Run Your Brand Phrases In A PPC Campaign? It Will Likely Pay Off. Here’s Why & How to Test the Results: Part 1

Should you pay to run your own brand phrases in a PPC campaign such as Google Adwords when most of these phrases are reaching top “organic” search results?

Our testing shows it usually pays off. We get more conversions with our clients’ brand phrases running in a PPC campaign. More importantly there’s usually a very positive ROI from the additional conversions (Gross Profit less the cost of the PPC campaign).

In this article we’ll show you why it works. In Part-2 we’ll show you how to test the results to see if it’s paying off for you.


Note about Non Brand Phrases – While this article talks about brand phrases much of it applies to non brand phrases as well. In other words, it will probably pay off to run PPC ads for non brand phrases even if you are reaching top organic results for them too.

You can do the same type of test that is explained in Part 2 to confirm it for yourself. There’s a link to Part 2 below.


Why Running Your Brand Phrases in a PPC Campaign Will Likely Pay Off

Higher Conversion Rates for Brand Phrases.  There is almost always a higher conversion rate for brand phrases compared to non-brand phrases.

People who search on your brand phrases knew something about you before they came to your web site (possibly from referrals, print or other traditional media, or perhaps they were past clients, etc).  These people are much more likely to convert than people who searched on non brand phrases who likely knew nothing about you before they reached the site (See the More Information section below for a link to an article about brand vs. non brand keyword phrases).

It’s not unusual for brand phrases to convert 3 to 10+ times better than non-brand phrases.

Much Lower Average Cost Per Click (CPC).  Usually there is less competition for your brand phrases in a PPC network so the Cost per Click can be very low compared to non-brand phrases.  For example you might be paying an average of $1.50 per click for your non-brand phrases while the average cost per click for your brand phrases averages $0.15 per click (Yes, a factor of 10 is not uncommon)

Much Lower Cost Per Conversion. The combination of higher conversion rates and lower Costs Per Click results in a much lower cost per conversion for brand phrases than for non-brand phrases.

PPC ads can reach the highest positions in the search results. If you keep the ads for your brand phrases in positions 1 or 2 in a PPC network like Google adwords they will usually be displayed above the organic results right in the sweet spot of the eye path. These are the search listings that most people look at first and will often click on.

Just as important, without your brand phrase ad at the top of the PPC results you may be giving up a top search listing position to a competitor who is bidding on your brand phrases . (Note that with recent judgments since the fall of 2009 if you see others running ads for your brand phrases you should consider requesting them to stop and taking legal action if needed)

Two Chances To Get The Click. With an ad in both a top PPC position and a top organic listing you have two strong opportunities to entice searchers to click through to your site.

More Control over the Search Listing. The description in the organic search listings are controlled by the search engines. You do have some control over this such as creating compelling Meta Description tags (which may or may not be used by the search engine for the description in the search results) or by modifying the text on the page to try to influence the description the search engines generate. 

However, with PPC ads you have much more control over the description (the ad copy). You can systematically test copy to develop search listings that result in the best combination of Click through Rates and Conversion Rates.

You Have Control Over The Landing Page. You have some control over what page from your site will reach the highest organic results (by optimizing the page you’d like to reach top results, etc).

However with PPC ads you decide which landing page is best. 

More importantly you can systematically test landing pages on your site as well as custom landing pages to find out what landing page results in the best conversion rates.

You Can Run Phrase Variations & Misspellings. In a PPC network you can run many variations of your brand phrases as well as misspellings, many of which you may not be reaching top organic results for.

PPC Ads Can Appear In Partner Search Engines. Some PPC network partners display more PPC ads above the organic listings than, for example, Google. This pushes your organic listing down making it more beneficial to have a PPC ad in a top position.

PPC Ads Can Appear on More Thant Just Search Engines. PPC ads can appear on many web pages, not just the search engine results, via the Content Networks available in most networks. Your brand phrase ads can appear on articles in an online newspaper, for example, that mentions your brand (Of course this may not be always be a good thing if the article is negative).


In Part 2 we show you how we run tests to see if running brand phrases results in a positive ROI.


For More Information 

Improve the conversion rate for non-brand keyword phrases for search marking success

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising: It’s about Traffic that Engages and Converts: Not Impressions, Clicks, or even Click-Through Rates (CTR)

eVision – Pay Per Click Experts

eVision has been in business since 1998. We’ve been helping clients around the world build their businesses with PPC campaigns since they were first available.  Most have experienced double, triple, or more in sales increases from their websites.

Read More