Every now and then, we come across people asking on various PPC forums if they should be bidding on their brand name. This blog will go into detail about bidding on your brand name and why it’s important.

What does it mean to bid on your brand name?

If you are new to the world of PPC and Google Ads, you might be wondering what it means to bid on your brand.

In your account, you might have seen your account manager or agency target keywords of your brand name. When someone searches for your brand name on Google, showing them your ad is what it means to bid on your branded keywords.

Why should you bid on your brand?  

The most common reason to bid on your brand name is:

  1. Blocking out your competitors
  2. Drive customers to a page of your choice
  3. Control over messaging

Blocking out your competitors

Some people are against paying Google to show ads on your own brand name. The most common objection they have is that Google shows their brand at the top in organic search results for free, so why should they pay money to Google to show their ads?

Paid ads show above organic search results. Even if you have invested heavily in SEO, your organic search results would still show below the ads. If you are not running ads on your brand name, a competitor could easily take advantage of this lapse and target your brand keywords. They would drive users to their website where the customer can research their products and compare prices against your products.

In the above example, if Hubspot wasn’t bidding on its brand name, its competitors would take advantage of it and capture that traffic. Protecting your brand from competitors is the biggest reason why people bid on the brand name.

Drive customers to a page of your choice

When a person searches for your brand, the organic results might direct them to your home page or whatever page Google determines is most relevant to their search query. If you run ads on your brand name, you can choose what page to send your customers to.

For example, people often search for comparison queries like ‘your brand vs competitor brand’:

In this case, Magic Spoon can bid on each of these keywords and direct the customers to a landing page that compares their brand with the competitor. They can show the customers how their product is superior to the competitors and in what ways it is better.

Control Over Messaging

Got a last-minute promotion launching on your site soon? You can mention the promotion details in your ad which could lead to better conversion rates. 

Even outside of promo dates, you can ensure that your ad copy is optimized for conversions. You can include specific messaging, call out certain features about your product, and show customers ad copy that you think would convert the best.

With organic listings, you cannot have this level of control over the messaging that the customer sees.

Best Practices for Brand Campaigns

We have a few recommendations for targeting your brand keywords:

Create a separate campaign

Some people combine their branded keywords with their other keywords. This is not a smart way of advertising because brand keywords usually have a lower cost-per-click than other keywords. If you use a separate campaign for your branded keywords, you will be more efficient with your campaign management.       

Use relevant landing pages

Don’t just use the home page for all your brand keywords. Choose the landing page that’s the most relevant to the keywords you are targeting to ensure that the people who click on your ad have a good customer experience.

Add negative keywords  

There are certain searches related to your brand that might show no intent to purchase. It’s recommended that you add such search queries as negative keywords to your campaign.

For example, some people might want to find out about the brand’s valuation or the founder’s net worth. These searches rarely lead to sales so it is best if you block your ads from showing on them.

Smart Bidding vs Manual Bidding

Using manual bidding is the best option when you target your brand keywords. The reason is that smart bidding will inflate your campaign’s costs and go after searches that might be extremely expensive.

We took over an account that was using smart bidding on the brand campaign. We switched it over to manual CPC and within a month, the average CPC on Branded campaign had decreased by 54% and the CPA had decreased by 42%. The campaign’s ROAS improved by 110% by making this one simple change.

Google will severely inflate your brand costs if you choose to run your campaign on smart bidding.


Should you advertise on your brand? Absolutely yes – but do it smartly. Use manual CPC, choose the right landing pages, and add negative keywords to block low-intent searches.

Questions? Let us know in the comments below.