Should you run Google Ads targeting your own brand name?

Marketing / 11.06.21
James Hobden

Google Ads are an effective way to leapfrog your competition in Google search results.

The adverts are designed to stand out from other listings and, when managed correctly, can be a very profitable way to increase your search visibility.

Google Ads are generally used to target search terms relating to your products and services. In the example above, this advert appears when people search for “conservatories” in the target locations.

As an advertiser, you’re charged whenever someone clicks through to your website (the amount varies according to competitor activity/relevance/value of goods being sold).

Reasons to target people searching for you by name

When people type your brand or company name into Google, the chances are you’ll appear at the top of the “organic” search results, by which we mean the non-adverts.

For example, if you search for “tomango”, our website is the first listing which appears:

So, why would you also pay to run Google Ads for these searches?

You can mitigate competitor tactics

If your competitors choose too, they can choose to run Google Ads for their business when someone types in your brand name.

Let’s take Interflora as an example.

This is a brand name which has become synonymous with the service they provide. If someone searches for “Interflora” you can be pretty confident they want to send some flowers…and maybe they just searched for Interflora because it’s the only flower-sending-company they know, or because it’s quicker than typing “flowers to be delivered”.

These are the Google search results:

Interflora have chosen NOT to show one of their adverts when someone searches for their own brand name. So, when someone searches for “Interflora”, the first thing they see is an advert for competitor Fleur De Luxe.

Another example is Dyno-Rod. In this case, Coastal Drains and Kent Drainage are advertising their services when the user has searched for “Dyno-Rod”. But so are Dyno-Rod themselves:

Because Google will usually favour the brand name being searched for (relevance applies in Ads like it does in organic), it’s difficult for competitors to outrank the brand without paying a lot more for each click. And even when competitors rank beneath Dyno-Rod, they will probably still have to pay a premium for the privilege of appearing in search results for someone else’s brand.

One thing to note: If you’re thinking about advertising when someone searches for one of your competitor’s brand name, your advert cannot mention the name of the competitor. So, in the case of Coastal Drains, their advert cannot say “Looking for Dyno-Rod? Try us instead” or “We’re cheaper than Dyno-Rod”.

It’s cheap

Compared to competitors running Google Ads for your brand name, it’s actually relatively cheap for you to do the same.

Where your competitor might pay a pound or two per click, you would only pay pennies.

It’s also probable that your advert will appear above any competitor ads targeting your brand name (as shown by the Dyno-Rod example above).

You can improve conversion

With Google Ads, you have more control over what appears in the advert, compared to an organic listing. And you can include more information.

Let’s look again at this Google Ad we run for our client Window Wise:

You can see it contains an expanded description, our client’s address and phone number, and links to other products which we’ve specified,.

Now let’s look at their organic search listing:

While we still have some control over what appears, it’s not to the same level as with an advert. Also, the breadth of information isn’t the same – for example there’s no phone number or address.

You can guarantee top listing

In some very competitive markets, or where your brand is an acronym or commonly used word, even searching for your own brand or company name doesn’t guarantee that’ll you’ll appear at the top of the organic search results.

For example, we searched for “EMC”, hoping to find local Vauxhall dealer EMC:

Because their company name is an acronym, there are many other search results for the same three letters. The car dealership was nowhere to be seen.

A low cost Google Ad when people search for “EMC” in their catchment area would guarantee them top spot and prevent them missing out on potential customers doing searches like this.

In summary

Running Google Ads for your own brand or company name could be a low cost way of achieving greater visibility in search results. Particularly if your competitors are advertising when people search for your brand, or if you’re not appearing at the top of organic search results for some reason.

However, it isn’t right for everyone. Even though it’s cheap to do, those pennies can add up. And, if the campaign isn’t being well managed, it can easily run away from you and cost a lot for very little return.

Discover how Google Ads could benefit your business

We’re experienced Google Ads managers, running campaigns for organisations in a wide range of industries. We help businesses approach Google Ads in the right way, for the right reasons, and squeeze as much benefit and return on investment from them as possible.

If you’d like our help in managing an existing Google Ads campaign or setting up a new one, please get in touch.