For brand management, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising in Google is no longer a consideration, it is a mandatory practice for two reasons:
- To capture high-converting search traffic looking specifically for your company’s products, services, locations, and coupons/promotions
- To stop branded searches from being redirected to the web assets of direct and indirect competitors
More Than One In Seven Branded Searches Gets Hijacked
If you are not aggressively advertising on your trademarks you need to re-evaluate your priorities. A few years ago Hitwise reported that one in seven branded searches gets hijacked by direct and indirect competitors.
Since then, the competition in Google search advertising has only increased and the creative has improved–often focusing on low-ball pricing or special offers specifically meant to siphon away branded search traffic.
The cost for a company to build a brand is a massive expense. Are you protecting your brand and policing your trademarks in the search engines? Think about it, if you are relying on your brand to drive business, why aren’t you aggressively protecting it in the search engines?
The Best Practice? Google Sitelink Extensions!
In the past we have protected the branded traffic of certain clients in Google search by violating Google’s PPC policy. You see, Google only allows an entity to have one AdWords account, thus, only allowing the entity to run one ad for any given search query. To circumvent Google’s power play we would create multiple unique AdWords accounts to effectively engage branded searches that have different search intent.
We would use multiple landing pages, each with a unique trademarked domain. For example, let’s say an individual submitted a Google search for “HP.” We know the majority of searchers are looking for “HP computers,” “HP printers,” “HP drivers,” or “HP notebooks.” As a result we would create multiple ads on multiple accounts with targeted content on landing pages like:
Six years later Google has finally figured out there is a better way to serve their most important clients and came up with Google Sitelink Extensions. From Google:
Ad Sitelinks allow you to extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to specific, relevant content deeper within your sitemap. Rather than sending all users to the same landing page, Ad Sitelinks will display up to four additional Destination URLs for users to choose from.
Ad Sitelinks are designed to appear when an ad provides the “best” result for a search query, and they are most likely to appear for searches for unique brand terms for top-ranked ads with higher quality scores.
Let’s look at two national carpet cleaning brands to understand the importance of protecting your branded search traffic. The first example, Stanley Steemer, is taking advantage of the Google Sitelinks Extensions product:
As you can see, the premium search space features the Stanley Steemer ad with Sitelink Extensions–four links to Stanley Steemer’s trademark services:
The next example features Sears Carpet Cleaning:
Conversely, Sears Carpet Cleaning is ceding premium search result space to direct competitors.
Kevin Lange of SMG Search gets it in his iMedia article last year when he stated the following:
“Controlling the prime real-estate in the center of the search results page may be the single most effective tool in the brand marketers’ arsenal. Google’s algorithm currently favors official brand sites for the No. 1 position on branded keywords in both paid and natural search, so why not take advantage of it?
One of our clients saw a 35 percent lift in brand search click volume in a highly competitive market by bidding to the No. 1 position in paid search while already ranking first in natural search.
Nearly 80 percent of these paid search clicks were incremental to what natural search drove alone. These clicks would otherwise have been lost to one of the many third parties, or to competitors also bidding on our client’s brand keywords.”
Jackson Hewitt yields premium search space to direct competitor Liberty Tax by not protecting branded search traffic with Google Sitelink Extensions.
The screenshot below displays H&R Block going a step further with their Google ad by adding Location Ad Extensions to their Sitelink Extensions:
When you click on the Location Ad Extension link, a map pops up with the address and phone number of the closest H&R Block location:
The benefits of this winning strategy? Higher conversions and Google does not charge you for Location Ad Extension link click-throughs!
