Why brand bid when you rank #1 organically

Video Transcript


Hi, I'm Claire Martin, and I'm Operations Director at Jellyfish CoNNect. One question we are asked by our clients, possibly more than any other, is: "Why should we bid on brand keywords when we're already appearing number one in the organic listings?" Some clients worry that bidding on brand keywords is going to cannibalise the subscriptions they're generating for free via the organic listings. However, Google and Jellyfish have carried out studies which show that this isn't the case, and there are many benefits to bidding on brand keywords. I'm going to talk through some of these today.

Number one, dominate the landscape. Two is better than one, particularly when it comes to digital marketing. In the same way that having multiple call to actions on a landing page or in an email can help to increase your conversion rate, giving users multiple opportunities to subscribe will only increase your overall subscription numbers. If you're appearing in both the PPC and the organic listings, then you're going to reinforce your brand and your profile to your prospective customers, and this is particularly important if you have competitors in the same magazine genre.

Number two, control the message. Paid search allows you to create a purpose-built, sales-focused advert which will grab the attention of your customer and direct them to the very best landing page to generate a subscription. This is much more difficult to do with an organic ad. Ad extensions, such as product listing ads, enhanced site links, review extensions, image extensions, social extensions, amongst many others, which are only available via PPC, serve to create an altogether more engaging sales proposition to your customers.

Number three, control your competitors. If you're not bidding on your brand keywords, then your competitors will be. Potentially you could see a competitor PPC ad directly above your own organic listing if you're not bidding on your brand terms. This means that traffic that you could have received, either via your PPC ad or via your organic ad, is directed straight to the welcoming landing pages of your most fierce competitor.

Number four, you can't capture everything via SEO. The fact is that some searchers prefer to click on PPC and some searchers prefer to click on organic ads. Studies have shown that when PPC is stopped, the organic listings just don't pick up all of the lost traffic. A Google study from 2011 looked at 400 case studies and found that 89% of PPC clicks are incremental.

Number five, PPC traffic converts better. So people who click on PPC ads have a higher propensity to buy and are much further into the buying cycle than people who click on organic ads, who are much more likely to be just looking for information or in the researching phase of the buying cycle. So this behaviour of the PPC visitors themselves, combined with the increased conversion rate of the Jellyfish subscription campaign site, means that you are able to generate more subs via PPC and SEO than just via the organic listings alone.

Number six, the brand offset principle. Brand subscriptions come in at a very low CPA, and this in turn generates an element of offset. This means that your PPC manager is able to bid on higher CPA content-related keywords. So in this example, the offset created by the brand keywords means that it's still commercially viable to bid on tail keywords, which are much more expensive, but are still generating incremental subscriptions.

Number seven, last click attribution is dead. So viewing digital marketing in terms of last click attribution can seriously limit and restrict the number of subscriptions you're able to generate. So many users convert after multiple visits looking and searching for content-related terms on a first, second, or third visit and finally converting on a brand term. Removing brand activity means that subscriptions like these could be lost completely, which is particularly important if you have competitors in the same magazine genre.

So the way that people buy has changed. The first thing people think of when they're thinking about buying something is, "Let me have a look for it online." So Google defines this as the zero moment of truth, and it's that moment where you grab your laptop or your mobile phone and you start researching a product or a service. So in that way your customer is going to be comparing your magazine, both online and offline, to other magazines. So not appearing on your brand terms, or worse your competitors appearing on your brand terms, means that this is going to change the decision buying process.

So to prove these theories, Jellyfish carried out a test on one of our clients where we stopped brand PPC activity, and we measured the impact on SEO. What happened was that we saw a 61% dip in PPC sales, but we saw a very poor uplift in SEO sales, only 4%.

So in summary, brand PPC activity should form a huge part of your overall digital marketing strategy. To ignore it could be limiting your overall subscription volumes both online and offline.

So I hope you've found this useful. Please do contact us if you have any questions. Thank you.