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Is bidding on your own brand terms essential? Bing confirms the reality with their data analysis

Is bidding on your own brand terms essential? Bing confirms the reality with their data analysis

by Philip Armstrong26th May 2015

Bing have done an analysis of user behaviour on the results pages of brand search terms to find out where people are most likely to click

In-line with Bing’s penchant for crunching data in order to predict user behaviour, they have analysed over 3 million desktop impressions for retail brand search terms, and 400,000 for travel search terms – measuring where users click when the ad from the official brand is not present.

The main questions around this subject are:

If you already rank organically for your brand terms, is it worth bidding on these terms?

Will users click on a competitor’s ad, or will they continue searching until they find the official brand’s website?


Not Bidding on Your Brand Terms Will Lose You Traffic to Your Competitors

This may seem obvious to many, but Bing have conclusively found that retail and travel brands both received a higher share of the search traffic when they were bidding on their own brand terms:


SectorDid not Bid on BrandBid on Brand
Retail61% CTR (organic traffic)91% CTR (49% organic and 42% paid traffic)
Travel60% CTR (organic traffic)88% CTR (43 organic and 45 paid traffic)


Do Paid Ads Just Cannibalise Your Organic Traffic

Bidding on their own brand increases their share of the search traffic, but also sacrifices a percentage of their organic traffic for paid traffic, increasing their over-heads.


Bing Found that for retail brands, 11% of paid clicks would have otherwise been organic


Defending Your Brand

Bidding on one’s own brand, although increasing marketing expenses, will allow you to defend your brand against competitors who will otherwise be taking a share of the search traffic.


Bing found that for retail brands, 40% of search traffic was lost to competitors when brand ads were not displayed


How much is your traffic worth to you?

At least for the retail and travel sectors, it seems that bidding on one’s own brand is worthwhile to gain access to an increased share of brand search traffic, and to prevent competitors from acquiring your customers.

A simple calculation will tell you how much you are paying to acquire additional visitors searching for your brand:

[Ad spend for brand terms] / [additional traffic gained by bidding on brand terms]

It then becomes a question of whether this is an acceptable price to pay for visitors looking for your brand.

Do you bid on your own brand terms? And are you seeing success from it? Let us know in the comments below.

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About The Author
Philip Armstrong
Philip Armstrong is a content writer for the Just SEO newsroom. Having served as an Adword's manager for a number of paid search campaigns, he is an expert in spending money to make money, and regularly contributes in-depth articles on the latest news and updates on pay-per-click (PPC) matters.

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