Anyone who manages a PPC account is constantly looking for a “secret weapon” to improve their performance, like almost every type of account imaginable. Usually, my suggestions vary depending on each client, but there is a surefire recommendation that benefits just about everyone: bidding on your brand terms.

OK, I know it sounds crazy. You’re probably thinking, why worry about spending money on branding terms that are already triggering organic registrations? (That’s what eBay has decided recently, but we’re not sure their SEM managers are up to the task …). However, Google has conducted studies that show that this is not the case.

Here are my top five reasons why you should start bidding on your brand terms:

  1. Bidding on branded queries helps you to dominate the search results page of your search engine. I think we can all agree that two are better than one, especially when it comes to your links on a SERP. In the same way that having multiple links in an email can increase the number of clicks, giving the searcher more opportunities to click on works to your advantage. In addition, by appearing in the columns of organic and paid ads, you bring to your researcher proof that you are a leading player in your space.
  2. You can control your email. Organic listings can be free advertising, but let’s face it, they’re boring. Paid ads allow you to create a message that will engage your researchers and inspire them to visit your site. To fully understand this point, remember that your organic results might not send researchers to the most ideal landing pages. Take advantage of paid ads and send your searchers to the most popular landing pages. Use site links, product listing ads, and other attractive ad formats.
  3. Competitors may invade your territory. If your competitors are savvy, they are already bidding on your brand terms. So, if someone is looking for your business, they will find your lists of vanilla products flanked (or even preceded) with a beautiful glow and sing the praises of your competitor. This can actually cause traffic to your site to be diverted to your competitor’s landing pages.
  4. Brand terms are a steal. We are all looking for cheap keywords that contain search volume. These “magical” keywords could be under your nose – your own brand name! Do not settle for your company name, bid on your specific products or even your URL. Not only are these words easy to use in your portfolio, they should also provide you with some of the highest clickthrough rates and quality levels.
  5. Capture high quality leads close to the conversion point. People who are looking for your brand terms already know your business. Maybe they’ve heard from you from a friend, have they ever researched you, or are they returning customers? They know you have what they want.

Still, do not buy it? I know some marketers are reluctant to adhere to this strategy and I understand their reluctance. My only request to skeptics is to try! Each PPC account is unique and you will never know what works best for you unless you test your options.