10 reasons to buy your own business name in Adwords

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Radio Futura

This week, I’ve been playing with Google Adwords, and wondering about whether we (the company I work for) should pay for our own name in the PPC ads. “Why would we bother when we’re already top of the natural search results?” is the obvious answer, but there’s more to it than that.

eBay pays for its own name from Google, and there’s method in its madness.

eBay search results page

Here’s why I’ll be buying our name:

  1. It gets you more screen real estate – above the fold too. Assuming you own the top natural search result for your name, having a paid-for link above it ensures that anyone searching for you has to scroll a lot further to find someone who isn’t you. Getting your name to dominate like this should mean that you’re not just paying for clicks that would have been free; you’re actually increasing the number of clicks overall.
  2. It ensures your authority for your own name. You’ve paid for an ad: that makes you look like someone who’s taking this seriously, not just someone who’s managed to get one domain to index well.
  3. It strengthens your brand. Even if people don’t click your ad, they’ve still seen it. That strengthens their awareness of you and your message for next time.
  4. It’s cheap (and cheaper for you than your competitors). Unique brand names are normally not that expensive to purchase: I’ve just checked our company name and it’s going to be 4p a click. (This is a whole other post but) if you’ve picked really generic keywords to make up your business name (‘Beautiful Fashion Handbags’, ‘Loud House Music’), then you’re going to pay out a lot more: something to think about before you choose a trading name.

    You should get more clicks on your ad than your competitors would if they’d bought your name too – because the name and URL match. A better click through rate will get you a better quality score with Google, which will drive down the price you pay. Your competitors shouldn’t be so lucky.

  5. It gets you more control over your message. With natural search results, Google usually picks up your meta description or the first bit of text on your page – but not always. With paid-for ads, you get to craft a bit of copy specially designed to increase click-through rates.
  6. It gets you control over the landing page. Do you always want people to go to your homepage? Probably not. Paid-for ads mean you (not Google) decide where people get sent on your site. It also makes it easier to geotarget: if you want everyone in the UK sent to one landing page, and everyone else sent to a special “international” page, for example, you can do that.
  7. Better you have it than your competitor. Do you want your competitors left alone to buy your name as one of their keywords? Didn’t think so.
  8. You can buy misspellings. If your company name frequently gets misspelt, then you can ensure anyone typing the wrong version into Google is going to find you anyway by buying all the variant spellings of your name. (People who’ve used “jewellery/jewelry” or “accessories” in their names might pay special attention to this one!)
  9. It’s not just the search results. You can also own your name on Google’s “content network” – that is, other websites that feature Google ads. If someone’s mentioned you on their blog, you’ll have an ad on that page too.
  10. Why wouldn’t you? The particularly cool thing about Adwords is that if you tie it together with Google Analytics, you can tell exactly how many sales it’s driving. And if the return on investment isn’t there, you can turn it off. For what it’s worth, I expect you’ll be keeping it.

If you’re already buying your own name, how’s it working out for you? A bargain, or a waste of money? Let us know in the comments.

Creative Commons License photo credit: sergis blog

20 Responses

  1. It’s also just as worth while to buy your eBay ID name and (eBay shop name if it’s different) in eBay AdCommerce. Basically anywhere someone might be searching for your company you want to make sure that you’re found.

  2. A little bit OT, If I take out a UK trademark can I stop google letting other firms use our store names as headers on adwords?

  3. wrong wrong wrong..sorry..what you should be saying is if you are one man band (as most on here are or even a couple of employees) then this is burning money.. It might be only 4p but as anybody knows with a bit of experience is thoses pennies quickly add up – sure if you have a massive budget then maybe but certainly not your normal tamebay audience..quiet dangerous really.. you should be explaining the basics and not come out with this rubbish! Sorry but its a bit like the early days in seo buy inbound links. Sorry but this is dangerous to the beginners out there

  4. yes, you are correct but why spend money on position 0.1 – far better to spend money where you dont come up as number 1 – I mean speak to anybody that works in the real ecommerce industry (not ebay) that has a bit of knowledge in ecommerce and they would probably say there are 99 other things to spend your money before you bid on your own brand name – this is a good source for ebay news and other light ecommerce issues but seo / google wise there are much better sourches (some of them you will need to pay).

    Some seller have no idea thats why its dangerous to give such advice!
    If you want uptodate and real ecommmerce advise go to webmasterworld
    Dont get me wrong i love this blog but this advise is just wrong..it should come with a big health warning – if you dont know what you are doing do not try this at home!

  5. I work in a genuine ecommerce website, not on eBay and I definitely recommend bidding on your own name. It doesn’t cost much and the conversion is very high.

    I actually used to work at eBay UK (3 years) and I was there when they decided to stop bidding on their own brand as they felt that, with others not being allowed to bid on it, they wouldn’t lose out. That decision lasted about a week as they lost a lot of traffic through the decision. Now, where Google allows people to bid on your trademarked brand but not to use your trademarked terms in your ad copy, then it’s more imperative to have your own ad up there to grab the top spot.

    Obviously, one should monitor the spend etc etc but if someone is typing your name in, they are looking for you and, whilst it’s irritating that some feel they feel the need to click your PPC ad, it’s a necessary evil. This will be your highest converting PPC campaign and as such the ROI on the incremental sales and it’s bottom line contribution will vastly outweigh the lost sales and PPC pennies saved from not bidding.

    Also, you can get sitelinks in PPC for your own brand, which gives you even more inventory.

    As with everything, be careful and test etc. But, as starting point, I wholly agree with Sue and think this is a very good idea. We do it on all of our Arena websites (UK, FR, DE, NL, BEx2).

  6. One of our websites gets upto 50K unique visits a month, generating over 5 million hits…

    We do not currently use Adwords for a few reasons, cost being one but not the main one.

    If you have any plans to try and use adwords, my advice would be this:

    Do not just sign up, create an ad, pick a load of keywords related to your business and make it live, your budget will disapear in a flash.

    Buy a magazine called “.net”, it normally has a £30 Adwords voucher inside, this allows you to give it a go with no investment.

    I would also advise you visit this link:


    What this does is give you a list of keywords and the page on your site (landing page) it came from, number of times it has been searched for also the level of competition that words receives.

    You can then export these words/landing pages to an adwords campaign.

    Some tips though…Avoid words with high competition, they cost too much with little return.

    Google Adwords is not something you should or will be able to use well unless you research it fully. The returns are there but only if used correctly.


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