Download our white paper: Geotargeting: Local Seach Best Practices For Brands
Our consulting and agency services are designed for global, national, and regional brands:
Accounting & Consulting
Earnst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grant Thornton LLP, Accenture
AAA, Just Brakes, Midas, Meineke, Big O Tires, Discount Tire, Sears Auto Center, Monro, Brakes Plus, CarX, Jiffy Lube, Aamco, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tuffy, Brake Masters, Advanced Auto Parts, Tires Plus, Auto Zone, Pep Boys, Carquest, Napa Auto Parts, Checker Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Kragen Auto Parts, Batteries Plus, National Tire & Battery, Precision Tune, Maaco, Goodyear Auto Service Center, Glass Doctor, Tint World, Safelite, Speedy Glass, Harmon AutoGlass, NOVUS Auto Glass Repair & Replacement
Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, Wachovia, US Bank, Union Bank, BBVA Compass, TCF, Citibank
Car& Truck Rental
U-Haul, Budget Car Rental, Budget Truck Rental, National, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty, Alamo, Payless, Discount, Fox, Ryder Truck Rental, Penske Truck Rental
Chevy dealers, Chrysler dealers, Ford dealers, GM dealers, Dodge dealers, Jeep dealers, Lincoln dealers, Mercury dealers, Cadillac dealers, Mercedes-Benz dealers, Kia dealers, BMW dealers, Audi dealers, Volvo dealers, Volkswagon dealers, Porsche dealers, Jaguar dealers, Toyota dealers, Nissan dealers, Hyundai dealers, Honda dealers
Stanley Steemer, Chem-Dry, Sears Carpet Cleaning, Coit, ServiceMaster Clean, Rug Doctor, Heaven’s Best, Steamatic
DHL, UPS, USPS, Fedex
One Hour Martinizing, Pilgrim Dry Cleaners, Clean’n’Press, Comet Cleaners
Apple One, Kelly Services, Adecco, Manpower, Spherion, Labor Ready, OfficeTeam, Aerotek, Accountemps, Snelling, Staffmark, Volt, Westaff, Randstad, Labor Finders, Kforce, Olsten, Prostaff, Manpower, Express Pros, SOS Staffing Services, Corestaff, Robert Half International, Select Staffing
Eye Care Centers
Pearle Vision, For Eyes Optical, LensCrafters, EyeMasters, Sears Optical, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, JCPenney Optical, Visionworks, Walmart Vision Center, Cohen’s Fashion Optical, United Optical
Fast Food & Beverage
A&W Restaurants, Arby’s, Au Bon Pain, Blimpie, Boston, Market, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Checkers, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Church’s Chicken, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Dixy Chicken, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hardee’s, Hesburger, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Jack in the Box, Jamba Juice, Jimmy Johns, Jollibee, KUT, Krispy Kreme, Krystal, Long John Silver’s, Lotteria, Marco’s Pizza, Maui Tacos, McDonald’s, Mighty Taco, Mister Donut, Moe’s Southwest, Grill, Mr. Hero, Nando’s, New York Fries, Noble Roman’s, Pal’s, Panda Express, Panera bread, Pizza Hut, Pollo Tropical, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Quiznos, Rally’s, Red Rooster, Shakey’s Pizza, Starbucks, Steak n Shake, Sonic Drive-In, Subway, Taco Bell, Taco Bueno, Taco Cabana, Taco del Mar, Taco Tico, Taco Time, TCBY, The Pizza Company, Tim Hortons, White Castle, Wendy’s, Whataburger, Wimpy
LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, YMCA, Life Time Fitness, Curves, Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, World Gym, Pure Fitness Clubs, Snap Fitness 24/7, XSport Fitness, Crunch, Gold’s Gym, Powerhouse Gym
Great Clips, Supercuts, Fantastic Sams, Sport Clips, Hair Cuttery, Cost Cutters, Regis Salons, SmartStyle, Pro-Cuts, MasterCuts, Snip-its, Floyd’s 99 Barbershop
Home Mortgage Companies
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, GMAC Mortgage, Wachovia Home Mortgage, Chase Home Mortgage, CitiMortgage, US Bank Home Mortgage, Bank of America Home Mortgage, SunTrust Mortgage
Protection One, ADT, Brinks Home Security, Broadview Security
House Cleaning Service
Molly Maid, Maid Brigade, Merry Maids, Maid Pro, The Maids
