3 Types of Keywords to Bid on in Google Ads

By Raka October 13, 2023

At Raka, we work with lots of small-to-midsize businesses who are looking to get a leg up on their competitors but aren’t certain where to start. It’s one of the most common questions that we’re asked by clients who are interested in search marketing and digital advertising.

Success in search advertising may not come easily, but you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to make it either. Our most successful Google Ads campaigns have all started with clients following these three sets of keywords to bid on in Google Ads.

  • Bidding on their brand
  • Bidding on their competitors’ brands
  • Placing bids on their products or services

Here’s a bit about why each of these strategies (and the tactics behind them) are valuable.

Branded search

Believe it or not, some clients are resistant to bidding on their own brand names. The logic is obvious: If their brand already comes up first in organic searches on a regular basis, why bother spending more money to earn another top placement? The reality is different. Most Google searches now return four text ads before the first organic listing, which means that on most screens, even the first organic position may not be viewable on page load.

Branded terms are inexpensive to bid on. A branded text ad click is 69% less expensive than a non-branded Google Ads click, and is 52% less expensive than a non-branded text ad click. And users searching for your brand name are typically lower in the conversion funnel, meaning that their costs to acquire are also significantly lower. In fact, they can be 89% lower than non-branded text ad conversions and 93% lower than non-branded Google Ads conversions.

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Competitor search

This approach is another tried-and-true method, one that helps convert users away from potential competitors and towards our clients’ brands. The logic here, too, is tough to argue.

If a user is looking for one of your competitors, chances are they’re interested in the product or service that your company provides. If your selling points or prices are better, why wouldn’t they want to work with you instead? Even higher funnel users who are just looking for information may be drawn to your brand if you make that information more accessible.

These clicks aren’t necessarily cheap. Competitor clicks cost 49% more than all text ad clicks, and 210% more than non-competitor ad clicks, however conversions on these terms are much more reasonable. It costs 15% less to convert a competitive click than a standard text ad click, and 16% less to convert a competitive click than a noncompetitive Google Ads click.

Services/Products search

If you’re an online retailer, you’re probably focusing your product search on Product Listing ads, managed through a joint combination of Google Merchant Center and the Google Ads platform. But it’s worth creating landing pages for and bidding on your product names, too, especially those that are integral to your brand’s success.

To be clear, your products have attributes (100% recycled material, 90-day guarantee) and your services have features (24/7 customer support, same-day delivery), but we’re not talking about those in this case.

These types of searches are never going to drive the most efficient clicks, as they’re 54% more expensive than the average account click. They also won’t be as efficient for sales and leads, as they are over 100% more expensive than the average conversion. They’re still relevant because they represent one of the few full-funnel digital marketing tactics. They can introduce new users to your brand, drive users who are on the fence down the funnel, and convert those who are ready to do so.

In summary

There are lots of approaches to search advertising that can drive success for your brand. But starting with these three pillars can go a long way to not only ensuring the success of your account, but also to making it easier to scale the account up as you begin to see your business grow as a result of your digital advertising.

Have questions about how to turn these keyword buckets in Google Ads into a full-scale marketing strategy, or what you should budget for digital advertising? Contact Raka today and we’ll be happy to walk you through our digital advertising recommendations for your brand.

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