Date posted

17 Jun 2024

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Volume or value? Navigating brand bidding strategies

Targeting brand terms has been a staple, yet controversial, topic and strategy since since the emergence of PPC. In Google Ads, there are several ways to achieve this:

  • Target impression share – This bidding models tells Google to optimise and trigger your ads to achieve a percentage (out of 100) of the impression share of certain keywords. This is a good strategy to prevent competitors from bidding on your brand terms and to ensure your brand shows up when someone searches.
  • Smart bidding – These models focus on objectives such as lead generation or sales. They’re ideal if you’re primarily interested in users who are ready to take action, rather than those just researching or logging in.
  • Manual bidding – This option gives you granular control over your bids, allowing you to set your maximum Cost Per Click and utilise bid adjustments based on audiences, devices and other factors.

The benefits of bidding on brand

Bidding on your brand terms can provide several key benefits for your overall strategy, including protection, high-quality traffic, and cost-effectiveness:

  • Brand protection and messaging – If you don’t bid on your own brand terms, competitors will. This could put high quality traffic and your sales at risk by displaying irrelevant or misleading messaging.
  • High-quality traffic – Users actively searching for your brand are often more likely to convert. This translates to higher click-through rates and conversion rates compared to non-brand traffic.
  • Cost and presence- Traditionally, brand keywords have a lower cost per click compared to non-brand keywords. This makes targeting more cost effective and boosts your overall search efforts by improving presence in the market for both SEO and paid search.

Volume or value?

If you’ve made a decision to target brand terms, the main area to keep in mind is what percentage of potential users you want to target.

  • Volume-based strategy – If your primary goal is maximum brand visibility, regardless of purchase intent and efficiency, you can use Target Impression Share or max out bids on cost per click based models. 
  • Intent-based strategy – If you’re aiming to reach users with the highest likelihood of converting, allowing either competitors or SEO to capture those with lower intent, you can use target Cost Per Acquisition or target Return on Ad Spend based models.

Ultimately, targeting brand keywords can be a very powerful tool in your PPC arsenal. Choosing between a volume or intent-based strategy should be the first question to clarify when discussing PPC plans to ensure your paid search is best contributing to your overall business goals.