When you’re planning a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, much of your time and energy will go into keyword research. And it should: After all, understanding the landscape and value of key terms and phrases is at the very heart of what makes PPC such a powerful and important part of the digital marketer’s toolkit.
But here’s one hugely important keyword that even many professionals overlook: Your own brand name.
Wait a minute. Those clicks cost money, don’t they? Shouldn’t my brand name just appear organically when people search for it?
True and true. Still, there are compelling reasons to bid on your own name, 5 of them, in fact. If you’re not already doing it, here’s why you should seriously consider running cannabis branded Google ads.
5 Reasons You Should be Running Cannabis Branded Google Ads: Control the Message
Here’s a little-known fact of SEO: While you can (and should!) put serious thought and time into entering the messaging you want to appear in the SEO fields offered by your website platform, the fact is that search engines such as Google often pull content from different areas of your site to better match a searcher’s specific query. This means that even if you’re ranking well, those consumers may not be seeing the message you want them to.
Running a branded campaign sidesteps this problem. Because you’re paying for that placement, you can highlight exactly what you want all those eyeballs to see, be it special sales or promotions, important updates, free consultations or any other inducements. Those ad extensions you’re using (please tell us you are) will feed the best and most actionable information directly to those potential consumers without your worrying that they’re getting the wrong message.
Increase Your Presence
The formulas search engines such as Google cook up are a secret and ever-changing recipe. But having a search for your brand name trigger an ad in addition to an organic result gives you a larger footprint on the page. And people gravitate towards leaders. In addition to helping fuel the perception that you’re a strong and trustworthy presence, it can increase the chance that a consumer will click on your name. Whether you’re paying for that click or not, that’s exactly the result you want.
5 Reasons You Should be Running Cannabis Branded Google Ads: Someone Else Will
Here’s another uncomfortable truth about branded ads: There’s nothing stopping your competitors from bidding on your name. Imagine that a potential customer is so intrigued by your brand that they search for it by name. Unaware that the top result is one of your competitor’s ads, they click on it instead, and you lose them forever.
Now that’s an unpleasant scenario, isn’t it? While these days some consumers are clued-in enough to spot such ads for what they really are, certainly not all of them are. That’s one of the major reasons we advise our clients to spend a little more to protect their brand names. While the recipe for Google’s special sauce is a closely guarded secret, it’s understood that the company—wanting to offer consumers the best possible search experience—allows verified brand owners to bid on their own names for less than their competitors would.
On a related note, some brand names referencing geographic locations tend to be generic keywords. Case in point: An imaginary dispensary entitled “Scranton Cannabis Dispensary.” As you might guess, any and every dispensary in the Scranton area will be bidding on this keyword chain. Running a dedicated brand campaign will help protect you from this “accidental” (but no less damaging) instance of name poaching.
Build Your Brand
Simply put, branding is a massive topic, influencing every single aspect of your business and how it gets discovered. We’ve written a bit about dispensary branding in the past, but today, we want to talk about how consumers seeing your name pop up can support your end goal of brand recognition and trust.
While running a brand campaign has a number of very specific and short-term goals around capturing consumers searching for your brand, there are longer-term reasons to focus on your name as well. Brand awareness is by nature a long game, demanding that you use all the tools at your disposal to build awareness and plant those initial seeds of intrigue within potential customers.
If you’re using your other channels—social media, mobile banners, even print mailers—running a cannabis branded Google Ads campaign supports this longer-term goal. If you’ve done a good job of building awareness and curiosity, running a branded campaign will help ensure you draw in those curious searchers when they finally decide to perform a web search for your name.
What’s more, those consumers already interested in learning what you’re about aren’t starting from Square 1. They’re lower down in the funnel, and thus far more likely to actually commit to a purchase. Be sure you’re in the optimal position to capture them at just the perfect moment.
5 Reasons You Should be Running Branded Google Ads: It’s Cheap
As we mentioned earlier, Google is interested in feeding web searchers the most relevant and useful results. That means that while running your own cannabis branded Google Ads campaign isn’t free, the company is incentivized to offer you a better deal in terms of bids on your brand name.
More to the point, consumers searching explicitly for your name have already demonstrated their interest in you. This means that you can expect a branded campaign to deliver relatively high conversions and lower cost per click (CPC) than a comparable standard keyword campaign. One study suggests that the average return on ad spend (ROAS) is twice as high for branded campaigns compared with non-branded ones.
Would an organic return of your name in a web search deliver the same results? Possibly. But as we laid out above, there are plenty of threats—such as competitors’ bids or a generic business name—to your brand name actually appearing first. We want you to be sure you’re doing everything you can to capture those clicks by putting your own brand name front and center.
Want to talk more about how a Google Ads campaign can help you gain visibility and get more customers? Contact us today.