On 21 March 2013, Google announced a change in Trademark policy that applies to all advertisers in Australia. The policy came into effect on April 23 and has changed your competitor’s ability to bid on your brand name, having a number of implications for your Search strategy.
The changes are:
- Google will no longer prevent advertisers from bidding on third party trademarks
- Any trademark bidding restrictions currently in place ceased to exist on April 23
- Google will still look into complaints over someone using your Trademark in their advert
This policy change has meant it is worth revisiting a commonly asked question from clients: ‘Should I bid on my own brand name in Adwords?’
In my experience, the answer to this question is ‘Yes’. There is a lot to be gained from bidding on your own brand name, and considering the minimal costs involved, you would be silly not to.
Here are some of the reasons I think you should bid on your own brand name.
To prevent being undermined by competitors
With the latest changes from Google, your competitors will begin to bid on your brand name whether it is straight away or sometime in the future. If your competitors’ ads are showing at the top they will get some of your customers visiting their site, undermining your brand. By bidding on your own brand name you can easily rank above your competitors, at a lower cost.
Because you will have a very high click through rate on your own brand name, and the website address will match exactly, after the first month the cost of bidding on your brand name becomes very economical with average click costs averaging between 5c and 70c (depending on if your brand uses generic keywords).
Dominate the page
Even if nobody is bidding on your brand (yet), bidding on your own brand name is a smart way to dominate the page and ensure you get most, if not all of the search traffic. By bidding on your own brand name you will be able to own a larger amount of Google Real Estate, making it easier to see your ad and often enabling your business to look far larger than it actually is.
Tailor your message & landing page
Your home page is always going to rank at the top of your search results organically but what happens if you are running a promotion or sale you want to push for a short period of time? Bidding on your brand name allows you to tailor the message of your adverts and the destination URL a searcher is taken to. This messaging can be combined with Sitelinks which allow you to attach up to 6 additional links to your advertisement and are a great way to highlight particular parts of your website.
While most people may find your business without you bidding on your brand name, some people react better to the visibility of paid ads, so for a small investment you will automatically increase the number of people who visit your site. A recent Google study showed that combining Adwords with an organic listing brings in a considerable amount of extra traffic, especially if you have a high organic listing already. While I would recommend taking this study with a grain of salt due to the bias of the publisher, it is still useful to note.
Misspellings & new products
If your business has a name that is often misspelt, you should bid on the incorrect spellings of it. This way you will ensure that everyone who is looking for you finds you, even if they are not sure how to spell your name. If you are launching a new product which you are not yet ranking organically for you can also bid on this name to ensure that when people hear about your new product they can find you straight away.
Regardless of how large or small your business, your brand is everything, so make sure that you are in control of your brand name online by buying it on Adwords. This simple and inexpensive move is sure to both strengthen your brand and reinforce your online presence.