Google Ads works by matching search queries with the advertiser’s target keywords. For example, if you are bidding on (targeting) the keyword “hearing aids” and someone in your area searches “hearing aids” on Google, your ad is eligible to show up.
Anyone managing a Google Ads account is continually searching for a special hack to increase their performance. There is one recommendation that could benefit your hearing practice: bid on your brand’s search terms.
After all of our talk about the value of organic ranking, you might be wondering why you should bother spending money on search terms that are already producing organic search results? Or you might be concerned that paid search ads will cannibalize your organic traffic.
According to a report by Google, listings that had both paying ads and organic results received 89 percent more clicks than those without search ads. In general, branded keywords claim a conversion rate about twice as high as their non-branded counterparts.
Why you should bid on your branded search terms
People who oppose the practice of bidding on branded terms usually have the same reaction: they don’t want to give more money than they have to to the PPC advertising platforms. But with the apparent advantages of bidding on branded terms, it’s a strategy that could make sense, as long as you’re doing it right.
Here are some reasons why it could work for your hearing practice:
Branded keywords are relatively cheap. These keywords are usually the most affordable on the market because there is less competition in a branded search phrase. Your cost per click is generally lower than a standard campaign going after “hearing test” or “hearing aid” searches.
There may be rivals bidding on your brand name. Defending your brand is one of the key reasons why you want to bid for your brand name. Just because you chose not to bid on your brand doesn’t mean nobody else is going to. Paid search ads on Google have the highest exposure, and your competitors might try and steal business from you by putting their name front and center when somebody searches specifically for your hearing practice. Do a quick search for your brand name. Do you see any competitor ads? If so, start bidding on your brand name to keep them from stealing your current patients looking for your contact info online.
Using both paid and organic outcomes, you can dominate the search engine results page. You are setting yourself apart as a local hearing health leader if you are willing to own as much of the real estate as possible with PPC ads, organic listings, social media, etc. Many case studies demonstrate that you are showing to searchers that you are an expert in your industry/market by combining organic and paid advertising.
Why you might not want to bid on your branded search terms
Although the case for branded keywords is strong, here are some disadvantages of bidding on branded keywords you might want to consider:
Leads will likely be existing patients. If someone is searching for you by name, they probably already have a relationship with your business, and you will pay for the click regardless. This means you could be paying for a click, which won’t lead to a conversion, which some see as a wasted click.
You might not need to buy ads. If no rivals are bidding for your brand name and you already rank well organically, there might be no need to run a branded campaign. If you already rank # 1 for your search term and dominate the search results list, why would you pay for free clicks?
There is always going to be a debate about whether bidding on your branded keywords is necessary. Some people would argue that you should not bid on your terms.
It’s up to you and what works for your campaign. If your budget is super tight, you may not want to do it, but if you have rivals bidding on your brand name and do not want to risk those precious clicks, you will undoubtedly want to start bidding on the brand terms of your business.