To Buy or Not to Buy (Your Own Name)
Had a very interesting (and a little heated) debate on LinkedIn recently about the value of buying your own brand as a keyword for paid search. I still maintain that for a very low budget, it may have a place...but I also think the existence of Google My Business has changed it a bit. Let me show you what I mean:
This is what happens when I do a mobile search for Roush Ford. As you can see, the result is their GMB page. Photos, click to call, directions, website link, even reviews...all front and center.
Granted, no one is conquesting them (and after searching based on 30 dealers in Columbus of various brands...no one was being conquested)...but they have an amazing looking result via GMB for zero spend. On the other hand:
This is a mobile search for Ricart Ford. They've bought the result via paid search and the result isn't nearly as attractive or easy to interact with. The next result, under this one, was their GMB page with all the great UX/UI. The free one...
They're paying for a less effective...and Free result.
Now, again, if Ricart started buying Roush as a keyword, would the ad you see above supplant Roush's GMB as the first result? Maybe. Find me a dealer being conquested, let's test it. In fact, I'm assuming based on these results that it would work.
The real key here, however, is that like most of the dealers I work with their marketing is a collection of unconnected and stand alone tools and services. The team working on SEO isn't the team working on SEM, which means no one is trying to actively prevent the stores from buying results they would have won organically.
Solve this with either a marketing professional in house or outside that oversees all these partners and forces them to integrate, but until its solved the waste will continue.