This is an ongoing argument in the industry and even in the agency I work for. My take on the subject? If you're spending money on pay per click marketing, you must buy your brand name! Ignore those who say otherwise.
Make damned sure you're bidding on the name, mispellings, and the like.
Even if you rank #1 for your own name. Do it anyway.
- It's cheap. PPC engines' quality scoring algorithms mean you're likely to get the best deal on your own company and product names. That translates to lower bids.
- It's insurance. If you slip from the organic rankings for a day or two, your paid ranking will maintain your presence.
- Chances are, someone else has your name, too. You're probably not the only 'Acme Co.' on earth.
- If you don't bid, competitors will. In the United States it's perfectly legal to bid on competitor product and company names. It happens all the time. You can easily outbid them, though, thanks quality scoring (see #1)
- Did I mention it's cheap?
Why Bother You Ask?
How much money do you invest in trademarking your name, incorporating your business, etc.? Buying your own brand name on Google Adwords, Yahoo! and Live is a tiny expense by comparison. Why not do it?
I have run pay per click accounts for numerous clients (who shall remain nameless) who tried to persuade us to stop bidding on their brand name in their pay per click campaign. Despite efforts to dissuade them they did it anyway, claiming they'd get the same results from their organic rankings. Within a week their lead count fell by 40%. Turned out other, unrelated companies had the same name as them, and they weren't #1 in the organic rankings for their own name.
You don't have to believe me, though. Read what George Michie said on the RKG blog.