▷ Buy your brand on Google Ads (Adwords)? That of its competitors? 2021 -

The question that always comes up when I interact with advertisers on Google Ads: is there any point in bidding on your own brand? I have the right to buy the brand of my competitors in keyword on Adwords?

Tip: Analyze my Google Adwords keywords with CWT Advertising & Com

In SEISO, I interacted with almost every type of advertiser imaginable. Behind every market situation, business strategy or type of conversion there is an infallible recommendation that benefits almost everyone: bidding on your brand keyword

It’s quite counter-intuitive:

  • Why buy my own name?
  • Why bid on a keyword where I will be de facto first in natural referencing?
  • Isn’t my Google Ads budget on my branded keyword cannibalizing my free traffic?

Why bid on its brand name:

1- Occupy the field on the results page

Bidding on branded queries helps you dominate the search engine results page.

2 links on the SERP are better than one. A well done SEA ad, if you combine good management of your local pages on GMaps and your nat ref then you can occupy almost all of the Google display.

This space is so much land that you do not leave to your competitors.

Just as having multiple links in an email mechanically increases the click-through rate, giving the user more CTAs increases the number of visits to your site for equal number of queries on Google.

Finally, from a brand image point of view, this occupation of the land is also a way of positioning yourself as a leading player.

2- Control your image on Google

Organic SEO links are free, but still generic, and you don’t have full control over how Google will display it.

The advantage of the sponsored link is that you are in control of your ad.

Its text, secondary links, USP or even the landing page.

Paid ads give you the opportunity to:

  • Develop catchy copywriting in your ad copy;
  • Master the landing page (s) you want to use;
  • Choose the USP to highlight in your catchphrases;
  • Choose the secondary links to highlight.
Google ads rating

Finally, it is also an opportunity to have the 5 stars of the review extensions appear on your brand name.

3- Protect your brand from competitors on Adwords

Competitors may already be buying your brand name.

This automatically leads to a diversion of traffic that would have been directed to your site towards your competitor’s pages. This traffic will generally not be very useful to him but:

  • It does not say that the Internet user will make the effort to come back to you despite everything;
  • Some competitors do things in a very intelligent way and redirect these ads to comparison pages which are not necessarily intended to convert the user immediately but to sow doubt in his mind.
Google Ads Brand

How to manage your bids on branded keywords:

1: Eliminate wasted budget

Exclude negative terms such as “scam”, “negative reviews” or run a specific campaign pointing to a positive customer testimonial page.

2: isolate the performance of your brand keywords

Doable with labels or more simply using SEISO. The idea is to set yourself a specific budget but also profitability or differentiated CPA objectives.

You also need to set different ambitions for yourself in terms of market share.

For your brand you should aim for 90% minimum printing rate.

That is to say that 9 times out of 10 when an Internet user looks for you he must find you.

On the off-brand, aim for 80%

SEISO can help you locate yourself for free and in 3 clicks:

Audit my Google Ads positions

Google Ads Impression Rate

Example of Brand / Non-Brand impression share analysis by SEISO

Can I buy a competitor’s brand on Google as a keyword?

So if you can buy your own brand, what to do with your competitors?

The answer is less obvious. I will say it depends on the sector you are in:

  • What are the existing competitive practices?
  • The relationship between the different companies in the sector?

It is not uncommon to be able to agree on cordial non-aggression practices.

However, you have the right to buy a competitor’s brand name and vice versa in your keyword auctions. On the other hand, it is forbidden by the G Ads rules to mention the name of the competing brand in your ad text.

Find competitors who bid on your brand

There is a way in Google Ads to find out who is showing up with you.

Here’s how to do it:

Go to your brand campaign (if you followed me, you have one 😉)

Select Auction analysis and you will then have the visibility shares of your competitors on your own brand:

Google Ads Brand Competitors

At SEISO, we also use Brandverity to raise alerts when a branded keyword is purchased by advertisers and monitor these strategies across different networks and geographies.

Bidding on your brand

As we said above, it’s worth bidding on your own name to take the position. Buying your brand is not expensive: there is little competition and above all you are super relevant to the query. You will therefore benefit from a very high QS and a particularly low CPC.

By bidding, you create a barrier to entry for competitors who will be awarded a penalty on their QS and will have to pay dissuasive prices to bid on your position.

Google Trademark Protection Form

To protect your brand name on google Adwords you can make a request directly from a form on this page:

Trademark protection form on Google Adwords

Classic mail

Contact competitors who use your brand name in their keyword purchases directly by attaching a screenshot and specifically ask them to put your brand name in a negative keyword.

Indeed, the purchase of a competitor’s brand name in its keyword auctions can be done unintentionally, especially in smart campaigns or DSAs. The person you are talking to may not be aware that it is displayed on your brand.

Stay courteous 😉


Beyond the debate on the legitimacy of paying Google to appear on its own brand in its search engine, all the research that is shared and the experiences that I have had show that it is rational to invest Google’s budget Ads on its brand.

On the other hand, it must be done intelligently, that is to say:

  1. By working these ads in specific ways with well-segmented ad groups;
  2. By properly labeling Brand campaigns in order to isolate their performance and not overestimate the overall performance of the Adwords account;
  3. By setting impression rate targets specific to brand campaigns and monitoring competitor impression rates.

For more tips and advice on your Google Ads accounts, sign up for free to SEISO:

Free Google Ads Audit

Article written in collaboration with SEISO