A Client Has Competitors Who Are Running PPC Ads With the Client Company Name in Them

Noah Lopata 🎓
I have a client who's competitors are running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads with my clients company name in them (not sure if this is dynamically generated or intentional).
Anything we can do about this?
As PPC isn't my wheelhouse at all any insight is appreciated. Thanks!
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Oberg
I would call Google and ask if they can determine if they are dynamic first. If they are then the company needs to submit a trademark possibly. If they are using the company name as keyword insertion I would send the company an email and let them know and if they don't agree to fix it then have a lawyer send a letter it could be my mistake with keyword insertion.
I am a believer in peaceful resolution first and giving the benefit of the doubt instead of going in on the full offensive whenever possible.

Alvaro » Oberg
Why is wrong to use a competitor keyword on ads? I mean, they are not selling anything as the competitor.
Oberg » Alvaro
They are using Company name according to the OP
Alvaro » Oberg
If they search for: Acer and an Google shows a HP ad where is the problem?
Oberg » Alvaro
That is not a problem. If some types in your registered company name. Then your company name appears in the ad copy and takes the person to that competitors website that is a problem.
I have bid on competitors company names before but I don't put the company name in the ad. You are allowed to bid on a company name if they haven't registered it.
Noah Lopata 🎓
They are showing my clients actual business name in the ad, not just showing up during a branded search.
My client was alerted to it by a customer who thought he was hiring my client but the other company showed up to the job site.
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Oberg » Noah Lopata
Then definitely email and/or call the company and ask them to correct it. If not have a lawyer send a letter. Mistakes do happen so always better to give the benefit of the doubt.

Marty Marion 🎓 » Noah Lopata
If your client has a trademark on their brand name and has not authorized another entity to use it that is trademark violation. Google will respond to a proper notice of this. Anyone can bid on any brand name but can't use a trademarked brand visibly.
There are services like Brand Verity that monitor and report this. And it's a lot more common than you think.
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Noah Lopata 🎓 » Marty Marion
Thanks brother. Checking out that service right now!
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Marty Marion 🎓 » Noah Lopata
It's awesome. Always happy to help.

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Davain
If you have a trademark, Google can enforce it. Otherwise I'll say just spend more than them.
Its never a bad investment to bid max for your branded keywords. Even if they become less profitable you don't want to lose any real estate for your brand searches

