The Value of Search Ads for Brand Keywords

On Search Engine Land today
I saw a nice post on
understanding the
dynamics of Paid vs. Organic (or Natural) search

As David Roth explains it:

keywords are we really talking about?
 Those that match
exactly with your brand name or branded product name, where there is generally
no competition. So if you are Acme Widget Company we would be talking about
keywords like “acme” and potentially “acme widget.”

A couple of years ago I put the questions of the value created by branded keyword ads to the test. The posts were very popular and I still get asked these questions all the time. Since there are probably a ton
of new marketers and followers that missed it the first time and in light of the renewed interest David's thoughtful SEL post might bring, I thought I would
bump this three part series back to the top.

Part 1: Do I Purchase My Brand Keywords or Has Google Improved So
Much I Don’t Need To?

Part 2: ROI Factors of Brand Keywords: Paid vs. Organic

Part 3: Buy Branded Keywords? A Case Study
on Traffic, Conversion and RPV

I followed this series of posts with a the following presentation at SES San Jose on the Ad Testing Research & Findings panel.

SES San Jose Ad Testing Research & Findings

View more presentations from jonathanmendez.

Of course the question that comes out of all this data is why. Why were the ads in this instance (and this is not the only one I've seen, just the one I could share) so helpful to improving results? Some of my early thoughts are in Part 3. Since then I've come to think that the influence of Google itself has something to do with it too. Remember, (as @aarongoldman reminded me a few weeks ago) 62% of searches are unaware of the differences between paid and natural results. The copy in the ads is a much an endorsement from Google (the #1 brand in the world) as the company themselves. That's persuasion based off a brand-leverage strategy at it's finest.

I hope you find these thoughts and data
helpful. If you still don’t know the answer by now about whether you should run
PPC ads on your brand keywords, it’s test!


  1. I just discovered this blog and have spent the last half hour or so reading through parts of it. Not much to add, except to say that as a budding online entrepreneur I found this to be an incredibly valuable resource! It reinforced that there are some things I’m doing right and taught me a few tricks I didn’t know. Thank you!


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