AIG, Allstate, American Automobile Association, American Family Insurance, American Income Life, American National Insurance Company, Amica, Aon Corporation, Assurant Employee Benefits, Auto-Owners Insurance, AXA, Equitable Life Insurance Company, AXIS Capital, CapitalOne, CNA Financial, Colonial Life, Conseco, Country Financial, Chubb Corporation, Encompass, Erie Insurance Group, GEICO, General Re, Genworth, GMAC Insurance, Hanover Insurance, The Hartford, Infinity Auto Insurance Company, Jackson National Life, John Hancock Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Merchants Insurance Group, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha, Nationwide Insurance, New York Life Insurance, Pemco, Penn Mutual Life, Principal Financial Group, Progressive, Protective Life Insurance, Prudential Financial, Reliance Insurance Company, Safe Auto Insurance Company, Safeco, Standard Insurance Company, State Farm, Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, The Travelers Companies, Inc., TIAA-CREF, Unitrin Direct Auto Insurance, USAA, Wells Fargo, Westfield Insurance, West Coast Life Insurance
Schwab, Prudential Securities
Massage Heights, Massage Envy, Hand & Stone Massage, Red Door Spas
Allied Van Lines, Mayflower, United
ACE Cash Express, Advance America, Check `n Go Payday Loan, Money Mart & Loan Mart, Cash America, Allied Cash Advance, Speedy Cash
Terminix, Orkin, Truly Nolen Pest Control, Western Extermintor Company, Clark Pest Control, Cook’s Pest Control
Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, Walgreens Digital Photo Printing, CVS Pharmacy Photo & Pictures, WalMart Photo Center, Costco Photo Center
Novacare, Select Physical Therapy, Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, OccuSport Physical Therapy, Athletico Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy Associates
JCPenney Portrait Studios, Picture People, Target Portrait Studio, Olan Mills Portrait Studio
Kindercare, TutorTime, Childtime Learning Centers, Goddard Schools, Kiddie Academy International
Sir Speedy, Alphagraphics, Fedex Office, Mail Boxes Etc., Staples, The UPS Store, Office Depot, Kwik Kopy Printing Centers, OfficeMax
CENTURY 21, Long & Foster Realtors, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, Keller Williams Realty, Weichert, Zip Realty, Realty Executives International, Prudential Real Estate Professionals
Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants, Olive Garden, Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Papa Kohn’s, Little Caesars, Outback Steakhouse, Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Red Robin® Gourmet Burgers, Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Buca di Beppo, Smokey Bones, Famous Dave’s BBQ, T.G.I. Friday’s, Panera Bread, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Texas Roadhouse, IHOP, Denny’s, Perkins, Cracker Barrel, O’Charley’s, LongHorn Steakhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse, Lone Star Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Hooters, Joe’s Crab Shack, Golden Corral, Mimis Cafe, Buffalo Wild Wings, The Melting Pot, Uno Chicago Grill, Fazoli’s, Marie Callender’s, Bahama Breeze, BJ’s Restaurants, Old Chicago, Rock Bottom Restaurants, Fuddruckers
Public Storage, U-Haul Storage, U-Store-It, Extra Space Storage, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, A-American Self Storage
Home Instead Senior Care, Visiting Angels Senior Home Care, Interim Healthcare, Senior Helpers, Comfort Keepers, Right At Home
Planet Beach, Image Sun, The Tan Company
H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax Service
Regus, HQ, Alliance Business Centers, Premier Business Centers
Weight Loss Centers
L. A. Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, Physicians Weight Loss Centers
Culligan, Kinetico, Rainsoft, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Whole Foods Market, Pop-A-Lock, It’s Just Lunch, American Express Travel Offices, AAA Travel Office