PPC Brand Bidding: Should You Or Shouldn’t You?

Times are tough. And in tough economic times, marketing budgets are under scrutiny.  It’s important to make every dollar count.  Many pay-per-click marketers are tempted to stop bidding on their brand terms to save money.  This thought process is based on the idea that people searching on branded terms are looking for you specifically, and will be motivated to find you, so you shouldn’t pay for them to come to your site.

Don’t fall into this trap. It’ll cost you traffic and leads.

Case in point: We have a client whose PPC account consisted primarily of branded terms.  In early December, due to budget constraints, they decided to pause pay-per-click advertising.  On the surface, this looked like a smart move – even with the lack of PPC, online conversions increased in December from November.

However, the lack of PPC presence had the unintended effect of reducing non-search traffic, which represents over 80% over of the client’s total online traffic.  This in turn resulted in a lost lead generation opportunity not only from PPC, which converts at more than twice the rate of other online channels, but from non-search traffic as well.

Bottom line: Due to the lack of PPC, the client’s non-search traffic was down 30% in December vs. November, resulting in 26% fewer conversions from this traffic channel.  Since most of the client’s traffic comes from non-search traffic, the overall effect on total online lead generation was a loss of 23% from projections. 

When they resumed PPC in January, non-search traffic (and conversions) returned to normal levels. Read more about this case study on Page 25 of the DM News Essential Guide to Search Marketing. With PPC, you can protect your brand, outrank your competition, and control your marketing message. 

And that boils down to great ROI.