How much to spend on brand name keywords

In this article, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of bidding on your brand name keywords!

I’ll cover exactly what a brand name keyword is, how to use them in your PPC Ads, and what proportion of your business’s ad budget makes sense to spend on these branded terms.

Branded keywords are almost always a necessary part of a robust PPC campaign, but far too often we see brands overspending on this part of their paid search strategy!

What is a brand name keyword?

So, what do we mean when we talk about bidding on your brand name? 

Simply put, it is paying to have your ad show up in the search engine when someone types out and searches exactly your brand/company name.

It means using your brand name as a keyword in your Google PPC campaign.

For example for us, our agency’s name is Snowball Creations. So we would literally set “Snowball Creations” as a brand keyword in our campaign. Then you will show up on the results page for anyone searching that term.

Why should you bid on brand keywords?

Why should you bid on brand keywords? Will it work for your company? What are the costs?

So why should you bother adding branded terms to your keywords?

Well the main benefit behind putting some of your ad spend, is that it protects your brand from a competitor taking your revenue!

If you don’t, they will bid on you and these days, an average of 49% of clicks go to paid ads so you’re losing a huge chunk of business to your competition.

It also allows you to present your brand in the perfect way with total control over the advert.

A quick Google search of your company name is a quick way to check if other brands are bidding for your brand name.

The pros of using branded keywords

  • You protect your brand authority and awareness and protect against your competition stealing loyal customers.

  • They are cheaper than non branded keywords in Google ads!

  • They are quick and easy to set up (It’s normally one or two keywords at most)

  • You can typically achieve a really high-quality score on your brand campaigns because Google is going to deem your ad as most relevant because your company name is going to be all over your landing pages, in the website URL, and in your ad copy.

  • It’s an easy win to add to your revenue from customers who have already heard of you but might not have been to your website before or might not know all the products you sell.

  • You can also use brand keywords as negative keywords in your other ad groups to make sure you’re only getting new customers who haven’t heard of you before.

The con of using brand keywords

While it’s important, it usually won’t give many new customers that weren’t already yet looking.

Are branded keywords expensive?

Using branded terms in your online advertising - What are the costs?

No. Brand keywords are usually one of the cheaper kinds of keywords you can bid on with a low cost per click!

Thanks to the super high-quality scores that come with brand name keywords, you should be able to bid a very low amount in order to rank for it. Your website and ad copy will naturally be full of your brand name, so it won’t take much investment for Google to recognise that and put you at the top of the search page.

What is a brand campaign?

This is where you build a single campaign purely for branded keywords.

This is usually how we recommend organising it within your ad account, as it helps to isolate all brand searches into one place so you can bid more efficiently and also so that you don’t taint the data of other campaigns.

In fact, in other non branded keyword campaigns, we typically recommend setting your brand name as a negative keyword so that you are clearly separating your new customers from those that already know your name. It makes the data cleaner.

See a full video on how to setup a brand campaign from our founder here:

How much of my ad spend should go to branded keywords?

How much money should you spend on a brand keyword?

Considering how cheap bidding on branded terms should be for most companies, the percentage of your spending should reflect that.

The volume of people searching your brand name will also be limited, so your ad budget will be too.

Generally speaking, from our experience running Google ads for 100s of companies, you should only be spending 5-10% of your ad budget on a brand keyword campaign.

There are exceptions to this rule, which I will cover below.

When trying to figure out your advertising budget and what you should be spending on channels like Google, watch a video on the topic here.

Are you spending too much on your brand keywords?

If you don’t separate your campaigns out by non-branded and brand, and use bidding strategies like maximising clicks etc. then you can often end up spending far too much.

In reality, despite all the benefits of using a branded keyword listed above, it should still only be a fraction of your overall spending. Because, if you’ve set up your ads correctly, it is only going to be a fraction of your landing page traffic coming from branded terms.

5-10% of your digital ad spend is a good amount to aim for if you’re overspending.

Exceptions to the rule

What are the exceptions to the rule when it comes to using branded terms in your digital advertising?

First of all, if you’re a brand new company or a young startup, the likelihood is that very few people will be searching for your company name, and so there is no search volume to bid on anyway.

You could ultimately still set it up if you are worried about your customers going to your competitors instead. You can just set it up with a tiny budget per day and risk nothing if it’s done correctly.

Another exception to this is if your brand name is also the name of your product or service offering. For example, a company called “French Tutors” that offers french tutoring services will have a much harder time ranking for their brand name because there will be a significant overlap between people searching for your brand specifically, and potential new business looking for that service.

In this situation, you may want to spend more money than 5-10% of your budget on branded keywords, because they will have much higher search volume and some will be genuine new revenue opportunities.


In conclusion, if you’re running PPC ads on a search engine like Google to get people to your landing pages, then branded keywords are definitely worth doing! They have a low cost per click and very few if any negatives. We always set them up for our Google ads clients.

But, you want to make sure they are set up correctly and structured in the right way within your ads.

But the important thing to know is that it usually won’t be new people discovering your brand or products, but actually, people who already know your name just searching for you at that moment. So the impact of brand keywords is limited.

Get to know all of the different kinds of campaigns available with Google far better here.

I hope you found this article useful!

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