PPC for Brand PR – Does it work?


Immediate search results are almost impossible as SEO and ‘Ranking’ is a long term process. However, what if an immediate result is needed because of an online PR issue? The answer – PPC (bear in mind PPC traffic and ranking is not the same as SEO).

A PPC goal is evidently different for each client reflecting how an Adwords campaign is built and tailored. The majority wanting an ROI from a physical product through actual conversion or possibly to increase traffic to the site with an awareness goal.

If we consider the customer journey from start to finish, maintaining a positive PR influence is important for brands so customers are always reminded positively through their search journey. Any sign of negative PR can lose a possible conversion. Even if consumers don’t actively convert there and then, you want them to have a good word to say about you to potentially create opportunities for other conversions.

How can brands be affected by ‘Negative Online brand PR’?

Occasionally, a brand maybe suffering from high bounce rates or low CTR possibly down to a recent issue or a competitor bidding against them. This can cost a brand thousands if a sudden drop in traffic or conversion occurs. Often a competitor can be negative online PR for a brand because a competitor bids on your brand term.

If somebody is searching for a brand term in Google and a competitor ad with negative information is displayed, this can be costly and effectively ‘Negative brand PR’. Majority of the time, competitors bid for your brand terms to try and essential steal your customers. However, what if the competitors ad is more detrimental to your brand? For example if supermarket A bid on Supermarket B brand terms with an Ad (like the TV ads of famous supermarkets) that is telling people to buy products from them instead. This can be very costly and becomes a bidding war!

Remember, a user is visually captured by Paid Ads first, so dominating the home page is important. Bearing in mind PPC is an immediate reaction, it is always a good idea to work in conjunction with an SEO strategy and to consider how the SEO strategy will help to maintain long term PR. There is probably a certain period of time worth paying for the advert, but you still want the issue you are trying to address or have addressed to be in the background on the first page.

PPC for Brand PR support

Public Relations and Digital is an on-going process. For example a social media backlash for a brand can cause an effect in the way users will search. As well as having an offline strategy in PR, PPC for Brand PR is brilliant for immediate reactions and immediate control to what’s going on online and to capture users positively at the beginning of the search journey.

The last thing you want for your customers, is to be positively looking for you, and to come across a negative paid ad against your company/brand.

Also, organic will always take time, pay to play is predominantly the idea here and will help in homepage takeover for a brand by bidding on the relevant keywords and relevant Ad Copy. For those familiar with Adwords, one Ad is displayed per one account at a time.

If your website has several pages or several dimensions to the business, creating multiple accounts and displaying several ads at a time will aid with PPC for Brand PR control. This way you can display several Ads at once and effectively giving the customer a chance to see your side of the story first.

Also bear in mind they should be linked to different aspects of your business, Google will dislike a brand linking several ads to the same business product or brand page, it is better to develop this goal in campaign/Ad group settings instead. The idea of several accounts will display several different Ads landing on different aspects of information. Like a Hotel that might have seven different locations and seven different sites.

The key concept will help for a homepage immediate take over if an online PR is needed. PPC will also let you allow several specific landing pages. There is always opportunity, it depends how much a brand is willing to spend.

As ever with Adwords, management of the account is the biggest key to maintaining a functional and profitable campaign, regardless of the goal.

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