Brand keywords are brand names or variations of these, which are used to search for a specific company. Here at Avenue, we regularly get asked by our clients why we’re bidding on their brand keywords. Whilst we believe that brand bidding can often be a quick win for a lazy PPC Manager, we also understand that there are situations where brand bidding is a necessary activity.

Find out the reasons why we would suggest that our clients bid on their brand keywords.

  1. As A Defensive Strategy Against Competitors

This is the most common reason we cite to our clients. With many operating in competitive industries such as Financial Services, Law and Retail, we often receive surprised reactions when we tell our clients that a handful of their key competitors are actively targeting their brand terms.

Bidding on brand terms allow us to usually fend off any competitors from the first position on the search engine’s results page (SERP), this is because of the higher quality scores that are achieved due to strong keyword to landing page relevance. This activity usually commands a very small percentage of their advertising budget, however, has a significant effect on the number of potential customers being steered away by competitor ads.

In this example, shoe shop, Office, are bidding on shoe brand 'toms'. This mean that the brand Toms also need to bid on this brand keyword, in order to maintain the first position for their brand name on the SERP.

Brand keywords. Toms / Office

  1. When Promoting An Event

If a client has an upcoming event that they’re looking to promote, such as a new store opening, a sale or a new product launch, bidding on their brand keywords can provide a powerful opportunity to instantly inform users of the upcoming event before they have even visited the site.

Another benefit of this strategy is that it means any SEO activity, such as page titles or meta descriptions, can be remain untouched, whilst the PPC ad focuses on the upcoming event.

In this example, English Heritage have used their PPC ad to push a seasonal promotion, offering a discount code in the ad headline.

Brand Keywords. event

  1. When The Brand Term Is Overly Generic

Occasionally we come across a client that has an overly generic brand name, this often means a high level of competition. If the generic term is related to their business activity, then we would recommend they bid on the terms. As mentioned above, the high level of landing to keyword relevance would result in lower CPCs and a higher ad position over the competition.

Take this example for generic term ‘hoover’. A series of PPC and Google Shopping ads appear for ‘hoovers’ but not for hoovers made by the brand of the same name: ‘Hoover’. Perhaps an opportunity for Hoover to bid on their brand name, ensuring their product is featured in these ads for similar products?

Brand keywords. Hoover

  1. To Compensate For Poor Organic Rankings

Whilst most of our clients rank in first position for their brand term and variations of their brand term, some newer brands may still be climbing the rankings. Bidding on brand terms in this situation provides an instant win, getting them to the number one spot on the results page.

Alternatively, a brand term might be shared by several businesses pushing a company’s ranking down. This is another example where brand bidding can be used to overcome lower organic rankings.

  1. To Minimise The Impact Of Negative Content

Negative content about a brand can have a huge effect on potential customers’ outlook on the brand in question, especially if the content ranks just below the brand’s organic listing. Here a brand bidding strategy can be implemented to try to capture the user’s click before they scroll down far enough to view the negative content. Search ads can take up a lot of real estate on the page which can significantly push the organic results down the page.


So, there it is, the reasons why we would recommend to one of our clients that they actively target their own brand keywords. Brand bidding certainly has its merits, however if a client is particularly resistant to the strategy, then we would always recommend that we run a test where we monitor whether the organic listings picks up the drop in traffic or sales.

Find out more about PPC Services at Avenue Digital

share this article: