SEO Tip of the Day: PPC Ads, Paid Search Results and Conquesting Keywords

In addition to gathering as much online real estate in your brand’s name, another great way to enhance your search marketing campaign and dominate search involves bidding on your company name for PPC  or Pay-Per-Click campaigns for search engines.

PPC campaigns are the results you see in a light yellow-colored panel at the top of search results and in a narrow column along the right hand side of search results. Banner ads are also PPC campaigns. Organic results are centered in the page, just below the yellow panel, with a white-screen background.

Not sure what we’re talking about?

Google search a few automobile company names and you’ll likely find a local dealership has a paid search result in the top space. Some brands feel no need to use these ads. Nonetheless, it is a wise choice to bid on your company name for Google AdWords or other PPC campaigns to protect your brand name and keywords from being used by competition.

By bidding on your company name in PPC ads, you’ll pay less than your competitor – your URL and website matches the company name and Google will recognize that it’s yours. Webmasters are given very low bid rates on their own company’s name.

In the advertising world, when a brand aligns an advertisement for its products or services alongside to editorial content relating to the competitor or the competitors’ products and services, it is known as conquesting. This tactic relates to online advertising, when Brand A bids on and uses Brand B’s keywords for their own Pay Per Click campaign.

The “conquesting” keywords typically have the most expensive cost per conversion for a company, and the lowest conversion rates per click. It’s a decent means to gain brand familiarity. However, if your brand is conquesting PPC and your landing page lacks relevance, most search engines count against it. 

Converting conquest keywords is a difficult if not nearly impossible task. Search engine representitives remain zip-lipped on any tips on conquesting, as discussion on the practice is forbidden.

What does this mean for my brand?

If you don’t bid on your own brand’s company name in PPC campaigns, your local competitor may see that your brand is generating a lot of traffic on your keywords, start using your keywords, and then bid on your company name.  Then when a user searches for your company, your competitor will show up right alongside your organic results.

Ensure your brand with the top spot anytime your brand name is searched. Otherwise there’s a chance your competitor will come up in a paid number one spot on Google search results for YOUR brand name.   Embarrassing, but easy to prevent.