Brand Bidding

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What is Brand Bidding

Brand Bidding is the practice of referring to one's own brand terms in the SERPs to offer. (Not to be confused with brand awareness activities that introduce or reinforce your brand).

According to Google guidelines, your competitors are free to use your trademarked terms in their own Keyword-lists.

In most cases, they may not use your brand name in their ads, but your competitors may run ads that get people to click on their ads and not yours.

A brand's website may rank well organically, but competitors have more space than ever to promote their offering and crowd out other results.

Google text ads today have up to 270 characters - that's almost three times as many characters as the standard text ads that prevailed from 2000 to 2016. This doesn't even take into account the options for multiple ad extensions. Up to four ads can appear at the top of search results.

In addition to text and shopping ads, there are Local Packs, Related Questions boxes, and a dozen other features that can push organic search results further down.

Why you need a bid strategy for brands

How should you be able to do this in the face of changing SERP-scape react to competitor ads? Everyone has an opinion on this.

The pro-brand bidders claim:

  • Studies show that up to 89% of paid traffic is incremental and not driven by organic Traffic is replaced when the campaigns are paused.
  • Competing ads can gain 40 % of clicks in brand search when the brand is not running an ad; this number drops to 11 % when a brand ad appears.
  • Brand keywords usually have high Quality Scores and low CPCs, which leads to high returns.

Here's what the anti-brand bidders have to say:

  • The supposed gains from brand campaigns are an illusion due to selection bias. Brand ads do not stimulate thought, but only cash in on existing interest.

Brand bidding should be strategic, not theological

Brand Bidding is not right or wrong, good or bad. It is a business decision that should be made objectively.

There's no blanket "yes" or "no" answer to the question of whether you should use paid search for branded terms.

Rather, the right answer for each company depends on a number of conditions.

So you don't run the risk of losing revenue based on the opinions of others or anecdotal evidence, here's how to develop your own strategy and make the right decision for your business.

1. define your goals for brand bidding

Yours Brand Bidding-Strategy for Paid Search gives you a roadmap to make sure your plan is right for your business.

The process we will use evaluates:

  • Goals for the Brand Bidding
  • External threats
  • Internal value
  • Strategic framework
  • Implementation

2. perform analysis of competitors (SERP)

In this step, you'll find out if you'll lose business to your competition if you don't bid on your own brand.

Your goal is to find out if you are losing clicks and revenue because your competitor's ads are competing with your listings, or because you are not ranking first in search results for your brand name.

If you are already bidding on your brand keywords, you can use the data from Google Ads Auction Insights to see who else is bidding on these terms. If you don't have brand keywords to determine auction competition, you can use a competitive research tool like SpyFu or SEMrush use

You can also just Google your brand terms, but that will only confirm that there is competition. If you don't see paid ads, it doesn't mean you don't have competition. So beware of false negatives caused by depleted budgets, low ad rank, site exclusion or other reasons.

3. identify the value of your brand advertising

Not only do you need to know if you have active competition for your brand, but you also need to know the value of investing in paid Traffic has.

Brand bids are defensive in nature, but not only. There are other reasons to bid on brands, such as to mitigate bad PR, promote new products, or test new messages and assets.

Revenue also plays a role. Evaluate the performance of the channels with the help of analytics reports.Use the paid and organic report in Google Ads, to identify overlaps and lost opportunities at the search term level.

Run a pause test to measure the impact of turning off brand campaigns. Pausing brand campaigns as a test should be a last resort; keep in mind that performance will always vary between two periods, even if you don't introduce any new variables.

Knowing the value of paid traffic is an important step in deciding whether or not you want to bid on brand advertising, regardless of the competition.

4. create your strategic framework

Once you've established your goals and analytics, you should have a clear idea of whether or not paid brand search is valuable to your business.

Now you can link your goals to initiatives and measurable results. As mentioned earlier, it's a matter of conditions whether you can focus on Branded Search want to offer. Under what conditions will you brand? Under what conditions will you pause it?

Your strategic framework should give you guidance and answer specific questions like:

  • What external and internal problems do you want to solve?
  • How aggressive or conservative will your SERP-reporting?
  • What budget will you allocate to the initiative?
  • What metrics will you use to measure the success of your efforts?

5. implementation

Now that you have a strategic framework that determines whether to exclude or bid on brand advertising, your account needs to match it. Now it's time for implementation.

Option 1: Exclude brand

If you want to exclude brands, you should actively exclude your brand as negative keywords in your account. If you simply don't "bid" on the brand, you can still participate in auctions for branded terms.

Continue to review your keyword report and add misspellings and variations of your brand as negative keywords.

Watch out for new competitors or SERP-functions to see if a new strategy is needed.

Option 2: Bid on tokens

To get the best results with branded bids, here's what you should consider:

Dedicated brand campaigns.

Segment your keywords so that branded and non-branded terms don't mix in the campaigns. By segmenting campaigns, you can control spend, measure performance, and optimize for your KPIs.

Optimized ad texts.

A concise text with "official website" in your ad is not enough to surpass your competitors' messages. Check what your competitors are saying in their ads and write ads that are even stronger.

