Let’s say you have a company selling Widgets, and it’s called “George’s Widgets”. Should you advertise when someone does a search for George’s Widgets as you already show up in the top spot organically for that search, in fact, you have the top three spots in the organic search rankings.

At Digital Caffeine, we consider it a best practice to run ads on your company name. Here are the reasons why.

Advertising on your brand can let you take over the search engine results page

Harley Davidson is a well known brand. By advertising on the term “Harley Davidson” they are able to dominate the search results page, leaving just a small ad for their competitors.

Control The Messaging

When someone performs a search on your brand, they have heard of you somehow, somewhere. Whether they are a current customer, potential prospect, the media, or a competitor, your ability to serve up detail about your company will help promote your brand.

By taking advantage of ad extensions such as call extensions, or Sitelink extensions, you can build your message even more by supplying a call to action and deep links directly to various pages of your site all from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Reinforce additional advertising efforts

Whether you are running a national TV ad, have a sign on the outside of your building, or include your business’ name in your email signature, you are promoting your company. By running ads on search engines for your brand, you help to reinforce your message. Perhaps your company’s special sauce is that you do everything by hand, or you offer free estimates. By being able to show that directly in search results, you’re helping to reinforce your brand and your brand’s message

Boost your Account’s overall Quality/Health

Part of your accounts overall success depends on how well your Clickthrough Rate and Quality Scores are throughout your account. In general, a Brand Campaign has high Quality Scores and a much better than average CTR. This will help your overall account’s CTR and quality score, which improve the overall health of your campaigns throughout.

Clicks are Usually Inexpensive

While there have been rumblings in the search world recently about how brand clicks have increased in price, they are typically still some of the cheapest clicks you’ll pay for. So you generally don’t need to spend a lot of money to drive qualified traffic to your site.

The World is going Mobile

Google has said that over 50% of their searches are now on mobile. When someone is looking for George’s Widget’s on their phone, they might be looking to call your company, or get directions, or learn more about your product’s features. By running ads that have Call Extensions people can easily call you, with location extensions they can get directions, and callout, Sitelinks, and structured snippets, you can offer more information about your products as well as direct people directly to different pages on your site that are mobile optimized!

See how often your name is searched

One ancillary benefit to advertising on your own brand is to see how often people are searching for your name. Even better, if you split out your campaign by different geographies you can see how often people in New York search for you versus California. This information could help you decide where to launch new advertising campaigns or where to open a new location to better serve customers that are looking for your products and services.

Take the top spot from competitors that may be advertising on your name

So there’s nothing that Google really does to stop people from advertising on their competition’s name. It’s an accepted practice, and while not all advertisers do it, it is a common tactic that advertisers use (At least from the people I talk to at conferences).

So if your competitor is bidding on keywords for “George’s Widgets” and someone does a search for your widget company, they would show up in the ad spot above your organic spot (assuming you were the top spot). Wouldn’t you spend a little bit of money to make sure that you bump your competition down?

But We Show up in the Top Organic Spot, Why Do I need to Pay?

Think of a search engine results page as a newspaper page. You already have an article in the paper about your company, but there’s a spot above it for an ad. You could pay $2 to run your ad up top or your competitor could pay $4 to run that ad. I’d want to spend that $2 to make sure my ad shows up and block my competition from showing up on a page about me.


Keep in mind, just because Digital Caffeine considers this a best practice doesn’t mean you need to do it. In fact, in two years we might change our tune based upon what Google, Bing, and others do and changes they make to their algorithms. That’s one of the fun, yet challenging, aspects of digital marketing. It’s constantly evolving and changing based upon an unbelievable amount of data that Google and others are able to gather.

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