Google Ads & Bidding on Your Brand Name. Do or Do Not.

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in Digital Marketing

by Jade

Do you run Google Ads? Do you bid on your brand name or company name? Nine times out of ten it is a great strategy – and I’ll do my best to explain why. There are certainly some reasons not to bid on your own brand or company name. However, I’ll try demonstrate that, in most cases, the pros far outweigh the cons. Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear about it; drop us a note after the article.

Brand Bidding Google Ads - featured



Here are 8 compelling reasons why you should seriously consider bidding on your brand

Near total control over the structure and appearance of the Google Ad

One of the most beneficial aspects of bidding on your brand is the exceptional detail that your ad block shows to people. While Google used to, it’s not guaranteed that Google will use your Title Tag and Meta Description to display with your organic search engine result.

On the other hand, a Google Ad gives you exacting control over what is displayed in the content – including the Headline and Description of the listing. The example below was from a Google search for ‘Galaxy Motors’. This is an example of a well structured Google Ad that appears at the very top of the search result page. You can see there’s a LOT more here than just a Heading and Description. 

Google Ads Snippet - raw

Use of ad extensions to sculpt the perfect ‘snippet’

Ad extensions are one of the most powerful features of your Google Ads campaign by adding remarkably useful enhancements to your ads. By default, Google will automatically select the most relevant extensions and types from all available. That’s why it is super important to create 50%-100% more than you need, since Google will choose some other others depending upon the search keywords.

Here are some of the eye-catching ‘add-ons’ that Google can display for you right at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP):

  • Callout extensions
  • Sitelink extensions 
  • Location extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Price extensions
  • Promotion extensions

Remember, Google will determine whether to show ad extensions based on additional criteria, such as where the search originated from, the device type and the keyword used. For this reason, it’s important to develop a large and diverse list of ad extensions for Google to choose from depending on different keyword searches.

Do you need a hand getting all your Ad Extensions up and running? We’re here to help!

The Anatomy of a Google Ad – extensions

Below are the different types of extensions that were displayed for an example branded search. In Google Ads, you create several variations of each extension type and Google decides which ones to use with your ad if viewed on a desktop computer. Without any Ad Extensions, all you would see is the Headline(s) and description – which would be pretty darn bland. You wouldn’t stand out from the crowd and searchers would skip right over your ad. 

Anatomy of a Google Ad

Your mobile presence is profound

The most important reason to support a branded Google Ads campaign is the structure of Google’s SERPs on a mobile device. In no other case is it more obvious why a Google Ads campaign is virtually required in order to position high for a competitive phrase. For any search, there can be up to 4 competitor ads sitting at the very top of the page, requiring everyone to scroll over 2 screens in order to reach the organic results. Google ads look good and work very well for attracting clicks. They are designed to get people to click on them.

Google Ads mobile layout

So get in the game: build a great looking Google Ad and capture those leads!

Direct call links

Our SEM team has found that an increasing number of searchers are more than willing to click on the Call Extension in Google Ads in order to quickly contact businesses. This is only available through the mobile versions of Google Ads and you can control this through your Google Ads account. Furthermore, there is exceptional tracking available in the form of conversion tracking. It’s just too easy for your customers to find you this way.

Call Extension in Google Ads

Branded clicks are incredibly cheap

Google determines costs for keywords based on Ad Rank. Whomever has a greater Ad Rank wins the auction. This is based on many factors, including predicted click through rate (CTR), quality and relevance of the ad, and the quality and relevance of the web page to which you point the ad.

When you’re dealing with a branded search, there is no other website that is more relevant than yours. You are ‘pretty much’ guaranteed to win the keyword auction and snag that #1 position.

Here’s an example of a client who runs a branded campaign alongside their generic campaign. The branded campaign is the top row in the table below. It received more than 3 times the clicks and 5 times the conversions than the generic campaign. 


Branded vs Non-branded Google Ads


Organic is nearly dead on mobile

When there is Google Ads competition, organic listings are pretty much doomed to obscurity, since Google reserves up to 4 spots for Ads at the top of the page.

Take, for instance, this search for Westland Home Insurance. Westland Insurance is a large insurance brokerage with 4 locations in the greater Victoria area. As you can see from this mobile result, they don’t run any Google Ads, and subsequently, don’t bid on their brand name. This leaves the door open for all of their competitors who have campaigns for Home Insurance to fill up the Google Ads positions at the top of the results page. In the example below, there is a whole other screen of ads that you must ‘scroll’ past in order to reach the organic listings.

Run a few searches for your own keywords for which you feel you should be positioning. Were there any ads? Did you find yourself? Now run a search for the same competitive keywords and add your company name. Are your competitors still outranking you? Do you see a bunch of ads at the top of the screen? This is where you could dominate and where you need to be first. You are losing business to your competitors for searches that include YOUR business name!

Westland losing out to Google Ads

Don’t get stuck underneath your competition for YOUR branded keywords! 

Nearly 60% of searchers can’t tell Google Ads from free, organic listings

This is a haunting statistic that has been around for years without changing very much. Study after study shows repeatedly that a large percentage of Google searchers can’t differentiate between Paid and free (organic) listings in Google. So, even though they may have searched for your ad (like in the example above), they are likely to click on one of the ads as they look so good and have so many relevant things to click on.

Google has claimed that people CAN tell the difference, but the statistics tell a contradictory story. :) 

Searchers have your trust and are generally late in buying cycle

If Google searchers are looking for you by name, you have somehow earned their trust, and they are usually nearly committed to buying something from you. That’s why controlling how your ad block looks can really increase click through rates. By using the Site Link extensions you can provide additional links to other popular pages in your website, such as best selling product categories, on-sale items and promotion links.

Here are a couple of reasons why you might not bid on your brand name

It costs money

The obvious downside of paying for branded keywords is – quite naturally – the additional cost. Trying to convince companies to spend money on results where they already rank #1 can be a tough sell.

It bumps your organic position

Another very significant side effect of branded Google Ads – and Google Ads in general – is that they bump your organic result down at least one position. Google reserves up to 4 positions at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Any organic result will slide down based on the number of ads they show. On mobile this is a really hard pill to swallow for people with a solid organic SEO result block. For example:

Caorda Team in Awesome Town


Are you thinking about a branded Google Ads Campaign?

I’m sure you figured out that this article swings pretty hard in favour of this practice. I’ve not found many scenarios where a branded Google Ads campaign isn’t beneficial when common searches for your brand also include competitive keywords.

Caorda’s digital marketing team can quickly determine whether you would benefit from an additional campaign – even if it’s designed to dominate the mobile listings only. Mobile is where organic listings lose out most of the time, and we can let you know if you’re losing traffic because of it.

Let’s discuss whether a Branded Google Ads campaign is a good move for your business.

Contact Caorda Today