One of the best things with PPC advertising is the fact bidding can be done on any search term (including brand names), and gain traffic from such a search term.

Coincidentally, one of the worst things with PPC advertising is that the same thing can happen. This is because it allows competitors to bid against your brand name to take away traffic that should be rightfully yours.

Own your brand name

It doesn’t always seem logical to bid on your own brand keywords, but it’s a good way to protect your brand name and to regain the clicks you’ve lost when a competitor’s ads show up under your brand keywords.

In some instances, it takes another company buying your branded keywords to remind you that you forgot to bid on your brand name to begin with.

Reach out to competitor

it is sometimes best to reach out to the competitor that is bidding on your brand name. They understand the implications of what you are doing and also understand that you are very likely to defend your brand name, by creating a PPC campaign for your brand name in response.

CPCs will increase due to this, which will not benefit either party. Reaching out to the party is almost a ‘truce’ to prevent any negative implications from occurring, due to the original targeting from the competitor.

Launch a trademark complaint

If you have a trademark and your competitor is using it in their ads, submit a trademark complaint and Google will disapprove their ads. If authorized to do so, agencies can do this on behalf of the trademark owner.

There is a strong possibility your competitors either won’t notice their ads have been disapproved, or won’t realize they can still bid on your keywords, meaning they stop appearing for your brand terms. A kind of win by default, but a win nonetheless!

Start bidding for your own brand name

If the competitor refuses to take down the PPC campaign, then you next best bet is to react and bid back. Set up your own campaign and compete for the traffic that your competitor is trying to steal away from you.

This should:

  • Raise the CPC, hopefully deterring the competitor from competing
  • Reduce the CTR of the advert, and resultant traffic the competitor is gaining
  • Also allow you to show a different result than your homepage, which might be good for new releases or special offers

Short conclusion

Competitors bidding on your brand terms is allowed and so potentially unstoppable. However if it happens to you, there are several steps you can take to minimize, if not remove, this risk.

It’s important to weigh all the pros and cons before taking the plunge. Remember to do your research prior to taking this dark route.