While many advertisers using Google Adwords adopt different strategies I noticed a common theme of mistakes, which cost the advertisers dearly and weaken the impact of the marketing programs and one of those strategic errors is the use of the company name/brand as a keyword.

Why is this bad?

I was recently asked by a client to evaluate their existing PPC program which was being managed by a very respectable Adwords marketing agency and the analysis identified that 55% of all clicks came from the company name keywords where the client already had secured a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) position #1.

From all of the Web Analytics that I have reviewed of the years the most common key word used in any program is the company name (brand), which often accounts for 50+ of all organic searches.  In the example below, in a search for Netflix, the Google SERP returned Netflix in the top PPC Ad position and in the Google #1 position.  Clearly, any time someone clicks on the sponsored ad the PPC account will be debited  unnecessarily because if the sponsored advertisement was not there the user would click on the #1 Netflix entry.

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To gain maximum impact from an Adwords program I advocated that this form of advertising should be used strategically to promote products and services that do not have a #1 SERP ranking because if you are number 1 and you sponsor your #1 position your are simply discarding you marketing dollars. Not only is this a waste but also the opportunity cost is huge.