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Should You Bid on Your Own Company Name for Pay-Per-Click Campaigns?

Should You Bid on Your Own Company Name for Pay-Per-Click Campaigns?

Bidding On Your OWn Company Name for PPC
It doesn’t seem to make sense—bidding on your own company for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, that is. After all, if anyone punches your company’s name into a search engine box, they are certainly going to see your website as the top result and they are certainly going to be looking for your website, right? In most cases, that’s probably true. But there are still a number of reasons why it’s a good idea to bid on your own company name for PPC ads.
It’s Inexpensive
PPC rates are often set by the amount of competition. Chances are, there aren’t going to be very many advertisers bidding on the name of your company. For one, it’s unethical, and for another, it is potentially illegal (i.e. trademark infringement). As such, the cost-per-click for ads bearing your company name will likely be low, as will the click-through-ratio if your company is indeed the top hit in organic search results.
It Edges Out Competition
Every instance of your brand name and a link back to your website near the top of the page makes less room for your competitors. In spite of the fact that search users likely set out looking for your company name, you shouldn’t underestimate how easy it is to sway their opinions. For example, if they come to Google looking for your shoe store, but they notice the number two hit under your name has a big sale on what they are looking for, you could lose that click. With your sponsored listing up top and your organic listing at the beginning of the rest of the results, you get two chances to get that click before it’s too late.
You Get More Control
Search engines vary in the way they pull the descriptions for your links. While you can usually get it to show the blurb that you want by structuring your meta data correctly, sometimes the text they display beneath your link can be truncated or appear incorrectly. With an AdWord campaign, you can have it say whatever you want. Not only that, you don’t have to worry about keyword optimizing your first few words—instead, you can focus on compelling, conversion-friendly messages. Even if users don’t click on that first sponsored ad linking to your official site, they’ll read the words beneath it. That’s your chance to drive your point home in the language you prefer. Also, you can change that text on the fly much faster than you could alter how a search spider crawled your homepage (check out how Apple did it in the image above--the sponsored ad is much more relevant to their latest product: the iPad).
The Big Guys Are Doing It
If it makes sense for Amazon, Zappos, Expedia, Apple and Progressive, it’s good enough for you. For one, at least three of those names just mentioned are heavily ambiguous. Secondly, seeing a link to “Amazon.com® Official Site” or “Official Apple® Store” is reassuring to anyone who turned to a search engine for a navigational search in the first place. The prevalence of typosquatting and sound-a-like domain spoofing has many turning to search engines for this precise reason.
In summary, bidding on your own company name for PPC campaigns won’t cost you a lot, nor will it be a gamechanger in your overall Internet marketing efforts. But in terms of risks vs. returns, it’s an easy decision.
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