Should Lodging Companies Create Ads for Their Brand Names?

This is a good question. Many people think it is a waste of money to bid on your brand name, because your website will most likely appear at the top of any organic search results. Many people argue that advertising for your brand name cannibalizes these organic results.

The truth is, when done correctly, it is a good idea to bid on your brand name and it will not cannibalize your organic results. Instead, research shows that it supports your brand presence instead. Think of it as buying a little insurance to better entice people to click through to your website.

When you think particularly in terms of any lodging companies, whether it’s a hotel, or vacation rental manager with many properties spread throughout a geographical area, it’s even more crucial to bid on your brand name. Google serves results automatically based on the location of the person who is searching. That’s why you get local pizza restaurants when you search for pizza. This local search feature of Google does not work at all when someone is searching for their vacation. The companies that appear highest in any vacation information search are the websites that already get the most traffic. Don’t let Airbnb, VRBO, or any hotel website show up when people are searching for your brand name. Show your brand name paid ad, and also optimize your website to show up in free, organic search results.

It is important to remember that the main objective for any advertising is to get more traffic. Given this goal, here are the top reasons why you should bid on your brand related terms:

1) It’s Cheap
The cost-per-click (CPC) for an average brand term is generally a few cents. This cheaper cost is a result of your high Quality Score and often unique brand names. Google calculates Quality Score by looking at keywords, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Brand related terms by their very nature have a high click-through rate. They also should have a relevant ad and positive landing page experience for the end user.

2) It Wards Off Your Competitors
You might not bid on your competitor’s brand name, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bid on yours. They might, for example, bid on related key words that can be associated with your brand term. Through these generic searches, you risk that one of your competitors or non-competitors might be indirectly advertising on your brand.

National brands commonly have very large advertising budgets and they won’t think twice about bidding on a small brand that doesn’t have the money to compete. By bidding on your own brand, you at least make their bids slightly higher and your higher Quality Score should still outrank them.

3) It Builds Trust
It looks good to the search user when you have a paid ad next to your organic listing, because you can fill out the entire page when someone searches. The more real estate on the page you own, the more likely the user will click through to your website. It’s like being able to buy the entire page of the phone book for a few cents.
It’s still true that many search users instinctively click on the top results. By using paid ads for your brand name, you can ensure that you have top placement for your brand.
Also, don’t forget many people are searching on the small screens of their mobile phones. As more people search on mobile devices, top page placement becomes even more crucial.

4) It Allows You to Control the Message
Paid ads allow you better control of your message than organic search results. You can control the title and description, emphasize specials or call outs, add phone numbers, seasonal messaging, reviews, and office location extensions.

5) It Has a Positive Effect on Your Overall AdWords AccountGoogle-AdWords-Logo

Advertising on brand related keywords will most likely have a positive effect on the rest of your account, because the Quality Score for these terms is typically high. So, in theory, when you launch new keywords they should have a higher Quality Score, which results in lower costs for your keywords.

What is Quality Score? It’s how closely your ad appears to match the content of your webpage. The reason you want a high Quality Score is because the higher the Quality Score, the less you pay for every click. Nice!

Advertising your brand name can pay off, but you still need to be smart about it. Use all the features and tools that AdWords offers, including geo-targeting, negative keywords, extensions, etc., to make sure you are reaching the appropriate targeted audience.

Finally, be sure to keep brand related terms in their own campaign and pay attention to the results in analytics along the way. Do some A/B testing to see if it makes a difference in your organic traffic and/or overall revenue generation. By doing these things, and bidding on your brand name, you should be ripe for a good brand campaign with high ROI and strong reinforcement for your brand’s overall presence.