Should I Use Branded Search?

Are branded search campaigns worth it? Targeting your company name or branded terms isn’t an area that every business should prioritize. So, before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether you should be aiming for branded searches – let’s look first at what they can achieve.

Andy & Lindsey take a look at what branded search campaigns are on Google Ads, the arguments for them, what incrementally is, and how to get started.

➡️ Think With Google's 'Want to improve your measurement? Get a grip on incrementality'

What is Branded Search in Google Ads?

Branded Search is a campaign that is centered around your business’ branded keywords; such as your business name and other terms focussed specifically on what you do. We include phrase match or exact match around your keywords; targeting your branded terms very specifically. It’s designed to help someone who already knows about your business but just wants to be able to find you.

Why Would You Try Branded Search?

There are two main reasons to run a Branded Search Campaign. The first is more defensive. If your competitor is running ads against you, your Branded Search Campaign will put you at the top of the list instead of your competitor. It’s basically protecting your brand equity. 

The second reason is that with this branded ad, you get to control what’s in it, instead of relying on Google to scrape the info from your site. You get to put whatever you want in that headline and description. Maybe there’s a specific attribute you want to call attention to. Or perhaps there’s a time-sensitive sale. You can put those directly in your headline. You can even add additional links to internal pages on your website.

How Does Incrementality Come Into Play?

If you don’t have many competitors bidding against you for traffic, you may wonder why you need to pay for branded ads to get traffic. Aren’t you going to get that traffic organically? Maybe; maybe not. If you run a Branded Search Campaign and get 100 clicks, ask yourself how many would you have gotten without the campaign. The answer is probably above zero, but probably also below 100. So you got more than you would have without the campaign; and even though you’re paying a little for that traffic, it’s a lot less expensive with a better quality score and less competition.

Does Performance Max Do Branded Search?

Yes. If you’re running a Performance Max Campaign with nothing else in there, Google will be bidding, more often than not, on your branded keyword search terms. But it’s only going to scale so far as there’s a limited number of people searching directly for your business.

What to Consider if You’re Running Competitor Ads in the Future

You can use this data as a baseline for the future. If you are considering running ads targeting a competitor, those ads are going to become more expensive as you’re bidding against someone with a higher quality score and a domain that’s directly related to their search. It’s not necessarily the best strategy to use for profitability. Though it does help you in thinking about what your competitors are doing with their campaigns.

Is it Easy to Get Started with Branded Search?

Since it’s primarily driven by your business name, and perhaps your staple product, it’s very easy to do. Most of the keyword research falls away. You just want to create a good ad that describes your business well. Then go for it!