Noah Lopata 🎓 » Davain
They don't do any PPC at all
Davain » Noah Lopata
Oh I see. If your client has a trademark for their name you are able to stop your competitors from ever using it on Google ads.
That competitor is benefiting big time. If they mention your client on the landing page but say why they are better, it could be one of their most profitable keywords.
Marty Marion 🎓 » Noah Lopata
I have a contrary opinion.Pay-Per-Click (PPC) for your brand is counter productive if a brand search shows you own top SERP and you enforce your trademark.
Consumers who search for a brand specifically click the first link they see with the official brand name. Why give them an option to click anything other than the organic listing especially if it's in position 1.
Davain » Marty Marion Great point! If you're a small local business that strategy works. But I think you're massively discounting how many users click the first result they see, ad or not. Especially in Noah Lopata case, since the competitors put his client's Brand name in their ad copy.
Any decent sized brand absolutely should bid on their branded keywords, even if you own the top organic spot…here's why:
Google is a Pay Per Click ad network. If nobody clicks your ad and scrolls to your organic listing then great, nothing was lost. But with you not bidding on your branded keywords, you're giving others a clear path to steal sales that were meant for you.
Marty Marion 🎓 » Davain
Respectfully disagree. We tested this with 2 massive ecom brands and when we shut off brand PPC total revenue from search increased 200% to 350%.
Save the PPC budget for the long tail non brand keywords where the money is.
Davain » Marty Marion
Revenue from search increased but with a drop in total revenue I can assume??
My experience has shown otherwise. Unless you are trying to NOT grow, I can't see a great argument against branded ads.
Of course ads would take some sales away from search but that doesn't mean your business is hurt. Would love to hear any other insights from the tests
Marty Marion 🎓 » Davain
No, revenue from paid search dropped and was more than replaced by revenue from organic clicks and conversions.
If you added all revenue from both organic and Pay-Per-Click (PPC), the total increased 200% to 350%, so it was MORE than a 1-to-1 transference from paid to organic, and this was with seasonality accounted for. Total revenue increased.
Both clients saved a fortune on PPC spend where ~80% approximately was from branded PPC.
And the transference from PPC to organic massively increased organic Click Through Rate (CTR) as an organic signal and their entire portfolio of keywords up-ranked, leading to more pages being high Search Engine Result Page (SERP), thus more total clickthroughs than ever before which accounted for the incremental bump in total sales and revenues.
I can't tell all the details due to confidentiality, but Google actually was not happy the clients stopped spending so much on PPC and they offered to, AND paid for, and ran a split test to "prove to us we were wrong". They ran a 6 month test where they showed 50% of the country branded PPC and the other 50% no branded PPC. After 6 months of Google themselves running the test, they COULD NOT demonstrate that branded PPC paid off.
For ecom brands where the majority of clickthroughs are from branded PPC, it does NOT pay and the transference of those clicks (intentional searches for the brand name and brand combos) from PPC to organic has massive incremental upside.
Having tested this with million dollar budgets the sauce is in saving your PPC budget for longer tail non-branded keywords where you otherwise have a hard time ranking high on SERP 1 and you REALLY want those products right on top.
Take any major brand name and Google it. I would be pretty certain that they own position 1 and likely positions 1 and 2 or more on SERP 1.
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Davain » Marty Marion
Pretty solid data!
Weird that branded keywords accounted for 80% of ppc spend. You were previously dedicating 4x more spend for branded keywords vs all the long-tail keywords for their products?
Even if I'm advertising for a household brand I couldn't spend 80% on branded searches.
We see very different results but both in ecommerce. With the tests you and Google ran, you obviously gotta stick with your strategy for your accounts.
Marty Marion 🎓 » Davain
Yes that's true. The longer tails had significantly lower search volume individually so a lot fewer clicks to pay for. But they converted well since they were buying-intent not just the brand.
Davain » Marty Marion
Long tail keywords are the most valuable. But for some brands, its a balance between volume/revenue and profitability. are the

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Erin Morris
Sometimes this happens dynamically, as you've suggested, if the competitor is using dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) in ad headlines. Which means if the competitor is bidding on your client's brand name then when someone types in your client's brand name the ad will show up with the brand name in the headline. I've experienced this a number of times – usually just email the competitor and ask them to stop using DKI on ads triggered by brand name keyword.
And if they don't respond to a polite request, hit 'em up with a cease and desist.

Noah Lopata 🎓 » Erin Morris
Ahh this makes sense! Thank you.
Erin Morris » Noah Lopata
Welcome! You've added so much value for me with your posts to this group. I'm glad I can return some value to you 🤙⚡️🙏
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Noah Lopata 🎓 » Erin Morris
That's what we are all here for 🙂
I appreciate it!
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Christine
Hi Noah, happened to us, albeit a few years ago. I phoned the adwords people and merely asked how these people were allowed to do that. I.e. Use our name and then lead people to their site. The ads were gone within 8 hours. But i am definately not an authority on this, but I would phone Google ads and talk to them. A lot cheaper than hiring people. And if your clients name is trademarked it should be easy.
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Noah Lopata 🎓 » Christine
Thank you!

Friar
Since the company name appears in the ads, you can make them stop. In general-
1. Trademark the company name, this is just good practice
2. Report ads to Google
3. Even if you don't run PPC, run a campaign for just branded searches to stop competitors from buying those keywords

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These may satisfy you:
» My Website Content Is Better Than Most Competitors, but It Doesn’t Outrank Them Yet in a SERP
» My Competitor Does Strange SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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