In a separate browser window, go ahead and do a google search for your business name, then return here.
You may be wondering why ads for your competitors’ websites are appearing atop a Google search for your business. It’s because your competitors are using a technique known as “AdWords competitor targeting”. It’s when your competitors bid on your branded search terms (like your company name or your website) and allows your competitor to show up in the top few spots of a Google search.
Here are the main reasons your competitors are targeting people looking for YOUR business in AdWords.
1. Building brand awareness
Setting up a Google AdWords campaign to target your branded keywords allows your competitor to gain awareness for their own brand. Your competition’s thinking behind this tactic is that if someone is looking for the products or services you provide, then that same person might be interested in what they competition has to offer. A perfect example of this dynamic is a company called FruitBouquets.com placing ads to appear when someone does a google search for their competitor, Edible Arrangements.
2. Driving cheap traffic
Your competition is most likely bidding on your branded terms because of the cheap cost-per-click rate for brand name keywords when compared to bidding on generic keywords (i.e. regular old search terms). This is because there’s less competition for branded keywords then generic keywords, and thus the prices are lower.
Furthermore, company A may already have spent a lot of money on an advertising campaign to inform the public about their services. Company B could then just target ads to people searching for company A without having to invest in an awareness campaign in the first place. It’s not that dissimilar from people selling counterfeit goods. The initial company has already generated public interest in the types of goods they sell. The counterfeit company is just coming along later in the game and picking off excess demand from customers that aren’t that particular about who they get that product from, as long as they get something similar.
SUMMARY – DON’T STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND
Don’t stick your head in the sand about this important stuff. A quick Google search of your business name and/or domain name will show you if your competition is bidding on your branded terms. You can’t stop your competition from bidding on your branded terms, but you can take steps to minimize the impact to your business. Armed with the appropriate knowledge, you can create a plan to combat your competition’s AdWords competitor targeting strategy and take back the number one paid search spot on Google.
If you have questions and would like to discuss in further detail, or maybe even have interest in setting up these types of ads in your own campaign, contact us now to discuss.