Defend Yourself: Bid On Your Brand Name in PPC
Ian Lurie Mar 5 2008
If you’re spending money on pay per click marketing, you must buy your brand name! Ignore those who say otherwise.
Make damned sure you’re bidding on the name, misspellings, and the like.
Even if you rank #1 for your own name. Do it anyway.
- It’s cheap. PPC engines’ quality scoring algorithms mean you’re likely to get the best deal on your own company and product names. That translates to lower bids.
- It’s insurance. If you slip from the organic rankings for a day or two, your paid ranking will maintain your presence.
- Chances are, someone else has your name, too. You’re probably not the only ‘Acme Co.’ on earth.
- If you don’t bid, competitors will. In the United States it’s perfectly legal to bid on competitor product and company names. It happens all the time. You can easily outbid them, though, thanks quality scoring (see #1)
- Did I mention it’s cheap?
Oh, C’mon, Ian, Why Bother?
Am I writing in Hebrew?
How much money do you invest in trademarking your name, incorporating your business, etc.? Buying your own brand name on Google Adwords, Yahoo! and Live is a tiny expense by comparison. Why not do it?
A Few Case Studies
A client (who shall remain nameless) had us stop bidding on their brand name in their pay per click campaign. We tried to dissuade them. They did it anyway, claiming they’d get the same results from their organic rankings. Within a week their lead count fell by 40%. Turned out other, unrelated companies had the same name as them, and they weren’t #1 in the organic rankings for their own name.
Another client earned $36,000 from a $600 spend on their own name.
And then there’s Mazda (cited above). Pontiac launched a huge campaign encouraging the public to Google “Pontiac”. They purchased PPC ads for their name. Mazda quickly caught on and outbid them, linking to a page that encouraged folks to compare Mazda to Pontiac. While Pontiac did bid on their own name, they didn’t keep an eye on things. Oops.
I owned a Mazda 6s for years. Sorry Pontiac, you have a long way to go.
You don’t have to believe me, though. Read what George Michie said on the RKG blog.
CEO & Founder
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More