PPC Chat Streamcap – Branded PPC

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with an excellent discussion titled “Branded PPC.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is your “be all end all” reason for bidding on branded terms (or not bidding on branded terms)?

  • It brings in sales. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Some people don’t click on organic listings, so you need to be there in ppc to capture them. PPC also has the benefit of higher converting landing pages, so organic brand traffic might not be worth as much paid. – Harris Neifield (@HarrisNeifield)
  • Low CPCs with the exact landing page I want them to land on. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Data data data! You get SO much actionable data (and conversions) for next to nothing, it’s silly not to bid on brand. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Missed sales. If you not bidding on brand terms, you missing out on sales. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • I represent a brand . – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Branded message control and real estate (defense). – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Control your brand messaging and discourage competitors. I guess that’s two reasons. – Tracy Henry (@tracy_a_henry)
  • well rounded marketing strategy and visibility in SERPS. – Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM)
  • Simply put,If you don’t protect that real estate, your competition will benefit. – Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)
  • To capture users who remembered your name after clicking previously on an ad for a non-branded term. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Pro- Lower CPC and higher CTR for exact match branded terms Con- Usually captured by organic results. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • If search is all about responding to demand, their isn’t more demand than when they are looking for you or what you sell by name. – Chris Kostecki
  • Yes bidding = competition and low organic ranking. – Bassovita (@bassovita)
  • SO many reasons but capture ALL possible Brand convs. Tested & found sign. traffic/conversion increase ppc ads vs just organic. – Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)
    • It’s so hard to name ONE reason to bid on branded terms. So many benefits! – Michelle Morgan
  • Competitors can take away our quality visitors. – Manoj Pandey (@_MAN0J)
  • For the same term, our special landing pages have much higher conversion rates than organic pages. – Michelle Morgan
  • Not bidding = good organic (1st ranking), no competition, need to keep budget low. – Bassovita
  • To retain customers looking for us, instead of letting competitors entice them away. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Capture the demand to the name at a minimal cost per click. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Some ppl think it is pointless if you have good organic. I fall on "the more your name is visible there better." – Bassovita
  • Generally speaking, do you believe searchers care that you are represented twice in the results via both organic and paid? – Matt Umbro
    • Yes, they care. More presence = more professional. – Jeremy Brown
    • No. most searchers don’t know what’s paid and what’s organic. – Harris Neifield
    • Taking up monopolizing SERP real estate seems to be a wise strategy to help with brand trust. – Nicole Mintiens
    • Yes, there are still a lot of people who don’t know the diff between paid & non-paid. And it looks the same some. – Mark Kennedy
    • I’m not sure if they "care", but I think it certainly gives them a greater sense of trust. – Michelle Morgan
    • No, they are looking for relevant results, if they even read to the domain you have already one. The only one it hurts is the engine, as a user I want diverse results, having 2-5 listings is ok, but having all is bad. – Chris Kostecki
    • Potentially three places with Places or Shopping… the more the better! – Tracy Henry
    • I think that they look at being their twice as a plus; you do have hard cases that figure "Why pay if I can be here free?" – Cleofe Betancourt
    • Personally, I look down on a brand if they’re not bidding on their name but they are on other terms. But that’s the job talking. – Michelle Morgan

Q2: How does the search funnels & or multi channel funnels report play into how you bid & report branded vs. non-brand conversions?

