Branded Search Marketing simply means creating paid search campaigns that focus exclusively on your brand name. The purpose of this is to keep your competitors out of your branded space.
Have you ever found yourself in the grocery store trying to decide if you should buy the name brand version of a product, or go for the generic or store brand?
Sometimes that decision is easy… you just KNOW that the name brand product will provide better quality and is worth paying a bit more. Sometimes you just KNOW that you’ll get equivalent quality from the store brand or generic version for a fraction of the price.
And sometimes you just DON’T know which one to buy.
What can make matters even more confusing is how close the brand that you’re looking for is to the competing brands on the store shelves. This can easily sway a customer who had every intention of buying Brand X when they entered the store, but – instead – ends of buying Brand Y.
As a small business owner, it’s critical that you don’t let your competitors sway your potential customers. Especially those who are looking specifically for you and your company.
You’ve worked hard to establish and understand your brand, so you need to do everything possible to protect your brand from poachers.
That same rules should apply online… with one significant distinction.
Instead of jockeying for position on supermarket shelves, your competitors can bump you out of the top spot in search engine results. And this can happen quickly, easily and with very little investment.
The good news. As the brand owner, you can just as easily make sure that you own that #1 spot for your brand and drop your competitors into the 2nd and 3rd positions where they belong.
That’s where Branded Search Marketing campaigns come into play.
Branded Search Marketing simply means creating paid search campaigns that focus exclusively on your brand name. This includes common variations on your brand name, including:
- The Brand itself – e.g. ACME Plumbing
- Misspellings of the Brand – e.g. AMCE Plumbing or ACME Pluming
- The Brand & Location (if Applicable) – e.g. ACME Plumbing Los Angeles
- The Brand & Product or Service – e.g. ACME Plumbing Shower Doors
Why would you do this? Especially if you already have the #1 organic spot for your brand name searches?
Imagine a customer searching for ACME Plumbing Supplies. Because paid ads often appear above the organic results, your potential customer is immediately presented by alternative purchase options. These alternatives usually feature your competitors or large retailers such as eBay, Amazon and HomeDepot
Because ACME Plumbing doesn’t – in this scenario – run branded ads, they now show up 3rd in the list of possible options for someone searching for their name.
Plus, because of the match to the term “plumbing supplies,” other brands are now showing up for customers who were searching specifically for them.
Even if you get very specific, searching for a particular company in a particular location, because the Ads show up first, if you don’t bid on your own company name, your competitors can appear ahead of you in the results.
It does not take a lot of time, effort or budget to create a very specific branded campaign to support your company.
For what will likely cost you pennies per click, you can make sure that potential customers who are looking for you find you FIRST in the list. This reduces the distractions and possible loss of business that can occur when customers get confused or start to question their initial predisposition to hire or buy through your company.
Why Some Companies Don’t Do Branded Search Marketing
You may be asking yourself… If it’s that easy, why doesn’t everybody do it?
That’s a good question, and my experience has shown that the answers fall into four common buckets:
- It’s just not something they’ve thought about. Perhaps they’ve never even Googled their own company name and seen the competitors taking the top spots.
- They believe that because the ads that appear in search engines get less clicks than the rest of the listings, they simply don’t need to be there because 90% of the people who are looking for them will find them anyway.
- They think the Google Ads setup process is too complicated. Because they don’t run paid search campaigns at all, they assume that it would take a lot of time, effort and money to run anything… and don’t even consider the value of running a small, targeted brand campaign to protect their brand investment.
- They have an issue paying the search engines for searches on their brand name. They’ve spent years building that brand, and don’t like the idea of paying Google or Bing for searches on their own name.
- Their brand isn’t well known. Google does have a secret “minimum threshold” of searches before you can start bidding on a particular term. Otherwise they get labelled as “Low Search Volume” and you may – or may not – show up for those searches. If the brand is VERY specific, and VERY rarely searched, they may think it’s not worth even trying.
None of these reasons are good enough to give up any percentage of possible business.
Always Be Found When Someone Searches For You
Similar to the grocery store example above, think of it like having the brand name that you are looking for on a shelf that is at eye level, or relegated to the bottom shelf while your competitors take over the prime real estate.
Where would you – as a business owner – rather be?