Improve Brand Search Campaigns With These Tips

Search campaigns for your brand name can be an easy (and often cheaper) way to reach the people who can be the easiest sell: people already familiar with your brand name.

In 2021, there is a good chance that if you’re not bidding on your brand name, your competitors are!

Let’s hop into some tips that can contribute to a successful brand campaign:

Search Query Analysis for New Opportunities

When conducting search query reviews, I like to comb through converting terms to identify new keyword opportunities. This is a regular recurring task that I like to do every 90- to 120-days depending on the amount of volume in the account.

You can learn a lot about what your customers and potential customers know or want to know about your business, which can translate into your landing page strategy and even campaign strategy. If users are frequently looking to compare your price to a competitor’s, that may be something you want to address in the landing page copy.

A few keywords that might make sense for you to add or be on the lookout for while conducting SQA:

  • Misspellings of your brand name: These might indicate the need for adding some of these as keywords.
  • Pricing terms: Users searching to see if there are available price quotes. This might indicate the need for calling out price in your ads or at the top of your landing pages (depending on conversion rates, costs, etc.)
  • Terms with “review”: Queries like this could be seeking to establish brand trust. Adding customer testimonials to your landing pages could be helpful. If you’re a B2B lead gen company, making sure your review sites like Gartner Peer Insights, G2 Crowd or Capterra can be a great way to make sure reviews are readily available for users searching for them.
  • Other companies with similar or the same name: I like to exclude these in all match types that make sense (since Google’s keyword match types are getting more and more blurry). It might make sense to exclude the city, state or industry the business is in as well.

Of course, Google’s recent changes with search queries make getting clear data from Google Ads more difficult. But by utilizing Bing Ads, Google Analytics, and Google, it’s likely you can get an idea of additional terms that can be added as well as trends that can be translated into a landing page and campaign strategy.

Negative Keywords

While you review the search query report for new opportunities, it also makes sense to review terms for negatives as well.

Here are a few negatives I would recommend adding to keep existing customers from clicking on your ads (and wasting budget):

  • login
  • log in
  • customer service
  • phone number
  • job/jobs
  • career/careers
  • address
  • returns/return policy
  • complaints
  • sign on
  • leave feedback
  • BBB rating
  • hours

There are certainly more negatives you might need to add depending on your business model, but this is a good start!

Consider the Call-to-Action: Go for the Hard Sell

If users are searching for your brand name directly, I’d recommend going for the hard sell, whatever that means for your business. For my B2B clients, this often means a demo request and sales contact form.

Taking a look at competitor’s ads can give you an idea of what their calls-to-action are for branded terms.

If you want to get back in front of these folks again after they’ve visited your site for a branded term, I’d suggest setting up a Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA) campaign that retargets users. This gives you an opportunity to serve them messaging separate from a net-new user.

Keep an Eye on Competitor Ads

It’s certainly not uncommon for competitors to bid on each other’s brand names. However, Google abides by local trademark laws and requires advertisers to not infringe on third-party trademarks.

It’s worth reviewing competitor ads that appear for your brand name occasionally to make sure there are no trademark issues. One of our clients filed a report of trademark infringement with Google in late 2020. Without that competition in the auctions now, their CPCs have dropped significantly. See the chart below.

Chart comparing CPC's (Cost Per Click) from January to November

You can see that before October 2020, when the competitor was banned from advertising on our client’s brand name, CPCs were quite a bit higher.

If you think a competitor is infringing on your trademark, you can get started with a complaint on Google’s Help for trademark owners page.

Tailored Ads and Extensions

Brand ads shouldn’t just have your brand name. Having a special offer, like free shipping in the ad below, along with customized ad extensions will offer more value to your future customers.

In the example below, you can see that there are skin care, makeup, classic product and best-selling product ad extensions.

Brand tailored ads and ad extensions to provide more value

Perhaps for B2B clients, a Contact Us/Demo page, Products page, Blog and a current offers would be useful extensions.

By utilizing search query reports, the proper ad copy and extensions, and using the right CTA, you can find success in your brand campaigns!

What is your #1 tip for success in brand campaigns? We’d love to hear your comments below!