What would your temperament be if one of your direct competitors stood just outside of your office and started promoting their services to people who were coming into your location? I doubt that you would invite them inside for tea and muffins.
That said, how would you feel about competitors who are bidding on the name of your company or your branded keywords in the sponsored results? They may not physically be at your doorstep, but this is worse, as they can man the post 24 x 7 if they so choose.
The fact is that Google AdWords now allows companies to bid on the name and branded keywords of competitors. You can’t actually mention the other company in your ad title or ad copy, but competitors can be visible for searches for your most important keywords.
With this in mind, it’s essential that you devote the resources to both track who (if anyone) is bidding on your branded terms and also devise a strategy to both ensure that you maintain a strong presence on your branded terms and also possibly bid on your competitors. Don’t make the common mistake of complacency. Protect your branded search results by developing branding campaigns so as not be overtaken by your competition.
It is often that I get a question about why a company should bid on branding keywords when they rank well organically for those terms. While we have covered this topic in the past, it is always good to revisit common questions or concerns.
First, if you have a lot of competition online and don’t bid on your branding terms, you’re opening the door for competitors to bid on your branding and have a compelling ad sitting right next to your organic listing (that is if your website ranks for your brand when searched, which I hope is the case).
If there is a lot of search volume for your branding terms, imagine how many visitors you would be able to get if you had an additional presence (your ad) on the search engine results page along with your organic listing? Bidding on these keywords can certainly help you to capitalize on the volume of searchers. There are numerous tools available to determine approximate search volumes for keywords, including branding terms.
One thing that has always held true with paid search is that you have the ability to offer a tailored message, and test that message over time. Through your paid search ads, you are able to try different calls to action to determine the most effective message for your searchers. You are also able to drive visitors to specific landing pages from your ads, which can be different pages than those that rank organically for the same terms (often your homepage ranks for these keywords).
Search is evolving, and the results can be personalized based on users’ search history, and even more recently, real-time results are being incorporated into organic listings. What does this mean for your online marketing? Having paid listings can help to reserve your spot prominently on the search results pages for your company’s name.
Lastly, there are many steps in buying cycles depending on your industry. It is common to see that once searchers have completed their research, they will revisit their company or brand of choice, often by searching for that brand or company’s name. When you have a presence both organically and within the sponsored listings, you are able to ensure even more visibility for your company with a tailored message than if you were to just rely on your organic listing. Branding keywords are also typically not expensive, and therefore, through your branding keywords you are able to capture those searchers when they are ready to buy at a lower cost.
So the next time that you are debating whether or not you should bid on your branding keywords, consider the points above.
In the world of marketing, everyone knows that branding is a critical component of how your business is portrayed to the public. A known slogan, a catchy phrase or jingle such as “You’re in good hands with Allstate” or “Always Coca Cola” can set you apart from the competition. Included in branding one’s company is having a visual such as a logo that triggers your company name or product in someone’s, mind when they see it. Favicons are becoming increasingly popular on the internet and they will be making even more headway if Yahoo has its way.
According to Wikipedia, Favicons are “a 16×16 pixel square icon associated with a particular website or webpage.” In basic terms, it’s a mini logo that shows up before your company’s url in the address window.
This example shows Wikipeida’s Favicon,
which is the “W” in front of their url.
Favicons can be a huge benefit, because they reinforce your brand logo when people are on your site. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m a visual person.” Now, you can reach out even more by adding a Favicon to your website. What’s even more exciting is what Yahoo is planning to do with Favicons in the near future.
Yahoo has started testing Favicons on sponsored search ads. Think about it, your logo right next to your search ad. Not only does this give your ad more credibility, it helps your brand stand out from the competition. According to Yahoo, “when a user searches for “Expedia,” or another search that matches your domain name, that same favicon will show up next to the URL in your ad.”
This is especially beneficial when competitors are bidding on your name.
Here’s a perfect example. Most of us have had a competitor bid on our name, in an attempt to lure away consumers who were looking for our brand or company name. Now, with Favicons, (if you’ve branded yourself correctly) a consumer will recognize your ad because of your Favicon. Even better, if you’re new to the business world and need to brand yourself, what better way to do it than having your favicon (logo) next to your ad?
I’m looking forward to Yahoo opening up Favicons on sponsored ads to the entire market. It’s a great way to brand your company and increase top of mind awareness. Just to wet your appetite. Here’s an example of a Favicon with a sponsored ad.