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Paid Search: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Be Bidding on Branded Keywords

By | May 6, 2012

In the world of paid-search marketing, a common topic of debate is around bidding on your brand. Generally, 10-20% of our clients request us as paid-search marketers to pause branded campaigns/keywords because they feel we are either:

1. Wasting money on branded keywords for which they are already ranking organically
2. Cannibalizing organic traffic

Now that the paid search market has matured, Google and others have been able to conduct statistically significant tests as to how bidding on branded keywords affects organic traffic. It really is a no-brainer—even with a limited budget, you should be bidding on branded search for the following reasons:

  1. Brand terms are used when searchers are closer to making a purchase vs. non-branded when they’re starting the decision-making process.
  2. Branded keywords normally have a lower average CPC: Get more clicks with less budget.
  3. Higher conversion rates. Branded keywords convert 2-3X as high as non-branded keywords on average:
Source: Your Search Advisor
  1. Lower cost per conversion. This obviously goes hand-in-hand when branded keywords have a higher conversion rate and a lower CPC—your cost per conversion will in turn be substantially lower.
  2. Bidding on brand = higher ROI. Again, if you’re trying to maximize the ROI for your company, start with your branded keywords, then look at top non-branded converters.
  3. Defend your brand. The majority of all online conversions (besides direct) are from search queries that are variations of your brand. Protect your brand by showing up #1 in both paid and organic listings.
  4. Higher click-thru rate when showing up in both paid and organic search:

Source: Amplify Interactive

  1. Even with a #1 organic ranking, paid ads provide 50% incremental clicks: If this statistic doesn’t prove the value of bidding on paid ads, I’m not sure what will.

Bidding on Branded Keywords Increases Clicks by 50%Source: Google

  1. When pausing paid search ads, you lose on average 85% of total site visits that you once had.

Bid on Branded Results 85% IncreaseSource: Google

  1. If you’ve never run paid search ads and turn them on, clicks on average increase by 79%:

Source: Google

Every advertiser should be engaging in paid search, and at minimum bidding on your brand if that’s all you can afford. Otherwise, you are missing out on 50% more clicks and losing customers to your competition.

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About Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom. He has over 6 years of experience in digital marketing with a concentration in PPC/paid search and display advertising. He primarily works with healthcare clients, but his experience spans across all verticals. Joe is a frequent blogger for Search Engine Journal. In his free time, he enjoys working out and spending time with family and friends.


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