So you have a #1 ranking brand term should you also buy it in paid search?  I recently wrote the article about the 81% of all paid ads that don’t have an accompanying orgnaic listing.  That was a byproduct stat from teh main purpose of the research which was to reassure advertisers that running paid ads for high ranking organic terms is still an excellent strategy – which I agree with 100%.

Why does Google care if you do or don’t?  Well, it is all part of Google’s Profict Maximization – this, in m,y opinion is the siggle largest budget waster only second to braod matching terms.   For many adverisers, their top ranked terms are their branded terms and where a significant share of the click volume goes.  For one of our clients it was as much as 83% of all of their paid search clicks.   This means there is significant click volume (Google Revenue) that would be lost if they just turned them off.

There are some key strategies where you need them.  Back in the day were you could really protect your trademark this was not a big issue but now that you can’t there is often a stragic way to do it but there is also a right ans wrong way.  The following is a case it shows you need to do the research and it also shows the financial impact to Google if you just turn it off.

This is a major national brand in the travel space who was buying their company name “Acme” in paid search both in broad and exact match. Their average paid position fluctuated between #1 #2 and #3 but typically wanted it in the #3 position.    They obviously rank #1 for their brand name and have 6 highly relevant site links.

Company Name – Broad Match vs. Organic Performance
Source: Back Azimuth Search ROI Analysis

Scenario 1 – Broad Match Brand Name

Organic Performance:

They received 409,872 visits from Google via the organic results (94.35% click rate based on paid search impressions and ranking #1) that resulted in a 4.06% conversion rate generating $7.3 million in revenue.

Paid Performance: 

They had 434,531 impressions for which received 19,191 clicks (Average CPC was $1.28) for a media spend of $24,541.   They had a 4.42% click rate and a 1.19% conversion rate generating just over $9,000 in revenue.  This resulted in a negative Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of -$15,535.

Analysis:

The problem in this case was they were running a “price match offer” along with copy that indicated “they offered he cheapest airfare” which did not sync that well in with the searchers intent for a broad-based branded navigational phrase.  At first the agency wanted to just change the ad copy to make it more in line with the navigational query but ultimately after looking at scenario 2 below, they opted to kill the broad match and go with exact match terms since we had identified 2,387 exact match variations including nearly 2,000 misspellings.   The result was putting just over $24,000 worth of click costs back into the pool for other words.

This is the prime reason that some advertisers want to turn off these ads.  The paid team argues that they have to be there for branding purposes but in this case the paid actually pushed people into the organic.  The learning here is as quickly as possible you want to get words into exact match situations and then make sure the context matches.  In the scenario below the advertiser swapped their broad match of the brand to over 2,387 exact match variations taking the average CPC from $1.28 in the broad match to between $0.04 to $0.32 for the exact match terms saving nearly $30,000 a week thereby allowing significantly more clicks for other words where they had budget restrictions.

Cost to Google: 

About $24,000/month or $288,000 a year.  Note: Google will ultimately make this up n other keyword clicks but this helped increase the media efficiency of this advertiser exponentially.

 

Scenario 2 – Exact Match Brand Name

So while in scenario 1, buying a #1 ranked branded term using broad match did not make sense what happens with an exact match for the same term? The paid search ad in this case was a reference to them being a leading travel site and having the lowest prices.

 

Company Name – Exact Match vs. Organic Performance
Source: Back Azimuth Search ROI Analysis

Organic Performance:

Using the same 409,872 organic visits this means that our organic click rate was 55.27% with a Conversion rate of 4.06% generating the same $7.3 million in revenue.

Paid Performance

In this exact match case the paid click rate was 42.36 percent (nearly 10 times that of Broad Match).  The Average Cost per click was a negligible $0.04 per click.  We drove 314,229 visitors from paid search The conversion rate was 3.43% which is great resulting in sales of nearly $300,000 generating a positive ROAS of $285k.   So with paid in exact match and the #1 organic listing Acme had nearly a 97.63 percent share of clicks.  This my friends is the definition of 1 + 1 = 3.

Analysis:

For half the paid search media budget they achieved a significant increase in visits from paid search.  This gave them the brand protection they wanted along with an increase.  The following months have shown that in this case of exact match the paid and organic seem to be working together.  Due multiple competitors also showing up for the brand name and to the collaborative success of paid and organic the client will not turn off or day part the paid to see what share of traffic would go to organic without the paid.

 

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