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Franchises: Don't Forget About Branded Search Terms


If your franchise is doing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you may be bidding on keywords that are related to your specific service areas, such as “Tampa carpet installation” or “Dallas drain cleaning.” But what about your branded search terms? These are terms that incorporate some or all of your brand or company name. For example, a power washing franchise called “Power Up” might use branded search terms such as “Power Up,” “Power Up power washing,” or “Power Up power washer.”

Many believe that branded search terms are a waste of money and time, especially because most businesses will already rank in organic search results (the free results) for their own brands and company names. However, when used correctly, branded terms can be used to give your franchise’s online visibility that extra boost it needs. These terms can also be used to leverage popular terms (that are relevant to your franchise) to capture more traffic from potential customers. To give an example, a franchise may want to incorporate terms related to another well-known service brand, such as a plumbing franchise incorporating the term “rooter.”

There are numerous benefits to using branded search terms, including the fact that they…

Build Brand Awareness & Drive More Clicks

Whenever your paid search ad appears at the top of the search results, your franchise gets to be one of the first names the searcher sees. Whether or not the searcher actually clicks on your ad, your franchise leaves its impression on the online user. And when your franchise is already appearing in the top organic results, adding a branded ad only strengthens its presence on the page. In fact, it can even drive more clicks to those organic links.

Bing did a study in 2014 to gauge the impact of branded paid search ads on clicks. According to the study, when a brand ad was placed at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), the brand owner had a total click yield (on either organic or paid links) of nearly 90%, with 50% of clicks being paid. On the other end of the spectrum, when there was no branded ad on the page, the brand’s competing ads received 5x higher click yield. So you can think of it one of two ways: pairing your organic results with branded ads either gets your more clicks, or they help you take clicks away from your competitors.

Are Often Less Competitive, and Therefore Less Expensive

There are probably going to be a ton of companies bidding for the term “Los Angeles power washing” and a lot fewer (if any) bidding on “Power Up power washing.” That means less competition, which equates to a lower cost per click. Why not take advantage of the lower cost and claim that branded keyword for your franchise? Of course, each brand has a varying level of competition, so advertising for branded terms won’t always be a steal.

Cater to People Who Are Ready to Seal the Deal

When someone types a specific brand name into a search engine, it’s usually because they’ve already done some research and they know what they want—or at least, they’ve narrowed it down to their short list. The searcher has higher intent to make a purchase or an appointment—meaning you have an easier time convincing them to become a new customer! If you are looking to catch the attention of both the newbies who are just starting the research stage and well-informed consumers who are taking their research to the next level, you may want to consider adding branded search terms to your franchise PPC strategy.

And remember… just because you aren’t using your own branded search terms, that doesn’t mean your competitors aren’t. Using these types of keywords can help you hold your ground in search results against other companies who may be using them to capture your traffic.

Our franchise marketing experts can help you determine which branded and non-branded terms will best benefit your online presence. If you have any questions about how to improve your franchise search strategy, contact Scorpion!

To learn more about paid search advertising, check out our “PPC 101” blog post.