A branded search campaign is a campaign wherein you bid on brand name keywords. If your company is named “XYZ Cat Toys” then you would bid on “XYZ Cat Toys” keywords.

Many times the push back on branded campaigns is that the brand name may be showing up quite high in the organics and so the client figures, why bother paying for something I am getting for free? This is especially hard to argue against if we are talking about a particularly well known brand that already dominates all available SERP space…except it doesn’t quite if they are not investing in a branded PPC campaign.

By appearing in both organic and paid listings, you become the prominent player in your space. This is the only way you can guarantee yourself that first spot. If someone searches for “XYZ Cat Toys” and an “ABC Cat Toys” PPC ad appears at the top of the page – there’s a very good chance the searcher will click on that ad first…and they may like what they see better than they ever liked what they saw on your website! Customer lost? Possible.

Another reason is that branded ads are good for raising your account’s overall CTR level. I’ve seen branded PPC ads generate 50-100% CTR. This brings up the CTR level of the entire account which contributes to both ad rank and quality score and helps lower click costs.

If a competitor is bidding on your branded terms the best way to fight back is to replacement them by buying your own branded terms. Because this is your brand after all your bids should be much lower and your quality scores much higher. I’ve seen at least one situation where a competitor was obviously bidding on a client’s brand name and despite the fact that the competitor dominated the rest of the SERP – the competitor had top of page. A branded campaign put an end to that domination straight off.

And what if for whatever reason your organics pretty much suck? Maybe your brand has been around for a while but your website is new. Maybe your website has been penalized for whatever reason and kicked down the organics ladder. The fastest way to get your brand and your message in front of searchers while waiting for your SEO efforts to take hold is to bid on your brand name.

These are just a few of the many good reasons clients should run branded campaigns.