by Steven LaLonde – PPC Manager at DragonSearch

Bidding on branded keywords is always very tempting for PPC managers. We know that the clicks are (usually) dirt cheap, and the conversion rates are often stellar. 

I mean, branded terms are probably the most relevant terms you can put in your campaign.

Still, we want to do what is best for the client, and spend our client’s budgets in the most effective manner – and bidding on branded terms is often, but not always the way to go.

What’s best for you or your client? The answer is, it really depends!

Does the client already come up organically for the brand name? This is the obvious first question to ask when thinking about advertising on a brand name. Often, your client will already list high or at the top of organic searches. This could have a major impact on the decision to advertise – and if so how aggressively – on the brand name.

Is the competition advertising on your brand name? This is a big one. If competitors are advertising on your own brand name, you may want to hop in and ‘steal the spotlight’ away from those sneaky competitors.

What about misspellings? We love advertising on often overlooked misspellings of branded terms. Advertising on common misspellings of the branded terms is definitely worth testing in many cases. Especially because you may not list organically for many common misspellings of your or your clients brand name.

What about all the possible variations? If you’re going to advertising on branded terms, don’t forget about all the crazy, often overlooked variations that could work for you. If my clients website is , I might get relevant paid clicks on, widgetscom, widgets dot com, etc. We’ve seen some pretty wild, but highly relevant, search queries, so these oddball terms are certainly worth researching and considering.

Wont bidding on branded keywords cannibalize some of my ‘free’ organic clicks? This depends. If you already come up first organically, you will ‘cannibalize’ some of these would-be free visits. So you’ve gotta think about all of the above and really weigh this one out. It still may be (and likely is) worth it to advertise on the branded terms.

Fortunately, it doesn’t cost much to ‘own your name’ in the paid listings, so for many clients, advertising on branded terms is good, cheap insurance. What do you think? We’d love to hear thoughts!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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