Posted by James Lee on 16th June 2010

Using PPC for Branding

Earlier this month, we all got a lesson in how not to brand when BP began buying PPC ads for terms related to ‘oil spill.’ As a result, plenty of people who were looking for real news about the oil spill clicked on those ads and were redirected to BP’s official take on the spill. Not exactly objective content there. The consensus in the PPC world is that BP’s money would be better spent cleaning up the gulf, and then cleaning up its reputation. Ahem.

While we don’t suggest using PPC for damage control, we do recommend it as an effective branding tool for businesses. Branding in PPC means, simply enough, bidding on terms that are key to your business (such as your business name, website, service names, or product names). Are you indignant that you have to bid on your own business name? Don’t be. It’s a great opportunity to get a set of low cost, high quality keywords that you will easily beat out the competition on.

Other pluses about using PPC for branding:

  • Highest quality scores: the elusive 9 and 10 keyword quality scores tend to be reserved for brand based keywords.
  • Cheap clicks: if your competitors bid on your brand keywords, they will suffer from low quality scores and high cost clicks. On the other hand, you’ll enjoy top quality scores and subsequently low cost clicks and great placement.
  • Visibility: if your competitors are bidding on your brand and you’re not, their ads will show up when someone searches for your brand regardless of their low quality score. Don’t want them to steal your clicks? Get bidding!
  • More traffic. Even if you think your brand is already well-known, branding is a great way to get more low cost traffic to your site. Most studies show that click costs in branding campaigns result in profitable ROIs.

Tips to get started:

  • Set up separate campaigns to test branded keywords. It will be much easier to compare the cost per conversion of your branded campaign with your other campaigns and make a decision whether branding is profitable for your business.
  • Design different branding campaigns for different demographics. You can tailor your ads to specific demographics and geographic locations.
  • Track, track, track. Sign up for Google Analytics if you haven’t already to get industry trends, bounce rates, time on site, and all sorts of valuable data that can help you see how well your campaign is going.

And of course, for excellent PPC management software that makes managing your campaigns — branded or not — simpler, we recommend ClickSweeper. Try us for free today!

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