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Navigating brand vs. non-brand search campaigns in Google Ads

Tired of choosing between boosting brand presence and reaching new customers? Google Ads has the answer. This guide unlocks the secrets of both Brand and Non-Brand campaigns.

Published January 25, 2024

Google Ads continues to stand out as a powerful tool for businesses aiming to boost their online presence in 2024. Among the critical decisions marketers grapple with is the choice between prioritising brand or non-brand campaigns. In this blog post, we will explore the intricacies of each approach, unravelling effective strategies and tactics to maximise impact. 


Understanding brand and non-brand keywords 




Brand keywords are the cornerstone of brand visibility - terms directly associated with a company's name or specific products. On the other hand, non-brand keywords comprise search terms unrelated to specific brand names, focusing on general product or service categories, industry terms, or user queries without a direct brand association. These keywords are also commonly called generic keywords. 



Bidding on brand terms is essential for capturing users exhibiting high conversion intent, often already familiar with the brand. Conversely, non-brand campaigns are crucial for expanding reach beyond existing customer bases and connecting with potential customers who are unfamiliar with the brand. 


Benefits and challenges




Click-through rates 



Ad relevance 


Requires more effort 

Influence on organic performance 

Greater control of SERP, but risk of cannibalisation 

Ability to immediately outrank competitors 

Audience size 

Limited to existing customers or those familiar with the brand 

Broad. Reach prospective new customers 


Minimal – depending on industry 

High – depending on nature of keywords 

Traffic relevance 


Requires more effort 

Conversion paths 

Shorter – depending on industry 


Brand search campaign tactics  

  • Align ad copy with brand identity for a cohesive and impactful message. 
  • Reinforce brand recognition by seamlessly incorporating the brand name into ad copy and pin headlines featuring brand name in the first position. 
  • Implement dedicated, well-branded landing pages for a user-friendly experience, enhancing overall campaign effectiveness. 
  • Utilise phrase match and broad match types strategically for comprehensive coverage, capturing misspellings and variations of the brand name. 
  • Employ more aggressive bidding strategies (for example, target impression share bidding strategy with 90%+ impression share goals) to safeguard the brand from competitors. 
  • Regularly monitor performance metrics to identify trends, capitalise on successes, and address areas for improvement. 
  • Delve into the ethical dimensions and effectiveness of bidding on competitor brand terms, understanding the nuanced pros and cons to inform decision-making. 
  • Identify competitor ads appearing on your brand searches, enabling proactive adjustments to maintain a competitive edge. 
  • Measure brand search traffic separately for precise evaluation of the impact of brand-focused initiatives. 


Non-brand campaign tactics 

  • Conduct comprehensive non-brand keyword research to identify relevant terms, tailoring campaigns based on user intent. 
  • Utilise tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to find valuable non-brand keywords. 
  • Regularly review search query reports to identify new keyword opportunities and potential negative keywords. 
  • Craft compelling ad copy and optimise landing pages for non-brand campaigns, refining messaging through A/B testing. 
  • Incorporate long-tail keywords for specificity and reduced competition. 
  • Adjust non-brand campaigns to align with seasonal trends or promotions. 



Finding the right balance between brand and non-brand campaigns is pivotal. By strategically leveraging brand keywords and implementing effective bidding strategies, advertisers can enhance their online visibility and drive meaningful conversions. A holistic approach encompassing both brand and non-brand terms often proves to be the recipe for success.  


About Novicell 

At Novicell, we provide comprehensive digital solutions, including expert management of paid search campaigns. Our in-house consultants are dedicated to ensuring your brand stands out in the digital landscape and drives impactful results. Contact the Novicell team to elevate your digital presence and unlock the full potential of your online marketing efforts. 

Wanna know more?

Speak to one of our experienced consultants today!

Sam Mountstephens
Senior Paid Media Consultant
Sam Mountstephens