In this blog post, I would like to talk about brand campaigns and why they are so important to PPC success.
If I had a euro for every time that I heard the words “Why do I need a brand campaign, it’s a waste of money. I will get all that traffic from organic”, I would be rich enough to retire.
The simple fact of the matter is that your company’s most important marketing asset is your brand. PPC is a type of advertising and like other forms of advertising it is important to make your brand work for you. You have spent all this time building up a business and the brand name that goes with it, meaning that when people go looking for your company online they will simply type your brand name into Google/Bing rather than tying out your address. Most businesses find that the vast amount of traffic will come from brand terms. It is for that fact that you should have a sophisticated and holistic search engine marketing plan that is designed to give your company the biggest possible presence on the search engine results page (SERP). A brand campaign is part of this plan. I can’t stress this fact more that when someone is searching for your business online, you must have the strongest presence possible on the search engine’s top real estate.
It must be said that very often when someone searches for your brand, your organic listing will get pushed down the SERP. This can be below the fold in some cases with the inclusion of Google Maps, the carousel and other items. Brand campaigns guard against this.
In addition to this, I would also like to point out that the paid listings are the top real estate on Google’s SERP.
I addition to this fact here are some other factors to consider.
If there is one word that Google loves, whether in terms of SEO or PPC, it is relevance. Naturally, bidding on your brand name can be seen as incredibly relevant. This means that your brand keywords get very high keyword quality scores because of the high click through rates and relevance of the search to the ad but also the landing page.
If you’ve read up on Google Adwords, you will know that keyword quality score is possibly the single most important factor within the Google auction, determining your ad rank and ultimately where your ad will be shown. This means that brand campaigns get high ad positions and large amounts of clicks. Also the high click through rates that brand campaigns receive, due to their relevance, will also have an overall positive effect on your account.
Brand campaigns send quality traffic to your landing pages meaning that they will covert better than generic traffic. I have seen accounts where the vast majority of conversions come from brand campaigns. This traffic will have a better bounce rate, will spend more time on the site, will view key pages such as the contact page and will convert on the site’s goals. This is simply because the traffic visiting your landing page will be very familiar with your brand (as they are looking for it in the first place), meaning that they are further down the conversion funnel, compared to other traffic that is not familiar with your company and brand.
Image attributed to msn.foxsports.com
The simple matter of the fact is that brand cost per clicks (CPCs) are cheap, really cheap. This is down to their relevance and the high keyword quality scores they attract. As well as low CPCs, the campaigns also tend to get a lot of conversions. This means that the cost per conversion is also generally lower compared to more generic campaigns.
This means that the campaign will stay within and contribute to your overall account key performance indicators such as conversions at a certain level and cost per conversion at €X.
The reason for the low cost of branded PPC traffic is because there is very little competition on the keywords themselves. I’m saying very little, not no competition at all.
Image attributed to www.skuuber.com
Another interesting feature of brand campaigns is that you can experiment with different ad messaging on a very precise type of traffic. It allows you to see the effect certain ad copy and calls to action will have on this focused type of traffic, versus generic traffic. This can also have a positive effect on your SEO efforts.
With organic search, it can be very difficult to test what title tags and meta descriptions are contributing to your overall click through rate. You are not able to A/B test different meta data copy together side by side.
It is possible to set up a number of ads targeting highly focused brand terms and see what ads have the best click through rates, then transfer the results over to your SEO campaign. Meaning the ad copy with the best CTR will now make up your meta data.
Naturally this can also be done for generic traffic too.
Image attributed to www.bettergraph.com
Earlier, I mentioned that brand campaign keywords get very little competition but not none at all. One item that is very true within PPC is that “I am watching you and you are watching me”.
Competitor campaigns are very popular within PPC and to be honest they can work very well, especially with remarketing for search, but that is another blog post.
Just because you are bidding on your competitor’s brand name doesn’t mean that other companies won’t be bidding on your brand. As I said earlier it is fundamentally important that when someone searches for your brand on Google, your brand should be present in the top real estate. You shouldn’t allow the competition to muscle in, on this regard.
A brand campaign will help counteract this from happening. It will help stop competitors stealing business from you online.
You should be looking at your analytics / webmaster tools and seeing what keywords are driving traffic to your website. If you have your other marketing (offline advertising, direct marketing etc) down cold and have been building your brand you will see that most of the traffic will come from brand terms. A brand campaign should then be put in place as it is an excellent and cost effective way of making sure that as much of this traffic is directed to your sites landing pages which converts on your site’s goals.
As I said earlier your company’s most important marketing asset is its brand. Simply put, the bigger your brand the better your PPC campaigns (brand, generic, competitor, display, remarketing) will work.
So keep building that brand.