Screenshots of customer-facing and business-facing ads

Landing pages with high conversion rates.

Review your final URLs and replace any that don't support your strategy.

Segmented Reporting.

Report on brand performance separately from other campaigns so it meets the KPIs and goals you set. Compare attribution models to see the contribution of all campaigns.

Advantages of Brand Bidding

  1. Increase the visibility of the brand: By buying ads for its own brand or similar terms, the company can increase the visibility of its brand and ensure that its ads appear at the top of search results.
  2. Protection from competitors: Through the Brand Bidding the company can prevent competitors from placing ads for its own brand, thereby casting its own brand in a negative light.
  3. Increase click-through rate: Since the ads for one's own brand or similar terms are perceived as more trustworthy by potential customers, the click-through rate of the ads can be increased.
  4. Targeting: Through the Brand Bidding the company can target specific audiences by buying ads for specific keywords used by that audience.
  5. Increasing the conversion rate: By increasing the visibility of the brand and targeting specific audiences, the Brand Bidding also help increase conversion rates, as potential customers are more likely to click on an ad and make a conversion if they trust the brand.

Disadvantages of Brand Bidding

  1. High cost: Brand Bidding can be expensive, as companies have to pay for every click on their ad. This can be especially challenging for smaller businesses or companies with limited marketing budgets.
  2. Intense competition: With many companies bidding on the same keywords, competition can be very high and it can be difficult to rank ads at the top of search results.
  3. Brand Bidding-Abuse: Some companies may try to buy the brand names of other companies to attract potential customers to their own offerings. This can be negative for the company concerned, as it can put its own brand in a negative light.
  4. Hard to measure ROI: It can be difficult to determine the return on investment (ROI) of Brand Bidding to measure, as it can be difficult to distinguish the exact results of brand bidding from other marketing activities.
  5. Dependence on search engine algorithms: Brand Bidding is dependent on search engine algorithms, which can make it difficult to predict how successful an ad will be and how results will change over time. It can also lead to companies having to adapt their strategy to match the algorithms.


Brand Bidding in Google Advertising is an interesting strategy, where you can use your own brand names or those of your competitors as keywords in Google Ads offer.

Overall offers Brand Bidding in Google Advertising has both advantages and disadvantages. To use this strategy effectively, you should consider the specific goals and needs of your business and, based on those insights, decide whether to Brand Bidding makes sense for you. It's important to monitor and adjust your campaigns regularly to get the best results for your marketing budget.

« Back to Glossary Index


What is Brand Bidding? arrow icon in accordion
Brand bidding is a special form of search engine marketing that enables companies to buy their own brand terms (keywords) on search engines such as Google and Bing. Companies can thus place their own ads on the top search and display networks and thus increase their brand value.
What are the advantages of brand bidding? arrow icon in accordion
There are many advantages of brand bidding. First, it increases the visibility of your brand, especially if your brand is competing with other brands. Second, you can personalize the ads to make sure it catches the attention of the target audience. Third, you can also ensure that your ads are delivered only to those they are actually addressed to.
How does Brand Bidding work? arrow icon in accordion
Brand bidding is based on the principle of "pay-per-click", where companies pay for every click on their ads. This means that companies have to pay a fee for each click on their ads. This fee is usually offered in the form of a bid on a keyword. The higher the bid on the respective keyword, the more likely it is that the ad will be placed.
What are the risks of brand bidding? arrow icon in accordion
While brand bidding is an effective way to increase a brand's visibility, there are some risks. For example, it can be expensive if companies pay too much for ad placement. Also, placing an ad on the wrong network can leave a negative image.
How can you use brand bidding effectively? arrow icon in accordion
To use brand bidding effectively, companies should first conduct extensive keyword research to identify relevant keywords. They can then place bids for the keywords and ensure that they place according to the highest bid. Companies should also regularly track ad performance and adjust bids accordingly to maximize performance.
How do I choose the right keyword? arrow icon in accordion
When choosing the right keyword, it is important to make sure that the keyword is relevant to your brand and products. It is also important that the keyword has sufficient search volume so that your ad achieves sufficient reach. You should also make sure that the keyword is not too general and too competitive.
How do I choose the right network for my ads? arrow icon in accordion
Choosing the right network for your ads depends on your goals and target audience. For example, if you want to achieve higher visibility on a specific website, you can place an ad on the display network. But if your main concern is that your ads are delivered to relevant users, the search network might be the right choice.
How long does it take for my ads to be active? arrow icon in accordion
It may take some time before your ads are active, as the search engines have to review and approve the ads. This can vary depending on the network, but usually you should receive approval within a few days.
What happens if my ad is rejected? arrow icon in accordion
If your ad is rejected, you must first review the search engine guidelines to ensure that you have not violated the guidelines. If your ad is rejected due to a violation of the guidelines, you can revise the ad and submit it again.
What tools can be used to optimize brand bidding? arrow icon in accordion
There are many tools that companies can use to optimize their brand bidding. For example, companies can use advertising tools such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads to run and manage their ads. Other tools that businesses can use include keyword tools that help with keyword research and analytics tools that help monitor the performance of the ads.

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