Why I bid on myself in AdWords

Nick Roshon Vanity Search PPC Ad + Knowledge Graph

As an SEO, I’ve always felt it was important to have my own website(s) and actually implement the same kind of advice I communicate to my clients on a regular basis…eating my own dogfood, as it were. I’ve set up this blog (along with a car blog and travel blog) to experiment with various SEO tactics, content strategies, social media promotions and even some forms of monetization, and I’ve found  that these sites to be extremely helpful in my development as a marketer & SEO strategist.

I’ve decided to take my expirementing one step further by bidding on my own name [nick roshon] in Google AdWords. At first this may sound silly – I already rank #1 organically for this right? Now raise your hand if you’ve heard a client tell you this and you advise why it’s still a good idea. Like I said before, dogfooding.

Why should you bid on your own name in AdWords?

Cool data

Nick Roshon's AdWords Performance

I get to see the number of impressions for my name – aka the EXACT number of times someone has searched for name in Google. While that’s a bit of a vanity metric, it’s a cool stat that can maybe help me judge how I’m doing at building my own brand. While Google Webmaster Tools gives some approximate impression data, only AdWords can tell me exactly how many people have searched for me recently. I can use this data for other things – judging CTR, assessing the impact of keyword [not provided], etc. As of this post there have only been 25 people in the last 30 days searching for me in Google, so maybe at the very least this is also a good metric to keep my big head in check and realize I’ll never be as famous as the “leave Britney alone” guy.

It’s free (or free-ish)

Not only do I get the cool data above, but I pay virtually nothing for it. No one seems to be clicking my ads, but they keep showing up since my landing page is super relevant and my minimum bid is sufficiently high enough. As a result, I get free ads in Google. If someone does happen to click for whatever reason, I’m only out a few dimes in cost at the most.

It’s good practice

As an SEO I interface with PPC managers on a regular basis, and understand the strategy of PCC fairly well and how SEO and PPC can work together. However, I don’t get my hands dirty in PPC a lot (the PPC managers typically handle the day-t0-day bidding and adjustments). As such, it’s a good idea to get your hands dirty every once in a while by bidding on things, writing ad copy, structuring campaigns, etc.

Targeted messaging

I can play around with ad copy messaging depending on my goals, especially when I anticipate someone may search for me. For instance, if I’m speaking at a conference, I may change my ad copy to “Hear him present at SES on Key Metrics for SEO” or something along those lines, and I can really target this copy to promote whatever I’m currently working on that I think is noteworthy. I can also change landing pages to maybe highlight a recent blog post I wrote, an article I contributed to, a Slideshare deck I created, etc. With organic the homepage of NickRoshon.com and a fairly bland meta description is going to show, with PPC I can more-or-less have whatever I want pop up.

It’s a fun conversation piece

At the very least, people seem to notice this and ask about it. Some folks think it’s a cool idea and want to emulate it, other folks may think it’s stupid, and then we can engage in a fun debate as to the pros & cons of this strategy. Either way, it’s a good way to start a dialogue or have a healthy debate on the pros & cons of bidding on branded terms.

At the very least, it demonstrates a willingness to learn and experiment, something I find critical in field of digital marketing. What are your thoughts? Stupid or a good use of a ~$1.00 per month or less?

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