Thanks to a tweet by Susan (see below) and some great timing by Dave to see it we quickly jumped into record this episode. In fact this is likely the fastest idea -> record w/guest -> publish full circle episodes we have ever done!

I’m having a ton of interesting Twitter conversations about bidding on brand vs. not bidding on brand. I’m tempted to make a tweet storm about it, but figure it’s probably better relegated to a blog post. 🙂

Should You Bid on Brand Terms?

In Episode 116 Dave and Matt dug into bidding on brand terms so this episode they let Susan dig in and give her take. Of course it depends (Dave & Susan agree on this) but in the end you need to test it.

There are a number of reasons that you should and just read on to find a large number.

Test Brand Term Bidding. Test Not Bidding.

Susan talks through a month long test they did with a large client. This client is not spending 500 or 50,000 but 100s of thousands a month and much on brand. They tested for a month turning it off and quickly turned it back on the next month. For them the test showed that the brand bidding lifted all boats.

Be aware of what else you are doing one month to another. Did you run radio or TV ads one month and not the next? Was there a large event or conference that perhaps drove more brand searches one month versus another? Be aware of the PR that may be going on to capture all searches.

Reasons to Bid on Brands

  • It is short sighted to build brand awareness and over $.25 to $.75 a click why not finish converting someone?
  • Due to the SERPs changing, you can’t expect Organic clicks to always capture people. Google Maps, competitors, Knowledge Graph, and a host of other options exist for people to click that are NOT the page you want them to go too.
  • Control where they land – give offers, promote products.
  • Capture PR waves and other radio/TV/channels brand search and not miss brand searches.
  • Are you doing brand awareness campaigns? Do you want to miss out on an opportunity to capture them?
  • Short term or weekend promotion – can you get an Organic page up and ranking or do you want to push the sale? i.e. Cyber Monday

Ways to Optimize Your Brand Bidding

  • Jobs, careers, address – these type of brand terms are likely NOT buyers. Include them in your Negative keyword lists!
  • Names of the CEO, Founder and such should be also included into your Negative list or you should frame your Ads differently.
  • Look at the intent and really test keywords.
  • Test the match type and think through what someone might want, what they were looking for and just dig into the search queries (not the search term!)
  • What are people doing once on the site? Are they engaging with the site? Are they logging into something? Are they just bouncing?

How to Keep Brand and Not Brand Separated

Dave asked Susan how or what she does to keep brand and non brand split. She recommends applying brand as a negative to all non brand campaigns. Set it as a global negative and make sure that it isn’t showing up in the Search Queries going forward.

On brand campaigns she always has the brand set to modified plus.

Long Story Short From Dave, Just Test it.

In the end you need to test. Test bidding on brand. Test not. Test different landing pages. Test different ads. Test. Test Test.

E122 – Tactical Tips for Bidding on Brand Terms Hosts:




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