Should I Be Bidding on “My Company Name” in PPC?

One of the strategic quandaries many marketers face in their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising efforts is whether to bid on their own company name. While it may seem counterintuitive to pay for traffic that might naturally come your way through organic searches, there are compelling reasons why bidding on your company name can be a savvy move. Let’s explore the benefits, potential drawbacks, and strategies to make an informed decision about using your company name as a keyword in your PPC campaigns.

Why Bid on Your Company Name?

1. Control Over Your Message: Bidding on your company name allows you to control the first impression users get when they search for your brand. PPC ads enable you to highlight specific messaging, promotions, or landing pages that you want to push, which might not be as prominently featured in organic search results.

2. Defense Against Competitors: It’s not uncommon for competitors to bid on your company name in an attempt to capture your audience. By bidding on your own name, you protect your brand and ensure that your ads appear above any competitors trying to divert traffic away from you.

3. Enhanced Visibility: Even if your website ranks first in organic search results, PPC ads are typically displayed above organic listings. This means your brand can dominate the search results page, giving users immediate access to your site and reducing the likelihood they’ll click on other listings.

4. Cost-Effectiveness: Bidding on your brand name is often much cheaper than bidding on generic keywords because the competition is lower and the relevance to your business is higher. This can result in lower cost-per-click (CPC) rates and higher return on investment (ROI).

5. Improved Click-Through Rates (CTR): Branded terms usually have higher CTRs because users searching for your brand are likely already interested in your products or services. This can improve your overall account performance metrics.

Potential Drawbacks

1. Cannibalizing Organic Traffic: One argument against bidding on your company name is that you might be paying for clicks you would have received for free through organic search. However, the strategic benefits of control and protection often outweigh the cost of these clicks.

2. Budget Allocation: For businesses with limited advertising budgets, allocating funds to bid on your company name means less budget for targeting new customers. It’s important to balance brand protection with customer acquisition efforts.

Making the Decision

1. Analyze Your Search Landscape: Conduct a search for your brand name and see what comes up. If competitors are bidding on your name, or if your organic search result isn’t as prominent as you’d like, it’s a strong indication that bidding on your name could be beneficial.

2. Consider Your Brand’s Strength: For well-known brands with little to no competition in search results, the necessity of bidding on your company name might be lower. However, for growing brands or those in highly competitive industries, it can be a crucial strategy.

3. Test and Measure: The only way to truly know the impact of bidding on your company name is to test it. Run campaigns for a set period and measure the performance in terms of traffic, conversions, and cost. Compare these metrics against periods when you weren’t bidding on your name to gauge the impact.

Conclusion

Bidding on your company name in PPC campaigns is a strategy that offers several advantages, from controlling your brand’s narrative to defending against competitors. While there are potential drawbacks, the decision should be based on your specific brand, competitive landscape, and marketing goals. By carefully weighing the pros and cons and conducting thorough tests, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your overall digital marketing strategy.