If you do not bid on your name someone else will!

5/19/2009

- Marni Weinberg, Senior Client Strategist

Seems like a no brainer, doesn't it? Humor me for a moment and let's play make believe…

You own a bathing suit retail store called Fun in the Sun. Claudia walks into your store, credit card in hand saying, "I am visiting your store because I heard your name from a friend. She gave me your address and told me you have great bathing suits, competitive prices and excellent customer service! I am ready to shop right now and buy a new suit for summer!" You wouldn't dream of telling Claudia to go to your competitor's store Bathing Suits Galore instead, would you? Of course you wouldn't!

Well, if you do not bid on your company name in your Cost per Click (CPC) campaign, you are essentially doing just that! The difference here is that Claudia had the ability to visit your (make believe) brick and mortar store. However, if you're an online retailer and she searches for Fun in the Sun, as instructed by her friend, not knowing anything about your site (other than that she wants to visit it) you ought to make sure she sees YOUR listing appear in the search results and NOT your competitor! If you're not bidding on your name, Claudia will more than likely click on the top result (typically a paid advertisement) not even realizing that she is not where she intended to go.

If I had a nickel for every time a client asks "Why is branding so important?" or "I already show up for my name, so why would I want to spend money on a paid advertisement?"
Below are just a few reasons why…

~ Showing up under both the organic and paid results in a search engine will reinforce your brand and add credibility to your company. The more real estate you have on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) the better and you are giving yourself 2 opportunities to get the visitor to your site.

~ As many as three paid listings can appear above a natural result, which will allow any company the chance to lure your prospective customer away. Keep in mind: this is a customer who was initially looking for YOU! Even if you are ranking #1 organically, you should still bid on your name.

~ Not all searchers are the same, and therefore search behavior will be unique across the board. Some people will only click on paid ads, while others only organic and some don't even know the difference (think Bathing Suits Galore).  It is necessary to appear in both areas so that you don't lose potential eyes to your site!

~ It is good to cover your bases. In other words, if your organic results drop as algorithms change, you will maintain your online brand presence with your paid listings.

Always protect your brand. Don't allow your competition to reap the benefits of your name!

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