PPC showdown: Fighting for your brand name

PPC showdown: Fighting for your brand name

Competition comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s healthy (most of the time), but it can turn nasty.

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is no stranger to competition. It is the root cause of the cost and position of your ads on Google. But when it comes to brand search terms, competition can become troublesome to deal with.

Imagine waking up one day and seeing your closest competitor bidding on your brand name, taking up the 1st position on Google’s paid search ads. Suddenly your potential (and existing) customers are being presented with ads from your competitors.

It’s like having your competitor’s logo in your shop window.

Customers that were previously loyal to your brand are now becoming interested in your competitors. This isn’t good. It doesn’t just hurt your paid search results, but also your brand loyalty.

How to deal with competitors that are using your brand name on Google paid search ads


After having seen your competitors’ name showing above your company for its own name, alarm bells may start ringing – and you might be inclined to jump the gun and fire off a complaint to Google – but first, take a moment to analyse the situation.

Is your competitor actually using your brand name in their ad copy, or are they just bidding on your brand name as a keyword?

The reason behind asking yourself this question is that it is OK for advertisers to bid on competitors’ brand names, but it’s not always OK to use their name in ad copy.

Google’s trademark policy states “EU and EFTA regions may use the trademark as a keyword, provided that the combination of the keyword and ad is not confusing.”


Now you know how your competitor is behaving, it’s time to choose a suitable response to the situation.

If your competitor is simply bidding on your brand name, then the easiest response is to bid higher for your own brand name. This will (assuming the bid is set right) show your own ad first, and your competitors’ ads after.

However, if your competitor is using your brand name in their ad copy, there are some other options available to you.

You can choose to reach out to the competitor and ask if they will cease using your company’s name in their advertising. Depending on how they react, this may be the easiest solution to the problem.

Should the above tactic not work, you may be able to reach out to Google. If your trademark is being violated in the text of an ad on Google Search, Google offers to investigate this. Trademark complaints for Google Ads can be sent to Google via their Help for Trademark Owners page. 

Alternatively, you may choose to liaise directly with the offending advertiser through legal means.

Should you be running brand PPC ads?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether running brand PPC ads is worthwhile. At the end of the day, those searching for your business by brand name already know of your business – so why pay to reach them?

For one, it helps alleviate the issues associated with competitors bidding on your brand name. It gives you a way of helping to ensure you’re in that first position – the one that matters.

But it also helps take up more real estate on Google’s search results. Keeping those eyeballs on your brand, pushing further down any organic search results that are not your own website.

Finally, brand PPC ads provide control. It gives you the opportunity to promote any special offers, new product launches, and more. This can help lead to increased customer value and help to keep customers loyal.

Use a tried-and-tested PPC agency to manage your paid search ads for you

PPC can bring great results if managed in the right way. A PPC agency that is tried-and-tested and can prove results is often best placed to get the most out of your PPC budget, by knowing all the latest tricks and using years of research in different paid search strategies.

At Atomic, we’ve worked with clients across a range of industries to help grow their sales and leads through paid search advertising, from automotive to real estate, we have the skills and the proven results to back it up.

Take a look at our case studies and get in touch today to see how we can help grow your business online.

Jack Wilkinson

Jack Wilkinson

Head of Digital Marketing


11 October, 2021

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