Google Ads: How to Deal With Competitors Targeting Your Brand Name
4 minute read
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June 28, 2021

Have you discovered a competitor's ad when searching Google for your brand name? Google Ads uses a keyword-based bidding system for its Search Network. You can create ads that show up for your brand by bidding on your brand. Competitors, however, can also bid on your brandname. Google may not prohibit this advertising tactic, but there are a few things you can do to preserve your brand name in Google Ads.

 

The Basics of Brand Name Targeting

 

Brand name targeting is an advertising tactic in which a competitor bids on your brand name for his or her ads. Competitors are businesses that sell similar products or services to a similar audience. With Brand name targeting, they can essentially capitalize on your brand name. Competitors can bid on your brand name so that their ads show for it.

 

Turning a blind eye to brand name targeting can jeopardize your digital advertising strategy. When their ads show up for yourbrand name, competitors can steal your pay-per-click (PPC) traffic. Users mayclick a competitor's ad rather than your ad. As a result, the competitor may earn a conversion while you lose a conversion. If you discover a competitor is targeting your brand name, you'll need to deal with it.

 

Look for Violations

 

You should look for violations involving the competitor's ad. Google has guidelines by which all advertisers must abide when creating ads. Advertisers, for instance, can't use trademarked terms in their ad copy unless they own them. If you've registered your brand name as trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO),competitors won't be allowed to use it in their ad copy. If they do, you canreport them for a trademark violation by completing the form at https://support.google.com/ads/troubleshooter/4578507.

 

It's important to note that competitors can target your brand name regardless of whether it's trademarked. On itsAdvertising Policies Help page atsupport.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6118?hl=en, Google explains that it doesn't prohibit or restrict the use of trademarked terms as keywords. Even if yourbrand name is trademarked, competitors can still target it by bidding on it;they just can use your trademarked brand name in their ad copy.

 

Google doesn't allow advertisers to use copyrighted content in their ad copy, either. If the competitor's ad contains content that you created or otherwise own copyrights to, you can report the competitor to Google. Like all third-party content hosting providers, Google Must comply with copyright notices by removing the infringing content, such asan ad.

 

Outrank Them

 

Assuming there are no trademark or other violations involving the competitor's ad, you can try to outrank them.Outranking means that your ad is displayed in a higher and more visibleposition than the competitor's ad. With a higher rank, more users will see and click your ad.

 

According to a study conducted by AccuraCast,ads ranking in the highest position have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 7.9 percent, whereas the average CTR for ads in all other positions is just 2 percent. If your ad ranks higher than the competitor's ad, it will naturally attract more clicks. Outranking won't stop the competitor from targeting your brand name, but it will minimize the impact of this advertising tactic.

 

You can outrank the competitor by raising your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid. Generally speaking, the higher your maximum bid for a given keyword, the higher your ad will rank for that keyword. Startby making 5- to 10-cent raises to the maximum CPC for your brand name while monitoring the position of your ad. Once your ad ranks higher than your competitor's ad, you can refrain from making further bid adjustments.

 

Refine Your Ad Copy

 

Another tip for dealing with brand name targeting is to refine your ad copy. Even if your ad is performing well and driving conversions, there are probably some things you can do to improve it. Refining your ad copy will make it stand out while drawing user's' attention away from the competitor's ad.

 

You can refine your ad copy by using your brand name in it. All keywords that you bid on are automatically formatted as bold text in ad copy when a user searches for them, including brand names. In other words, your brand name will be displayed in bold text when a user searches for it. They'll see this bold text that matches their search query in your ad copy and not in the competitor's ad copy.

 

There are two places in your ad copy where you can include your brand name: the description and the headline. All ads for the Google Search Network contain a description and a headline. Including your brand name in both of these places will make your ad stand out.

 

Use Your Brand's Official Domain for the Landing Page

 

Building a landing page on your brand's official domain can better protect you from brand name targeting. It's safe to assume that users who search for your brand name want to visit its official website. If your landing page features your brand's official domain, users will see it in your ad. They'll see your brand name in your ad's display URL, which may cause them to click it instead of the competitor's ad.

 

Competitors, of course, don't have access to your brand's official domain, nor can they register and use a domain containing your brand name. They'll usually have their landing pages attached to their own domains.

 

By building a landing page on your brand's official domain, your ad will become relevant. It will be more relevant to users' queries when they search for your brand name. Therefore, your ad will outperform the competitor's less relevant ad. It will have a higher CTR and even a higher Quality Score for your brand name.

 

Don't let competitors steal your PPC traffic by targeting your brand name. You can protect your brand in Google Ads by looking for violations, outranking them, refining your ad copy and using your brand's official domain for the landing page.

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