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Top 4 Tips To Optimize Non-Branded Paid Search Campaigns

Top 4 Tips To Optimize Non-Branded Paid Search Campaigns

sem-keywordsBranded and Non-Branded Paid search campaigns

Branded Paid search campaigns are PPC ad campaigns that have a brand name or a variation of a brand name as keywords. Eg. Jet Airways, Dell Laptops, Wadilal Ice cream etc. Branded paid search campaigns are aimed at customers who already know about a brand, have a fair amount of loyalty with the brand and are specifically looking for that brand. Since the relevance of these ads for the visitor is quite high, the Ad Rank is high, the CTR is high and the cost per click is low. The conversions are also high. See the example below of a cpc campaign with the branded keyword ‘Jet Airways’.

branded search

Since the visitor is specifically looking for ‘Jet Airways’, chances of the visitor clicking the url is very high. Thus Branded paid search campaigns generally give good conversions and ROIs.

Non-Branded Paid Search Campaigns are the PPC ad campaigns that do not have a brand name or its variations as keywords; but generic terms related to products or services as keywords. eg. Airline booking, flight bookings, laptops, computers etc. The Non-Branded Paid Search Campaigns are aimed at increasing the awareness of a brand among the general public. Here the impressions are high, CTR could be low and cost per click high. Conversions also could be very low. But you could get a wider reach. See the example below. Here we find that the non-branded keywords ‘air booking’ give different results in the cpc ads displayed as compared to the above example.

non branded keyword

Thus, we find that the output and purpose of branded and non-branded Paid Search campaigns are quite different. Hence, it is advisable to segment PPC campaigns into Branded and Non-Branded to measure data from these channels.

As we have seen above, the challenges in Non-Branded Paid Search campaigns are high CPCs, low CTRs and low conversions. However, marketers have to roll out non-branded paid search campaigns to increase reach and awareness.

We give following four strategies to reduce CPC, increase CTR and increase engagement with a Non-Branded Paid Search campaign.

1. Applying RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) to Non-BrandedPaid Search Campaigns 

Remarketing aims at targeting ads to visitors that have already visited a website. This offers a great context to a campaign because the visitors have already engaged with the brand and are aware of its presence. This highly qualifies the visitors and increases the chances of conversion.

There are various types of remarketing lists. The basic type is the General Remarketing list. This includes a list of all visitors who have visited the website. You can create customised ads and texts for these visitors.

Remarketing lists are further refined with lists of visitors who left the website after completing certain activities. eg. They created a cart but abandoned it or did not make a payment. You can have customised ads for such visitors enticing them to complete their unfulfilled transaction. You can also offer special promotions or offers to such visitors.

Another remarketing list would be of recently converted visitors. Since they have had a recent engagement with  the website, there is a higher probability of them completing some other transaction with that website.

Thus targeting RLSAs for Non-Branded paid ad campaigns can increase the CTR, revenues and ROI of a Non-Branded Paid search campaign.

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing begins with remarketing audience which is a list of cookies exhibiting a particular behaviour to whom you want to target specific ads. The remarketing audience can be created in Google Analytics and then they can be used in other Ad accounts such as AdWords for remarketing campaigns. When any of these users represented by cookies visit Google Search or Google Display Network later, they can be shown the remarketing ads(depending upon whether you have won the bid).

For creating remarketing lists in Google Analytics, you have to enable remarketing. The Analytics account can then be linked with an AdWords account and the remarketing lists can be shared with Google AdWords.

2. Insights into Non-Branded paid search campaigns of competitors

Insights into competitors’ PPC campaigns( keywords, ad copies, performance etc.) give valuable information for improving your own ad campaigns. Tools such as SEMRush or SpyFu give valuable information about competitors’ ad campaigns. Refer the pictures below. See the wealth of data generated by this tool on a player in the airline industry.

jeta ir spyfutop keywordsThis data gives you the non-branded paid search campaign keywords and their performances also. You can benchmark your campaigns with competition and also optimise your non-branded paid search campaigns.

3. Accelerated Ad Spend

Normally, any PPC system will display the PPC ads evenly throughout the day since they are limited by budget. This may lead to inadequate exposures of the ads during peak business hours of the day and hence affect the ROI. In accelerated spend, an ad is displayed every time a visitor types in the keyword regardless of the budget. This means that if the traffic is concentrated at particular hours of the day, the budget is exhausted during that period. But all opportunities of displaying ads are availed. This leads to increased impressions and may result in increased conversion. Testing the ad spend delivery method for effectiveness is a good tactic for determining a more effective delivery method.

4. Geographic targeting

Geographically focussing a specific area for Non-Branded Paid Search campaign tends to yield better results than a general nationwide promotional campaign. The geographic area can be determined by demographic data and can be validated by A/B testing.

Analysis of Channels

The performance of Branded and Non-branded Paid Search campaigns can be tracked in Google Analytics. The Brand Terms relating to your website are maintained in Google Analytics. Organic and Branded Channels can be created in Google analytics and these can be analysed for various dimensions and metrics.


ROIs of Non-Branded Paid Search Campaigns can be improved by optimising the campaigns. We have seen four top methods of achieving this.

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