  • We use a more robust attribution system. Attribution is huge. – Jeremy Brown
  • Not as much as it should. Need to start hitting that as a resource. – Michelle Morgan
  • They don’t. I still want to be #1 all the time for brand and still caveat all reports. No need to fluff #’s – Aaron Levy
  • Brand targets should be a part of every strategy, just not the entire strategy. – Chris Kostecki
  • It doesn’t. Maybe it should, but I’m not using it at the moment. – Richard Fergie
  • They play a big role. brand can be over-valued, brand is often last click whereas first click is where i want to put money. – Harris Neifield
  • Whenever I speak about branded KWs with a client I mention these reports. It is important that clients know non-branded keywords can assist branded conversions. – Matt Umbro
    • How do you use them when talking with clients? – Luke Alley
      • See answer above, but I will sometimes export these reports and explain to client. – Matt Umbro
  • Doesn’t change how we report, but great to analyze interaction and impact of brand vs non-brand. Helps value non-brand convs too or non brand kws rather (not convs). – Crystal Anderson
  • Reporting top line numbers is ok, but its a good practice to break out segments as well. – Chris Kostecki
  • Don’t currently use. – Theresa Zook
  • Live by the brand, die by the brand – need to highlight the effect of other terms to drive brand search volume. – Chris Kostecki
  • Even if client doesn’t care about these funnels & only wants a high level summary it is still important to make note. – Matt Umbro

Q3: Does the use of branded terms in your non branded ads improve CTR and/or conversions for example, a search for "basketball shoes" yields an ad with a headline of "Nike Basketball Shoes"?

  • Sometimes. – Richard Fergie
  • With a strong brand/category leader yes, less so w/ lesser known brands. Seen some success W/ "official site" lingo too. – Aaron Levy
  • Yes – if the brand is well-known and respected. with big brands – ALWAYS. – Bassovita
  • Yes! especially when the domain reinforces. – Chris Kostecki
  • Depends on queries. Some yes, some no. Also depends on how well known Brand is for the market. Nike would be yes. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • It helps more than hurts. – Brian Gaspar
  • It’s about 50/50. Some people want to see your brand and others don’t. Depends on the keyword/query. – Michelle Morgan
  • Depends on the strength of the Brand! REALLY strong brands, yes.. not so strong, not so much! – Crystal Anderson
  • Depends on the strength of your brand. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • I’ve found bigger name brands tend to benefit in this situation, however, ads with © or ® can help. – Matt Umbro
    • They win in controlled tests almost every time. – Lisa Sanner
  • Case by case, but for some clients the branded ads have marginally better metrics. – Mark Kennedy
  • For bigger, well known brand yes putting the brand name in non-brand ads helps. for unknown brands, no. – Harris Neifield
  • Also depends on length of brand name…. some names are just too long to include. – Bassovita
  • hmmm CT, sure, but sales? I’m not sure that will always work. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • As others have said: depends. If branding is one goal, then can be more important (impressions do have value). – Jeremy Brown
  • its not what they want, its want they didn’t know they need”¦and you give it to them. – Scott Perket (@scottperket)
  • How about using your brand name in remarketing ads? More of a benefit here? – Matt Umbro
    • In remarketing: Yes. – James Svoboda
    • It depends. I always test it and have had it increase CTR and decrease CTR. It usually depends on the recognition of the brand. – Ryan Campbell (@_ryancampbell)
    • With remarketing focusing on cross-sells, up sells or the ease of converting might be the best ad copy strategy. – Harris Neifield
    • If a brand in the ad draws them to click, it should help them convert (with all else being equal). – Chris Kostecki
    • For remarketing they’ve been to your website, your URL might be enough. brand name might be unnecessary. – Harris Neifield
    • Brands are great memory triggers, consumers remember brands, so ad copy, remarketing great opportunities to stay in front of mind. – Chris Kostecki

Q4: Talk about how you report branded vs. non branded traffic? Do you provide metrics just for non-branded traffic?

  • In other words, don’t hide behind branded revenue when showing great metrics! – Matt Umbro
  • We report both, but separated so the difference is clear. And broken down by keyword as well. – Mark Kennedy
  • In most cases yes.. can have a major impact on metrics, trends in metrics, etc. Also tend to break out search vs. display. – Crystal Anderson
  • Yes. You’re not being transparent if you don’t. Stats look better than they really are if you don’t separate. – Luke Alley
  • Segmentation by KW relation to brand: Strong, Slight, None, each with their own goals. – Chris Kostecki
  • Transparency ftw! Don’t use your awesome numbers to hide not-as-awesome numbers. Brand convs = free throws. Non-brand = 3-pointers. Don’t report the same or expect the same results! – Aaron Levy
  • Very differently. we show different charts in our reports breaking out brand from non-brand, strictly split up campaigns, etc. – Harris Neifield
  • Brand terms are the low hanging fruit”¦ Attributable to other sources. – Luke Alley
  • Have to analyze and report separately, but also recognize the relationship between the two. – Jeremy Brown
  • With all the segmentation in place (KW, Device, etc) still report topline numbers and track their progression. – Chris Kostecki
  • Reporting audience is not interested in fine details, just want topline #s, but use data for mngmt: NB=growth, Brand=performance. – Chris Kostecki
    • Agreed, but still important that they know we pay attention to these items. – Matt Umbro

