Brand Bidding & PPC Optimization: The Value Of Brand Keywords (Part 2 of 8)
Columnist Lori Weiman continues her series on brand bidding for PPC by discussing how brand terms improve the bottom line for advertisers.
Welcome to Part 2 of Brand Bidding & PPC Optimization, a series to help today’s search marketer answer the biggest question facing PPC advertisers in 2016: How do I get meaningful growth numbers out of an expensive, crowded and competitive PPC market?
In Part 1, I reviewed the history of PPC optimization and how easy it used to be to achieve big growth numbers from PPC advertising. To summarize part 1, I discussed the evolution of keyword advertising:
- Inexpensive search terms (Remember minimum bids under five cents?) drove significant returns on ad spend (ROAS).
- Next came analytics, which enabled advertisers to set costs per click (CPCs) wisely, based on conversion rates and keyword costs.
- Followed by analytics were automation platforms, which enabled the industry to manage huge volumes of keywords efficiently.
- Then, relevancy was introduced, along with a greater focus on effective ad copy and landing pages.
This brings us to today, where competition for clicks makes it challenging to derive meaningful growth from paid search advertising. Merkle RKG reports that first-page bid costs have risen more than 75 percent from mid-2014 to mid-2015.
As an illustration of how tough competition is getting, I pulled The Search Monitor’s keyword data for the footwear category (Disclosure: Search Monitor is my employer) and saw more than 3,700 different PPC advertisers on Google in the US during December 2015.
From my experience, our customers have cracked this code by deploying brand bidding strategies. These strategies, discussed in the subsequent articles in this series, include ad monitoring, carefully crafted partnership agreements, addressing your competition head-on, making search engine complaints coupled with other available legal responses and effectively employing brand bidding techniques.
These strategies have allowed our customers to control CPCs on their branded terms and drive clicks that otherwise would go to competitors. The result has been strong growth in ROAS.