10 reasons to buy your own business name in Adwords

Radio Futura

This week, I’ve been playing with Google Adwords, and wondering about whether we (the company I work for) should pay for our own name in the PPC ads. “Why would we bother when we’re already top of the natural search results?” is the obvious answer, but there’s more to it than that.

eBay pays for its own name from Google, and there’s method in its madness.


eBay search results page

Here’s why I’ll be buying our name:

  1. It gets you more screen real estate – above the fold too. Assuming you own the top natural search result for your name, having a paid-for link above it ensures that anyone searching for you has to scroll a lot further to find someone who isn’t you. Getting your name to dominate like this should mean that you’re not just paying for clicks that would have been free; you’re actually increasing the number of clicks overall.
  2. It ensures your authority for your own name. You’ve paid for an ad: that makes you look like someone who’s taking this seriously, not just someone who’s managed to get one domain to index well.
  3. It strengthens your brand. Even if people don’t click your ad, they’ve still seen it. That strengthens their awareness of you and your message for next time.
  4. It’s cheap (and cheaper for you than your competitors). Unique brand names are normally not that expensive to purchase: I’ve just checked our company name and it’s going to be 4p a click. (This is a whole other post but) if you’ve picked really generic keywords to make up your business name (‘Beautiful Fashion Handbags’, ‘Loud House Music’), then you’re going to pay out a lot more: something to think about before you choose a trading name.

    You should get more clicks on your ad than your competitors would if they’d bought your name too – because the name and URL match. A better click through rate will get you a better quality score with Google, which will drive down the price you pay. Your competitors shouldn’t be so lucky.

  5. It gets you more control over your message. With natural search results, Google usually picks up your meta description or the first bit of text on your page – but not always. With paid-for ads, you get to craft a bit of copy specially designed to increase click-through rates.
  6. It gets you control over the landing page. Do you always want people to go to your homepage? Probably not. Paid-for ads mean you (not Google) decide where people get sent on your site. It also makes it easier to geotarget: if you want everyone in the UK sent to one landing page, and everyone else sent to a special “international” page, for example, you can do that.
  7. Better you have it than your competitor. Do you want your competitors left alone to buy your name as one of their keywords? Didn’t think so.
  8. You can buy misspellings. If your company name frequently gets misspelt, then you can ensure anyone typing the wrong version into Google is going to find you anyway by buying all the variant spellings of your name. (People who’ve used “jewellery/jewelry” or “accessories” in their names might pay special attention to this one!)
  9. It’s not just the search results. You can also own your name on Google’s “content network” – that is, other websites that feature Google ads. If someone’s mentioned you on their blog, you’ll have an ad on that page too.
  10. Why wouldn’t you? The particularly cool thing about Adwords is that if you tie it together with Google Analytics, you can tell exactly how many sales it’s driving. And if the return on investment isn’t there, you can turn it off. For what it’s worth, I expect you’ll be keeping it.

If you’re already buying your own name, how’s it working out for you? A bargain, or a waste of money? Let us know in the comments.

Creative Commons License photo credit: sergis blog