Why it’s important to invest in non-branded paid search
by Kelsey Chadwick, 27 Jun 2018
Working hand-in-hand, brand and non-brand keywords create a strong SEM presence that allows you to stay competitive and drive profit. However, to achieve a campaign’s goals and improve profit, you must first decide how much you are willing to spend to drive conversions.
Some brands might think a business can remain profitable by simply running on brand terms alone. However, we believe investing in brand alone just doesn’t cut it. Here are some reasons why businesses should save some advertising dollars for non-brand terms:
- Brand can’t do all the work.
Brand can do a lot of the leg work for your campaigns by bringing in the majority of conversions to your site, but there does come a point when brand growth becomes stagnant. That’s when you want to start investing in non-brand. Bidding on non-brand can help expand your current audience base by reaching those who are still in the exploratory stage of the search funnel – those that may not be familiar with your brand yet.
While these searchers are still in the research phase, capturing their attention early can lead to a conversion later down the road. Therefore, high-funnel searches are critical to the growth of your business. Without them, you not only lose the opportunity to expand, but you also provide the perfect opportunity for competitors to swoop in and steal new customers. How can you create brand recognition if searchers only see your competitors’ ads on the search results page?
- Make your overall campaign more efficient.
Efficiency is the key to any successful search campaign. When you choose not to bid on non-brand terms, there’s a strong likelihood your current keyword set will still match out to these “bleed out” terms, which could result in paying higher CPCs than necessary. To get ahead of that surge in CPC, you can bid on those non-brand terms and better control spend by maintaining strong ad relevancy and setting search bids at the price you’re willing to pay.
- Maximize your reach.
Non-brand is a great way to expand your reach and find new customers. While most advertisers have high impression share on their brand terms, it can be hard for them to maximize their reach on brand terms alone without tactics like non-brand driving up branded impressions. Non-brand not only allows you to get out in front of consumers who may not have had any prior exposure to your brand, but also allows you to help feed and expand your current customer base.
- Non-brand lifts brand conversions.
Many would argue there’s a lift associated with non-brand’s impact on brand conversions. Though hard to calculate without pausing non-brand completely, we agree with this theory and have tested this in several accounts. In the tests in which we turned off non-brand, we were able to calculate a drop in brand conversions. One retail client discovered 10% of their total revenue in a given quarter was generated from brand terms where the first click in the path to conversion was made on a non-brand term first.
Had they not been bidding on those non-brand terms, brand would not have seen the incremental revenue that those keywords drove. This proves the value of the assist that non-brand holds when working with brand. Fortunately data-driven attribution is more accessible to advertisers nowadays, which makes it easier to prove the value of non-brand and apply proper credit to its role in the conversion path.
- Without it, you leave revenue on the table.
One way to look at investing in non-brand terms is to consider what you lose by not bidding on it. Not only would you miss an opportunity to gain incremental revenue and drive more sales, but you also give your competitors a chance to steal your customers. As long as you’re strategically investing in non-brand and still see a positive return on your campaign as whole, there are not many advertisers who would say that driving more revenue isn’t worth it. To stay competitive, you have to be willing to spend more, but the payout is usually higher as a result of pushing more money into expanding your campaign.
Although a lot of advertisers see 80 – 90% of orders (depending on the industry) come from brand terms, bidding on both brand and non-brand terms will help you achieve your overall campaign goals and expand your audience base beyond what bidding on brand alone is capable of doing. As long as you’re able to reach your goals by bidding on both brand and non-brand, we think any business would say it’s worth the incremental new customers and revenue acquired.
If you aren’t investing in non-brand yet, it’s not too late. Here are a few ways to control your non-brand spend and make bidding on those terms a little less scary:
- Use SQRs from AdWords, Bing and Gemini, as well as SEO reports to determine which non-brand terms people are already searching and clicking on, to create your non-brand keyword list.
- Layer on Demographic and Similar Audience Lists to ensure you're capturing potential customers who look and act like existing converters.
- Use Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) to act as a catch all so that you can match out to all relevant non-brand terms that you might not have built out in your keyword list. DSAs also save you time in building customized ad copy since the headlines and description lines are pulled directly from the landers on your website and are dynamically served to match the search.
- Use remarketing campaigns to capture people who have come to your site via a non-brand search, didn’t convert, then searched again later on. This allows you to bid up on these return searchers—increasing their chances of converting the second time they visit your site after clicking your ad.
Get updates; just enter your email below. Simple as that.
