What To Consider Before Bidding On Competitors' Brand Names

What To Consider Before Bidding On Competitors' Brand Names

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Date Published:
Thursday, April 7, 2022

Targeting competitor brand keywords, also known as 'brand squatting' or competitive conquesting, may get consumers searching for your competition to notice your products or services. Implementing this strategy into your SEM targeting mix can be beneficial if done so correctly. Some advantages of bidding on competitor keywords include contributing to brand awareness in your industry, getting additional high-quality traffic, and increasing lead generation. 

Give people another option (a better one, like you) & generate awareness

With a competitor campaign, you open an avenue for potential customers to discover your business. By showing ads when customers search for a competitor, your ads make customers aware of another purchase option, increasing brand awareness. You can also benefit your business by taking up valuable real estate on the search engine results page and acquiring impressions and clicks that would otherwise go to your rivals. 

Who doesn't want additional high-quality traffic? 

When people search for your competition, they're likely in the consideration or decision stage of the customer's journey. If you sell similar products or services, consumers searching for your rivals are already interested in something you offer. This audience is likely to convert since brand searches show a high buying intent. So this qualified audience is highly valuable to both your competition and your business.

Increase leads & your bottom line

Since you are providing the same, if not something very similar to the competition, all that is left to do is convince people that doing business with you is more beneficial. Conversions will follow. We recently recommended a competitor conquesting campaign for one of our clients, who is an auto dealership, so we developed a detailed strategy to bid on other dealerships with market share in the area. Within 35 days of launching the campaign, we capitalized on this expanded reach, resulting in total lead conversions increasing by over 23% across all search campaigns period over period.  

Now that we've considered the positives of bidding on competitor brand name keywords, we must weigh these against potential pitfalls.

It can come off as aggressive

Your rival's marketing goal was to be top of mind for shoppers ready to purchase, but you used that to your advantage, and they may frown upon that. They might even decide to start a competitor conquesting campaign bidding on your brand terms, essentially creating a bidding war and increasing costs for you and the competition, something you probably don't want.

Lower relevance can translate into a poor quality score

Bidding on competitor keywords can result in lower quality scores for your campaign and account. One factor in the quality score is ad relevance and consistency across keywords, ad copy, and landing page content. When bidding on someone else's name, ads for your business will inherently be less relevant than theirs. Another quality score factor is the expected clickthrough rate, the likelihood that an ad will get a click when shown. People searching for a particular business name often have their minds set on that brand, guaranteeing a click for them. So when bidding on competitor keywords, your quality score may be lower than desired, impacting key metrics and increasing costs. 

Is it right for you?

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, we hope you better understand what to expect when bidding on your adversary's keywords. Keep in mind that Google's policy allows you to use your competitors' trademarked terms in your keyword lists; you can also run ads that encourage people to click your ads rather than the competition. However, besides a few exceptions, you can't use their brand name in your ad copy. So avoid using branded terms you don't own in your ad copy, or else you could get a trademark complaint. If you have any questions or need help implementing this tactic, contact our team at The Moran Group and let us help you grow your business.


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