This question is frequently recurring with our customers and the answer is generally yes. Here’s why:
A. If you have a strong brand it’s likely that your competitors are trying to steal your traffic.
The typical formula for success teaches AdWords managers that if a competitor is successful you should duplicate what they are doing and also bid on their keywords. When a new company enters the arena without any brand power they will need to be crafty in order to get traffic. However if you are truly the brand owner, it is easy for you to outrank them by bidding on your own keywords. Google awards each keyword with an AdRank based on several factors including Landing Page Experience. If your URL and entire website are branded with the name of your company, your competitor would literally have to do the same to stand a chance.
B. You can dominate the first page search results in Google.
If you are one of our customers we would have already made sure that you have signed up for Google My Business and when people search for your company your contact information appears on the right side column of search results. Now let’s say you also show up number 1 in organic search results. When you bid on your branded keyword you literally control the entire upper fold of search results. According to studies done by Google in 2011 and more recently in 2014 by Bing, companies who have both paid and organic top search results gain 89% more clicks. To prove that the paid ads were instrumental in this uptick in traffic they also paused ads to determine that the organic ranking sites then got as much as 150% less traffic.
C. It will positively impact your entire account.
From Google’s own AdWords documentation:
“Instead of measuring new keywords from scratch, we start with info about related ads and landing pages you already have. If your related keywords, ads and landing pages are in good shape, we’ll probably continue to have a high opinion of them.”
Since branded keywords have a higher CTR (Click Through Rate) and higher Conversion Rate, by bidding on your own brand it can help the future related keywords that are added when optimizing account performance.
D. When not to bid on branded keywords.
If you have a very limited budget with no brand power and are looking to reach a very targeted market then perhaps a branded campaign is not appropriate for you. If your brand name is very generic like Apple then bidding on your branded keyword would be a vacuum for your budget since every search related to apples would be trigger your ad.
So yes, in most cases we do recommend you bid on your branded keywords. If you would like to learn more setup a free consultation with a member of our AdWords Management team and we would be happy to research your brand and goals to see if a branded campaign is right for you.