Terry Cox - SEM, SEO
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Apr 25

Written by: Terry Cox
4/25/2007 3:45 PM 

If you work for a company that is lucky enough to have your Paid Search marketing tactics under the same roof as your Natural Search Optimization, then you probably know that there are some incredible synergies between the two mediums.  For some keywords, it makes sense to lower or cancel your paid search spend when your preferred landing page rises in natural search rankings.  This is especially true if paid search competition is light.

So why do so many companies continue to buy their brand names, even if they are ranking at the top of natural search listings?

To go even further, many big brands have filed trademark protection with the major search engines, effectively removing their competitors from bidding on their trademarked terms.  So why do they continue to buy their name?

There are many answers to this question, and only a couple are below.

Paid search allows you to speak directly to your potential customers through ad copy. You can tell them exactly what you want them to know at that point in time, and place them exactly where you want them on your website.

SEO does not allow you the ability to control your message; only to influence it.

If a search engine user is looking up information about “Disney World” online, the home page may come up first, but what if I want that searcher to know about our special offer on “Disney World Tickets”?

There has also been plenty of research released that shows there is an incremental lift in click through rates when you obtain the top paid and natural listing on a search results page.  Having your listing in both spots is a way to reinforce to search engine users that you really are the best answer to their question.

I came across a few examples of companies that have recognized these benefits recently as I was browsing the web.

Nike ranks number one in natural search, but probably noticed that their natural search listing lacked a very good call to action, other then “we are Nike”.  They utilized their paid search ads to introduce searchers to their Nike+ line of shoes, directing them deeper into the website.  The ad copy was “Get the new Nike+ Shoes for an Interactive Workout with your I-Pod”.

Jeep ranked number one in natural search with an “Official Home of Jeep” message.  Their paid listing however was much more compelling: “See the new 2007 Jeep Collection Today”.

Pizza Hut is currently utilizing it’s paid search ads to let consumers know that they have expanded their lunch offerings.  If I was interested in just learning more about the company, I would probably move on and click the natural search ad.

And let’s not forget competition as another important reason to own your brand.  All of the companies above had at least 9 other marketers buying their brand names.  If the company didn’t protect their brand, the risk of losing clicks, and the top spot on the search results page, increases greatly.


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