1. Brand traffic is cheap.
Google’s bidding structure is influenced largely by how compelling and relevant to the searcher’s intent your ads are compared to the competition’s. People searching for your brand will obviously favor your ads, and you clearly have high relevancy on branded search queries. As a result, you won’t need to pay as much to win an auction on your brand as you would on a non-branded term.
Brand ads cost on average about a quarter of the cost of non-brand terms, with some costing as little as one percent of the non-brand cost. If you find you are having to pay significantly for this traffic, it means you have significant competition on your brand terms.
2. Keep the competition out.
Like it or not, Google’s search results are open to anyone willing to pay enough to win an auction.
Even owning a trademark on your brand does not prevent your competition from showing an ad when someone searches for you. People looking for brand terms are often well down in the consideration funnel, and by searching for your brand, they become a prime audience for your competitors.
You want to make it as hard as possible for competitors to swoop in and poach these valuable customers, and the only way to ensure the top result on your brand SERP is protected is by paying for that ad placement.
3. Paid ads supplement organic performance.
While the Google team is quick to point out that their paid and organic teams are separate and paid ads do not give you a direct advantage in organic, it has been proven that having both paid and organic ads outperforms relying on either alone.
Studies have repeatedly shown that paid ads significantly improve results, even if you are the number one organic result on the page. A Google study found that on average for searches where your organic position is No. 1, the top paid ad results in an incremental lift in clicks of 50 percent. This incrementality increases to 82 percent for organic listings between two to four and to 96 percent for those with organic listings in position five or lower.
Even if your organic link is No. 1 on your brand page, paid ads can provide incremental traffic and value.
4. Provide a better experience using ad features not available in organic results.
However, if you own every result on my brand SERP, bidding on your brand allows you to use an array of ad options designed to improve your visitor experience and increase conversions.
Use “sitelink extensions” to direct searchers to pages deeper in your website. Promo pages that change frequently, important product or category pages, and pages which are not indexed are particularly great uses of this feature.
In addition, “callout extensions” let you educate your customers quickly on your company offerings and differentiators. Call extensions allow users to call on their mobile phones directly from the search results. Location extensions show your nearest store location to the searcher and store hours. Structured snippets, price extensions, promotion extensions, rating extensions and more allow you to sculpt a brand ad that reduces the natural friction involved with any web experience, so searchers will learn more about your company and take more of the actions you desire.
Even Strong brands like Home Depot have clearly decided it is worth investing in enhancing their customer’s experience through paid brand ads.
They’re not alone. A quick search revealed an array of strong brands bidding on their brand terms, including Walmart, Honda, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bank of America and even Amazon.
5. Test, and then test again.
Paid brand ads allow you to create controlled A/B tests to see which messages resonate best with your very best audiences. Using the experiments tool and sophisticated machine learning within Google Adwords, you can quickly and easily determine which copy inspires the most clicks and conversions.
This messaging can then be repurposed on your website, in other marketing or remarketing channels, and even in your organic meta-data. It also provides valuable insight into which features of your product or services are most important to your repeat customers or those searchers comparing you to your competitors.