You have created a business, took the time to choose a great name and went to work on building your brand. You’ve done a great job, its really starting to be recognized “around town”. You are ready to advertise, pour some of your hard earned dollars into SEM (search engine marketing) lead generation efforts. Now the bad news…here come your competitors, bidding on YOUR name and stealing YOUR traffic. What do you do? What can you do?

As a business owner or marketing manager, there are a lot of components you have to be mindful of. You have to make sure the name and brand you choose to build is unique, relevant and eye-catching; you have to be mindful of low competitive vs. high competitive markets as well as SEM keywords; you have to also make sure you are going to stand out amongst the noise online and the list can go on.

Google Allows It

After carefully creating your content and putting it out there, a new set of worries is sure to come. Now, you have to worry about SEM competitors bidding on your branded search. Taking advantage of your hard work and poaching off of your brand. This can result in your SEM competitors taking a huge portion of your traffic. The scary part about this is that Google and other search engines actually allow this. In 2008, Google lifted the ban on bidding on a competitor’s brand keywords. The only rule is that you cannot name a competitor in your ad. Its a competitive world out there.

So, What Can You Do?

Acceptance is the first step. You may have to accept the fact that your competitor may never take down their ads and they are not legally obligated to do so. If they are using your trademark, however, this is infringing on Google’s trademark policy and this can lead to ads being removed. Otherwise, there is literally nothing you can do.

You can always ask your competitors (nicely) to take down their ads. Worst case scenario, you get ignored, or if you do get a response, it’s saying, “Sorry, but we cannot…” At least you can say that you tried and you reached out to them!

SEM Brand Competition

If your competitor sends an email back saying no to taking down the ads, get their attention by bidding on your competitor’s brand terms. Just be aware of the fact that the end results will most likely be nasty and may also end up costing you a lot more money.

Both you and your competitor will most likely raise the cost-per-click (CPC) as you try to take control of each other’s terms, making Google more money. In fact, this is probably why Google lifted the ban back in 2008 because the company knew that people would be willing to fight for their brand terms and this would churn out a profit–Google wins!

Spread Your SEM Wings

You may want to consider bidding on your own brand terms. Go beyond Google and include other search engines as well. Google doesn’t give a list of its search partners and they can change at any given moment. There are a list of a few of them here. Ideally, this should not be difficult. First off, you want to make sure your quality score is at least a nine or ten. Otherwise, your CPC will be more expensive. Also, a high quality score ensures a position one and 100% search impression share.

Protect Your SEM Turf

Lastly, you can set up your own brand search ads because you can dominate the SERP’s. When you have numerous listings, your click-through rate gets better. Your CPC should be cheap, which will allow full control of brand messaging.

BlueMatrix Media Can Help:

BlueMatrix Media is a full service, solutions driven, agency focused on growing your business! Contact Us today to discuss our Web Design, SEO, PPC – SEM, Reputation Management & Social Media Marketing options.

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