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by Alexa Parker

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01.12.2020

The Basics of Branded Search

What is branded search?

Simply put, branded search is the category of search engine user queries that include your brand’s name, or a variation of it. Keyword variations may include but not be limited to brand + location names, brand + products, or brand + attributes.

Examples:

  • “crimson park digital address”
  • “crimson park digital service list”
  • “www crimsomparkdigital com”
  • [crimson park digital]

Why is it important to use?

Brands should want to own the top of the SERP for branded queries, plain and simple. Would you, as a business owner, want another brand to speak for you or “steal” a potential customer by taking your place? That’s a hard no. And this really isn’t just siloed to PPC, but organic search as well – you need to control the SERP, be in control of the brand message shown in the top positions, and maintain that.

Speaking of competitors, not everyone is going to play nice in the SERP sandbox. Rival brands may bid on your brand terms regardless of whether or not you do, and this is called “conquesting” (which yes, is allowed; Google only considers putting a competitor’s brand name in your ad copy as a policy violation, not bidding on the keywords). Also, though it is best practice to fully build out your ad extensions regardless of campaign type, it is extremely important to make sure your branded search campaign(s) utilize them. Doing so will help boost your Ad Rank, and make it harder for competitors to conquest and negatively affect your impression share.

Another benefit of running branded search is the results it drives. Users searching for your name are most likely deeper in the conversion funnel, sometimes at the bottom, and more likely to act. Per a 2017 Search Engine Land article, Google actually reported that branded keywords have over two times higher conversion rates when compared to non-branded terms (that’s huge!).

In our clients’ accounts, we’ve seen similar…

Can a PPC account run only branded search?

That depends (don’t you just love/hate that answer?). For established brands with a significant level of customers and/or brand awareness, yes branded search can generate a large number of conversion actions and be the majority of your account. Why? The awareness has been done and the demand already exists – remember, search engine marketing is a “pull” channel. For smaller-scale brands or completely new start-ups, PPC accounts cannot and should not try to rely solely on branded search – not enough users know to search for you, and you’ll need to supplement the account with non-branded campaigns (keywords that don’t include your brand name).

To help boost brand awareness and build the top of your pay-per-click search funnel, lower-cost tactics such as YouTube video ads, social reach ads on Facebook or elsewhere, and interest or affinity-based display ads will help introduce your brand to potential customers and plant the seed for future needs.

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About the Author

Alexa Parker

Alexa Parker launched Crimson Park Digital in 2018 with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for digital marketing. With nearly ten years in the industry, she's been fortunate to learn from the best mentors, work on inspiring campaigns, and fine-tune her craft. Now, along with my team, she provides expertise to clients across the country and enjoys every day of it.