Bidding on Branded Terms- Yes or No?

Google released a Search Ads Pause research study, which showed that 89% of the clicks from search ads are incremental, i.e., 89% of the visits to the advertiser's site from ad-clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when the search ads are paused. Running paid search campaigns on your brand terms can provide several benefits, even though you might already rank well in organic search results for your brand. Here are some reasons why you should consider running paid search on your brand terms:


1. Protect Your Brand: By bidding on your brand terms, you can ensure that your competitors don't hijack your brand's search results. If you don't run paid ads on your brand terms, competitors could bid on them and divert potential customers away from your website.


2. Control and Expound on Your Focus Areas: Paid ads allow you to craft a message that will grab the attention of your searchers and entice them to visit your site. To drive this point home, remember that your organic results might not send searchers to the ideal landing pages. Your organic search listing has a fairly standard headline and description. Use paid ads and send your searchers to your highest-converting landing pages. Also, paid ads allow you to highlight specific benefits of your brand by using structure snippets and callout assets.

Example of a callout extension from Nike


3. Visibility: Having organic and paid search results on the same page can significantly increase your visibility and real estate on the search engine results page (SERP). If you dominate paid and organic listings, people are far more likely to click through to your website than a competitor's, reinforcing your brand's authority and trustworthiness.


4. Competitive Advantage: If your competitors are already bidding on your brand terms, not doing so may put you at a disadvantage. You can knock your competitor's ads down the SERP by bidding on brand terms. This makes it less likely that people will click through to competitor sites. If Trello weren't bidding on their brand, a competitor site would appear ahead of them on their search engine results pages. According to backlinko.com, moving up just one position can boost your expected click-through rate by as much as 74.5%.

Below are some key metrics from the Google Study:

  • 81% of ad impressions and 66% of ad clicks occur in the absence of an associated organic result on the first page of search results.
  • 82% of the ad clicks are incremental when the associated organic search result is between ranks 2 and 4
  • 96% of the ad clicks are incremental when the advertiser's organic result ranked lower than 4


It's far cheaper to bid on your own branded keywords than to bid for non-branded terms. Branded keywords also have less competition and higher conversion rates than non-branded keywords. By avoiding them, you're cutting off a low-cost revenue stream for your business.

Plus, people searching for your brand may already be motivated to buy. You don't need to cultivate brand awareness or do much to push them through the sales cycle. Catering to their needs with targeted advertising can clinch a sale quickly. Running paid search on your brand terms can complement your overall digital marketing strategy and help you maximize your online presence.

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