As an SEO and digital advertising agency, we hear this question a lot: Are branded keywords worth the investment? Our answer in brief: yes. While it’s true that organic keywords pick up the majority of branded traffic (about 60 percent), adding branded keywords adds an incremental traffic increase of up to 30 percent. Sure it takes an extra investment, but it’s well worth it, and here are five reasons we think so.

Your Competitors Are Bidding on Your Keywords

This is sort of a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Bidding on a competitor’s keywords is a great way to reroute some of their valuable traffic to your site, but the reverse is true as well. Also, bidding on your own branded keywords will drive up the cost for your competitors, so it’s really a win-win.

Branded Keywords Convert

When people search your branded keywords, you can send them directly to a tailored landing page for the product or service you’d most like them to purchase. Making it easy for users to find and buy your stuff is a simple way to boost your conversion rate.

The Traffic is Highly Relevant

When people use branded keywords (such as the name of your company) in their search, it’s more than likely they know what they’re looking for: you. That is good news. But if they search for you and your competitor pops up because your competitor has outbid you on your branded keywords? Not such good news.

The Traffic is Cost Effective

Since there aren’t other companies with your name, by definition there’s less competition for your branded keywords. When competitors aren’t bidding on your keywords, the traffic usually costs less than $1. But this changes when your competitors start bidding on your branded keywords. When someone else bids on your keywords, the company with the highest ad rank (bid + quality score) wins. So keep your quality score high, and your bid won’t have to break the bank.

You Have Control Over Your Messaging

When users search organically, the most relevant pages will be at the top of the page. So it’s possible that other articles mentioning your company could rank above your company’s page, which is not necessarily a good thing. But if users are searching your branded keywords and your ad is clicked, they’ll see the page you want them to see. You can also add site link extensions to help them land exactly where they want to be on your site. Again, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for makes it easier for them to convert.

Branded keywords are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get relevant and valuable traffic to your site. We think we’ll see a lot more brands using them in the future, so bid now, and maybe even bid on some of your competitors’ keywords while you’re at it!

Brandon Holm