10 reasons to buy your own business name in Adwords

By Sue July 4, 2010 - 10:00 am
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

  • Whirly
    10 years ago

    Great post.

  • 10 years ago

    Remarkable similarity, including sequential order to our post here:

    Not implying anything but you have to admit 😉

    Been a reader of tamebay for a LONG time (was one of the first feeds in my reader) and this one in particular, apart from being quite off your general topic, really jumped out at me.

    I guess great minds think alike. 🙂

    • 10 years ago

      1) Have never heard of “red fly marketing” or read your blog. But I’m certain that neither of us is the only person to write on this topic.

      2) “Off our usual topic” is explained in the first line of the post, and in the last paragraphs of this post:

      3) Sequential order in my post is based on my perception of importance. I’m still not reading your post, so I don’t know what you said there, but I’d imagine you did something similar.

      4) 10. Your title is apparently 5. So “you have to admit”…

      5) If you want to accuse me of something, please do it openly. I really don’t like snidey insinuations.

    • 10 years ago

      Not accusing you of anything at all Sue. I just remarked on the similarity. The fact that neither of us were the first to write about it is true and only reinforces my point… great minds.

      No need to get defensive, if I was going to accuse you of something, I would have been a lot more to the point. Your policy says specifically “comments personally attacking TameBay writers”, I did read that. If I was going to make any insinuations, they would have been by email.

      You say you’re not going to read the post, a little childish but fair enough. But if you were to bother, you’d see it yourself.

      Again, not accusing you of anything but if you compare the two, you will see exactly why I said this “jumped out at me”. I guess this wont happen though seeing you “refuse” to read the post.

      Fair enough. Fair enough.

  • DVD Seller
    10 years ago

    It’s also just as worth while to buy your eBay ID name and (eBay shop name if it’s different) in eBay AdCommerce. Basically anywhere someone might be searching for your company you want to make sure that you’re found.

  • 10 years ago

    Spot on.

  • Whirly
    10 years ago

    A little bit OT, If I take out a UK trademark can I stop google letting other firms use our store names as headers on adwords?

    • 10 years ago

      There is a way to do it but I’m not sure how. There have been times I used words that happened to be trademarked in some countries and Google would just put up a small warning saying the keywords aren’t running in certain countries. I think the last one I ran into was a model number for something I was selling that also happened to be a type of car in Europe.

  • jp
    10 years ago

    wrong wrong wrong..sorry..what you should be saying is if you are one man band (as most on here are or even a couple of employees) then this is burning money.. It might be only 4p but as anybody knows with a bit of experience is thoses pennies quickly add up – sure if you have a massive budget then maybe but certainly not your normal tamebay audience..quiet dangerous really.. you should be explaining the basics and not come out with this rubbish! Sorry but its a bit like the early days in seo buy inbound links. Sorry but this is dangerous to the beginners out there

    • Whirly
      10 years ago

      You set a daily budget based on what you can afford, if you can’t manage to work that out then running a business full stop is gonna be a bad idea from the outset don’t you think?

    • 10 years ago

      I disagree with JP on this one and recommend that people test the value of Adwords on your brands or business name.

      In several tests we have found this to be great traffic and that advertising has increased the overall traffic at a very small cost. We believe that people read specific zones of the page depending on the purpose of their search. Some people search and look at the organic and zone out the ads. Others look at the ads and zone out the organic. We believe, but cannot prove, that the majority of people in research mode look at the organic, but people in purchasing mode look at the ads. If the person is looking in the ads then you should be there. Organic is very inconsistent and it is better to be on the page twice than to risk not being there at all.

      We have also noted an interesting effect when you appear twice. The total traffic exceeds what each position would get individually. We have a formula for this 1+1>2. In the last test we ran we got about 2% CTR on a number 1 position organic and 1% on a number 1 ad position but we got 4% when we had both.

    • Interesting thought on people in research/buying mode, never thought of it like that.

  • jp
    10 years ago

    yes, you are correct but why spend money on position 0.1 – far better to spend money where you dont come up as number 1 – I mean speak to anybody that works in the real ecommerce industry (not ebay) that has a bit of knowledge in ecommerce and they would probably say there are 99 other things to spend your money before you bid on your own brand name – this is a good source for ebay news and other light ecommerce issues but seo / google wise there are much better sourches (some of them you will need to pay).

    Some seller have no idea thats why its dangerous to give such advice!
    If you want uptodate and real ecommmerce advise go to webmasterworld
    Dont get me wrong i love this blog but this advise is just should come with a big health warning – if you dont know what you are doing do not try this at home!

  • I work in a genuine ecommerce website, not on eBay and I definitely recommend bidding on your own name. It doesn’t cost much and the conversion is very high.

    I actually used to work at eBay UK (3 years) and I was there when they decided to stop bidding on their own brand as they felt that, with others not being allowed to bid on it, they wouldn’t lose out. That decision lasted about a week as they lost a lot of traffic through the decision. Now, where Google allows people to bid on your trademarked brand but not to use your trademarked terms in your ad copy, then it’s more imperative to have your own ad up there to grab the top spot.

    Obviously, one should monitor the spend etc etc but if someone is typing your name in, they are looking for you and, whilst it’s irritating that some feel they feel the need to click your PPC ad, it’s a necessary evil. This will be your highest converting PPC campaign and as such the ROI on the incremental sales and it’s bottom line contribution will vastly outweigh the lost sales and PPC pennies saved from not bidding.

    Also, you can get sitelinks in PPC for your own brand, which gives you even more inventory.

    As with everything, be careful and test etc. But, as starting point, I wholly agree with Sue and think this is a very good idea. We do it on all of our Arena websites (UK, FR, DE, NL, BEx2).

    • I remember asking you about this topic on Twitter many moons ago and didn’t act on it at the time, I guess it didn’t click, it does now.

  • Bigpoppa
    10 years ago

    One of our websites gets upto 50K unique visits a month, generating over 5 million hits…

    We do not currently use Adwords for a few reasons, cost being one but not the main one.

    If you have any plans to try and use adwords, my advice would be this:

    Do not just sign up, create an ad, pick a load of keywords related to your business and make it live, your budget will disapear in a flash.

    Buy a magazine called “.net”, it normally has a £30 Adwords voucher inside, this allows you to give it a go with no investment.

    I would also advise you visit this link:

    What this does is give you a list of keywords and the page on your site (landing page) it came from, number of times it has been searched for also the level of competition that words receives.

    You can then export these words/landing pages to an adwords campaign.

    Some tips though…Avoid words with high competition, they cost too much with little return.

    Google Adwords is not something you should or will be able to use well unless you research it fully. The returns are there but only if used correctly.

  • ‘One of our websites gets upto 50K unique visits a month, generating over 5 million hits…’ Impressive, which website is that then?

    • Bigpoppa
      10 years ago

      Sorry, we don’t advertise via blogs and forums, it has a negative effect on SEO (some people say)…

      …Not as good as it sounds, sales conversion rates are on about 1%.

    • oana
      10 years ago

      Why do You say that is a negative efect on SEO. rom what i know, google likes to hear about you from different sources then from your website, including blogs, forums, social media.

    • 10 years ago

      This particular blog (and most) uses the nofollow tag for all comment links. What that means is Google isn’t going to give you any sort of page rank benefit when you leave a comment here. Instead you basically give the blog slightly more content for the very keywords you were trying to improve.

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