Why the SEM Debate…Just Do It!

Just do ItI recently read an article by Brad Miller on Search Engine Watch, Branded vs. Non-Branded SEM, and it made me wonder, “Why are we still debating this topic?” I’ve concluded that if a brand is cocky enough to leave their brand exposed, it’s their loss. As for my Clients and me, we are more than happy to pick up the cheap and easy conversions. Miller’s article took care to not alienate Advertisers who refuse to take the plunge, by giving the rationale that marketing dollars can drive the decision, but I disagree.

So let’s once again discuss the pros and cons of bidding on brand terms:


  • Message Control
  • Protection of Brand
  • It’s cheaper and more profitable (low CPC, high ROI)
  • Own the conversation (space)


  • Cost (free is cheaper)

Debunking an Assumption

Let’s just discuss the cons or should I say the “con” for not bidding on brand terms. We will first debunk the assumption that just because I searched your brand name, I am 100% going to click on your organic listing. Not true!  According to a July 2011 study by Google, 89% of paid traffic to an advertiser’s site can be lost and not recovered by organic clicks.

Maximize Your Mix

Are Advertisers better off maximizing their marketing mix by allocating the little budget required to spend on brand terms, which has proven to be one of the lowest cost vehicles and highest ROI? Or, are they better off allocating those same dollars to another less efficient vehicle?  Should we even consider cost a legitimate factor in this instance?  Think about it, I have a marketing budget and my goal is to achieve as much as possible within that budget.

Why are we debating the merits of bidding on brand terms, when time and time again we present data to show the obvious value?  Just do it…bidding on your brand terms is guaranteed to bring you the highest ROI in comparison to all other marketing vehicles hands down.


Image courtesy of HappyHourJapan

Connie Ross – has written 2 posts on this site.
Connie Ross, Associate Director - Search, has nearly 10 years of Search Marketing experience. Before coming to Empower, Connie has managed paid search campaigns for Luxottica Retail, F+W Media and Roto-Rooter. She currently works with Automotive, CPG and eCommerce clients helping them to develop SEM strategies and campaigns that deliver results. She’s holds an MBA from Xavier University and an undergrad degree in Education from Bowling Green State University.

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