How to Test the Value of Brand Keywords in Adwords

A recent study by Bing analysed click results for Retail and Travel brands comparing those brands that bid on brand keywords and those that do not. The study found that there is a 31% increase in clicks when bidding on brand keywords. Furthermore, without having a brand ads competitor ads receive 34% of clicks.


However, for some companies bidding on brand keywords may not be an efficient or effective use of their budget, so how can they test if bidding on brand keywords is right for them? At Net Media Planet (NMP), we have developed a process to help determine the true value of bidding on brand keywords. This simple process can be done by any advertiser, and can ultimately help them to be more profitable.

The Process:

The first step in testing the value of brand keywords is to create a new campaign in AdWords that bids on exact match brand keywords. The campaign will alternate between running and pausing the keywords every other day. For instance, Monday keywords will be enabled, Tuesday they will be paused, Wednesday enabled, and so on for around four weeks to get an accurate analysis from the data. Alternating day’s removes possible skews in the data caused by day of the week or time of the month trends.

There are two ways to manage the pausing of the campaign: manually or automated. Manually takes a significant amount of effort compared with automated processes, and there is a higher room for error especially on weekends if the campaign is no being monitored. We highly recommend automating the process in either AdWords or DoubleClick, depending on where the campaign is managed.

To set up campaign automation in AdWords select the exact match brand keywords and click on the “Automate” drop down then select “Pause keywords when…” Under Frequency choose “One time” the date and the time a seen below:

Pausing Campaign Keywords in Adwords

Similarly to reactivate/enable the keywords go to “Automate” dropdown and select “enable keywords when…” and select the next day, as seen below:

Enable Paused Keywords in Adwords Automatically

These automation rules will need to be created for each day of the month, so repeat this process until the entire month is automated.


In order to track results, the website will need an analytics platform such as Google Analytics which allows ecommerce tracking specifically the revenue performance of organic and paid search channels.

For instructions on how to implement Ecommerce Tracking visit Google Analytics Support Page.

Determining value:

In order to determine the true value of brand keywords, you will need to look at the combined organic revenue and paid search revenue for each day of the campaign.

1. Each day add together the organic and paid revenue values.

Date Brand Term Bidding? Organic Revenue PPC Revenue Total
1/7/15 Yes £45 £100 £145
2/7/15 No £40 £80 £120
3/7/15 Yes £70 £110 £180
4/7/15 No £50 £95 £145

2. Then at the end of the campaign add together all the results for days where brand keywords were enabled and days when the campaign was paused.

Brand Term Bidding? Organic Revenue PPC Revenue Total
Yes £115 £210 £325
No £90 £175 £265

3. Quite quickly you will be able to determine the effectiveness of the campaign, but remember to subtract the cost of ad spend for the days you were running the campaign. That way you can determine if the extra cost was worth the increase in performance.

Brand Term Bidding? Organic Revenue PPC Revenue Ad Spend Cost Total
Yes £115 £210 £20 £305
No £90 £175 £10 £255

This process can also be used to evaluate website sessions if it is an important KPI metric for the campaign. Instead of looking at paid and organic revenue you will add paid and organic sessions together. This may be relevant for businesses that do not have an ecommerce platform on their website.

Who Should Always be Bidding on Brand:

For brands who sell their products through resellers, this can increase competition on brand keywords. We recommend always bidding on brand keywords in this circumstance to decrease the amount of lost business. As mentioned earlier in this article competitor ads will accrue 34% of clicks if you are not bidding on brand keywords.

In some situations it can be incredibly difficult to match the budgets of some of the bigger resellers. If this is the case using RSLA’s will allow advertisers to use their budget more effectively by only bidding on consumers who have shown an interest in their products.


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