AI Generated Content : Fast & Affordable Comes at a Cost
by Steve Steger, 18 Mar 2019
Content Tells. Direct Sells.
by Rosann Bartle, 21 Feb 2019
Behind the Click: Five Cognitive Biases That Drive Action
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, 12 Feb 2019
The Real Game: Google vs. Microsoft
by Jana Ferguson, 05 Feb 2019
Did the Super Bowl Ads Live Up to the Hype?
by Steve Steger, 05 Feb 2019
Super Bowl Quick Takes
by Lesley Goldberg, 05 Feb 2019
Ten Emails I’m Glad I Didn't Have to Read Last Month
by Stephen Steger, 28 Jan 2019
The Top Three Tips to Make You King of the SERP This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Margaret Davis, 20 Nov 2018
Voice applications and natural language are bigger than the kitchen.
by Bryan Knouse, 29 Oct 2018
Are you ready for Amazon advertising?
by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018
Even Mighty Amazon Can’t Deliver on Grocery Delivery
by David Randolph, 15 Aug 2018
Google’s ready for Its face-lift
by DRUM Media, 25 Jul 2018
Why paid search should be your go-to media
by Katherine Jianas, 18 Jun 2018
Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal makes me thrilled for the future of content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 21 May 2018
YouTube for Nonprofits
by Virginia Doty, 15 May 2018
Takeaways from MarTech 2018
by Michael Cruz, Chief Content Officer, 15 May 2018
Which do your consumers prefer? Inbox or Mailbox? (Infographic)
by DRUM, 14 May 2018
Get smart with Google smart bidding
by Hailee Sosnowski, 27 Apr 2018
The amazing power of personalization
by DRUM, 19 Apr 2018
Beyond once upon a time: dialogue and the art of storytelling 2.0
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, VP/Creative Director, 17 Apr 2018
SEM 101 for Nonprofits
by Jay Reyes & Chase Bender, 12 Apr 2018
How to inspire workplace creativity
by Stephen Steger, 03 Apr 2018
Local SEO for brands and franchises: Top 3 tips from 15 SEO experts
by Greg Lee, 02 Apr 2018
Next steps for advertisers after the Cambridge Analytica Facebook breach
by Traci Hendrix, 26 Mar 2018
Are you ready for the GDPR? A guide for advertising agencies
by Jerelle Gainey and Debra Wang, 15 Mar 2018
Q&A: Experts dish on the future of paid search
by Chelsea Huston, 06 Mar 2018
Why content moments are the key to understanding content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 28 Feb 2018
Why bad advertising is a form of bad manners: lessons from a Ugandan storefront
by Scott Johnson, 20 Feb 2018
Retailers and the lower funnel trap
by David Randolph, 06 Feb 2018
What’s the body language of your content really saying?
by Zoë Courtman-Smith, 31 Jan 2018
10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018
The top 3 PPC marketing search engines of 2018
by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018
How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018
Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits
by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018
State of Social in 2018
by Ashley Reed, 17 Jan 2018
Top 7 posts of 2017
by Jamie Wigington, 17 Jan 2018
How should SEM experts prepare for voice search? [INFOGRAPHIC]
by DRUM, 17 Jan 2018
7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
by DRUM Media, 17 Jan 2018
What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
by Jerelle Gainey, 06 Oct 2017
Using direct mail to reactivate online customers
by Rosann Bartle, 22 Sep 2017
Bing shop ‘til you drop
by Hailee Sosnowski, 14 Aug 2017
Finding a web design process that works
by Todd Chambers, 02 Aug 2017
3 Commandments for creating incredibly engaging content
by Ben Heiser, 02 Aug 2017
Twitter ads and targeting techniques that work
by Annie Green, 27 Jul 2017
5 benefits of paid social advertising
by Karina Khemani, 14 Jul 2017
Oh snap! Snapchat just upped their ad game
by Traci Hendrix, 12 Jul 2017
Dying is easy, comedy is hard
by Scott Johnson, 10 Jul 2017
Marketing and the meteor test
by Scott Johnson, 05 Jul 2017
The value of local SEO (Even when your customers aren't)
by Gregory Lee, 23 Jun 2017
The best Facebook ad types and targeting options for driving sales
by Annie Green, 15 Jun 2017
Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior
by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017
To push a nonprofit's mission, you have to push with passion
by Nicole Bendel, 05 Jun 2017
7 ways B2B marketers can find success in social media
by Traci Hendrix, 31 May 2017
Google’s data-driven attribution: what you need to know
by Kimberly Honore, 23 May 2017
The skinny on Yahoo's native search retargeting feature
by Shelby Huckeba, 15 May 2017
Why you should always include brand search in your digital strategy
by Katherine Jianas, 04 May 2017
How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
by Gregory Lee, 16 Apr 2017
5 things we learned at Google’s “Search in 2017 & Beyond” event
by Kimberly Honore, 05 Apr 2017
To sell to the ego, you gotta talk to the id.
by Zoe Courtman-Smith, 04 Apr 2017
Social listening inspires smarter business strategies
by Alicia Trahan, 03 Apr 2017
Brand safety: how programmatic partners protect our clients' brands
by Brittany Altman, 31 Mar 2017
How inactive subscribers can affect deliverability
by Billy McNair, 27 Mar 2017
5 reasons to insist on 1st party data for CRM targeting
by Samantha Halpin, 22 Mar 2017
Conversation, not content, is king
by Scott Johnson, 15 Mar 2017