Importance of Brand Term Bidding In SEM

In Adwords, budget is one of the main criteria. Utilizing the budget is “important”, but utilizing the budget on the right resources and in the right place is “more important”. Lots of articles have been written on this topic and it has been a hot topic of discussion.

Incidentally last week, someone asked me, what are the important metrics that one should consider when optimizing a local business PPC account? I did ponder over this for quite some time. Actually, there are a lot of metrics that come in to play here, but I was keen on discussing this metric, that a lot of people miss out on: “Brand”.

Is Brand an important metric?

Well, before I give a direct answer on this one, let me say, brand does play an important role for all businesses, irrespective of their size (small, medium or large) and turnovers. If we are a brand with a decent brand recall, then we should leverage on that by keeping a large chunk of the marketing budget for branded terms.

Generally, in case of small local businesses, the account spend will be low. But nevertheless, the expectations are sky high, which becomes a very big decision for local business to allocate or spend their budget on paid advertising. Due to this they face an enormous pressure in terms of ROI.

Hence, before we make the decision to spend money on PPC and brand, we need to introspect and make sure, that we are in fact, a brand in the first place.

How do we know that we are a brand?

There are various free tools available online, but mainly we use Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to figure about our brand.

Here, let me give the example of Dr. David Altman for our case study. There is nothing similar between these two doctors except for the name. One is a dentist in Florida and other is a dermatologist in Warren. You can find more information about these doctors in health grade; a separate link has given below for your reference.

  1. David Altman – Dermatology, Warren
  2. David Altman – Dentist, Chicago (Imaginary Name).

We have taken the imaginary name of Dentist David Altman here to avoid any similarity with the real identity.

Google Trends

Google Trends is one of the best tools to find out what is being ‘searched’ near you. There are many options to get refined data but we have used filter by country for our analysis.


On searching for “David Altman”, we can see that there is some search happening for this name. However, David Altman can be a famous actor, famous politician or a famous opera singer. How do we find out, which David Altman, that people are searching for?

I am sure it is difficult to figure out, what the above image is suggesting? If we look closely at the related search data in Google Trends then the above image will give you clarity on what I am trying to explain.

According to the Google Trends data, we can see two results related to “Dr. David Altman” and this data is more than enough to figure out that people know about the dermatologist David Altman. He is a well-known identity in the USA, whereas, the dentist David Altman is not so well known.

To drive this point even further, let us perform two more searches.

Now, according to the Google Trends data, the results are crystal clear and hence we can set aside a budget to spend for the brand campaign of David Altman, the dermatologist, as advertising for it will not be a bad idea.

Let us re-check this theory on Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

Google keyword planner is arguably the best free tool of Google to search for keyword ideas for your campaigns. You can find the link to the tool here. Here, there are several options to filter your data, like location, language, categories and more.

So, let’s find out what Google Keyword Planner has to say about “David Altman”.

According to the keyword planner data, while searching for “David Altman”, we are getting suggestions for dermatology keywords but there is no mention of dentist and hence we can conclude that we can make use of this brand name and it would be a safe bet to spend your marketing budget for their brand campaign.

 Some Additional Benefits of spending money on branded terms

After arriving at the decision to spend budget on Brand Campaign, the next important thought is there any additional of spending money on Branded Terms?

When someone is searching for your brand name, it would be safe to assume that they already know your brand or they might have heard about your brand through word of mouth. The important point here is that they are specifically searching for you and you got to do something about it. Also, other important points to be noted here are:

  • Quality Score is going to be high for brand searches than non-branded searches, due to the relevancy factor.
  • Better Quality Score helps in lowering the CPC, which can help you in allocating the budget for non-branded campaigns.
  • Advertising for the branded terms are much cheaper due to less competition.

Hence, we can safely conclude that spending money on branded terms is a win-win situation for everyone. So the next question is should we advertise only for exact brand searches or do we need a combination of brand searches and its variations?

What are Branded terms and what combinations of brand related searches, should we use?

Branded terms are not only your exact terms. Branded keywords are the combination of the exact term along with other keywords, such as:

  • Dr David Altman’s Reviews
  • Dr David Altman dermatologist
  • Dermatologist David Altman
  • Dr David Altman New York

We can use a combination of such terms and include similar search terms along with the brand name to make an ad group. For more such keyword ideas, we can make use of Google Auto complete, Ubersuggest, Google related search and more.

How to use Ubersuggest:

Unlike Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest does not give the search volume data, but it gives tons of keyword ideas to use for your campaigns. What I like the most about Ubersuggest, is its clear cut styling format and the ease of handling the tool.

This is how the tool looks like:

Google Related Searches and Auto complete

The Google Autocomplete and Google Related Searches are your other options to find great keyword ideas. On Google Related Searches, you can find the related search data at the bottom of search results. On Google Autocomplete, the autocomplete feature suggests the popular keywords, once you start typing keywords in the Google search box.

Be sure to experiment here and do not stop at a single search. The more you try with different search terms, the more keyword ideas you get

Google Related Searches

Google Autocomplete

Should we advertise for exact term “David Altman”?

Yes, we can advertise for the term “David Altman” but make sure, your ad copy should include the term “Dr”/ “Doctor” and “Dermatologist”.

I hope this article will help you in understanding the concept of Brand campaigns and learn the importance of “Branded terms” in SEM.

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