that are exact and partial matches for our brand name.
With months of historical sales data with both SEO and PPC running, we decided to flick the switch on the PPC campaign to see whether the sales from SEO would increase to compensate for the lack of PPC campaigns.
After 2 full months of testing, we saw declines of up to 40% in sales. That’s quite a noticeable decline.
Why does branding PPC & SEO work better than SEO on its own?
Without having spoken to searchers directly to find out why they respond better to having PPC and SEO for the ineedhits brand terms, here’s my postulation for why the results are better with both SEO and PPC:
Appeal to Those Who Prefer Advertising
There will always be some searchers who respond better to Google advertising than organic results.
Whether this is because they are programmed to focus more on the search ad positioning, or they trust PPC more than SEO, by having both running, you make covering all ends of the target market.
Dominating Results – Builds Brand
By owning all Google real estate for your brand in the SERPs, it could enhance the perception of your company to searchers. Whether it increases authority, builds trust, or just makes you look more substantial, this could me whats needed to help some searchers become buyers.
Messaging on PPC Ads vs SEO Listings
One of the main benefits of PPC over SEO is the ability to create and test compelling ad copy. With our direct marketing skills on display, it could be the case that the copy in the ads is more compelling than the SEO listing, which entices more searcher to take action.
Obviously our results won’t apply to all businesses. There are several other factors at play that will influence whether SEO and PPC vs. just SEO is the best strategy for your business.
That said, based on our experience I would highly recommend all businesses at least test what impact a Brand based Google AdWords campaign has on their marketing initiatives.
If you’ve run similar tests on branding marketing, share your learning with our readers below.