Q5: In what situations would you recommend that a client NOT bid on their branded keywords?

  • I’d never recommend COMPLETELY avoiding, but you have to be careful if different ppc teams manage different products. For example, if you’re targeting a college summer program for undergrads, use copius negs to avoid high school/grad school. – Aaron Levy
  • No situation I can think of…always reco bid on brand terms. – Lisa Raehsler
  • When they need to fuel discovery, introduce brand to new audience…or if they sell anything related to an iphone. – Chris Kostecki
  • If you’ve tested & it doesn’t make sense ($)! <3 data! – Crystal Anderson
  • If it’s a small client with a weak brand and not much competition, it’s not always a necessity. – Mark Kennedy
  • Certain large brands with no competitors showing (i.e. – ESPN). If any competitors consistently showing, you better be there. Google only shows if they get clicks. – Jeremy Brown
  • If the brand has other meanings (junk click concern). to be fair, others say that’s the best time to bid on brand, to clarify. – Harris Neifield
  • Limited budget, little-known brand. if the product is better than the brand name – I spend bdgt on the product. – Bassovita
  • Rarely, if ever. Maybe if there were no real competitors. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • Small local clients with small budgets. Have to focus the $. – Luke Alley
  • Branding is a different strategy w/in accts so …always reco bid on brand terms, unless there is no brand strategy? – Lisa Raehsler
  • I have faced budget constraints where it was better to spend on new audience instead of brand, let organic pick up the slack. – Chris Kostecki
  • Perhaps if the client has a generic brand name that could be construed as something else (ie: brand name is RV Trailers). – Matt Umbro
  • If they organically rank 1 on their brand, and if there are not any entities bidding on those terms too. – PChan (@pchan911)
  • If you can’t read analytics data! 😉 Especially if you can’t track assisted conversions and your client is very ROI sensitive. – Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)
  • Bad press can also lead to a non brand strategy. – Chris Kostecki
    • If you’ve got bad press that’s the best time to bid on brand – show some good results on the same page with the bad press. – Harris Neifield
      • Probably not going to buy, was thinking of staying in front of searches that will convert. – Chris Kostecki

Q6: For those running video campaigns, how have branded keywords & to a lesser extent remarketing lists played into this strategy?

  • I’m finding my video campaigns do really well with brand, which is no surprise. – Matt Umbro
  • Have seen success w/both but Brand more so than non! – Crystal Anderson

Q7: What bidding requirements do you set up for branded keywords (ie: no branded keyword bid goes above $0.50, etc)?

  • I let the metrics and the ROI determine the bids, I don’t have a set cap. But typically it’s lower. – Mark Kennedy
  • I have one client that will not pay >$1, works in this specific case. – Lisa Raehsler
  • Same as other keywords, how is it performing at that position (though different numbers to hit). – Chris Kostecki
  • Depends on the brand name. Brand names that are great for SEO containgood keywords, usually means higher competition in PPC. – Mark Kennedy
  • No set requirements but generally speaking bid as low as possible while maximizing convs. All ties back to goals though! – Crystal Anderson


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About the Streamcap Hunter & Gatherer

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe, the 2nd; Minneapolis Search Engine Marketing Manager at WebRanking.com, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, Search Engine Optimization Blogger … when there’s something worth bloggin, Tweet me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus – PaulKragthorpe.

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