Defending Your Brand in SEM

Here's a top secret excerpt from New Engen Support & Training – the official guide to help you learn anything and everything about New Engen's marketing automation platform, how to use our technology, our digital marketing insights and more. Interested in our marketing automation software? Take us for a test-drive!

When imitation isn’t the highest form of flattery.

We’ll set the scene: you enter your brand into a search engine only to find a competitor brand showed up in placement #1. Shocked, horrified and slightly offended that your brand may have missed out on a highest-intent purchaser, you think to yourself, “How could they!?” The truth is – it’s completely legal for a competitor to bid on another brand. What’s not legal is for them to use your trademarked terms in their ad copy. (If you find this to be the case – make one! Reach out to Google to file an AdWord’s trademark violation complaint.) In the case of bidding on your keywords, however? Totally legal.

It’s also possible that they’re matching unintentionally on your terms through broad matches, but the reality is, just seeing a competitor on a search term is only one part of the equation. That’s why our experts at New Engen have you covered with these quick steps on defending your brand in search engine marketing:

Determine the impact by looking at Auction Insights in AdWords Bidding Tool

Here, you can see how big of a sizable impact it is to your brand campaign, and your goal is to determine if you want to take action and see how much it will cost. You generally want your exact match terms to always be in #1 and to have at least a 90% impression share. As far as phrase match and broad match, these thresholds are less well-defined, but we generally recommend a position of no lower than 1.4 for phrase, and to base broad-match position based on performance.

If you do decide to act, follow the below:

So, now it’s time to decide what you want to do – take action or let it play out? If you do decide to act, here’s what we suggest:

  1. Change your targets within the New Engen platform to be more aggressive. Try increasing CPA target and decreasing ROAS target (depending on what you’re bidding toward).
  2. Change position bidding within the New Engen platform. Tell the engine exactly what position you want to hit at a keyword level and it will bid you to that position. This tends to be more expensive because it’s not performance-based bidding, but it gives you more control and less possibility of your brand terms losing position.

Keep in mind – for branded terms, quality score plays a very important part in where ads show up in terms of page position. If a competitor wants to bid on brand terms, they would have to pay much more to actually show up. So, no need to stress – remember to keep calm and bid on!

Alright, performance marketers – want more? Check out our search engine best practices or even better, if you’re a customer, log-in to New Engen Support & Training to unlock additional hot content including pro-tips, how-to articles and much more. Not a customer (yet)? Don't be shy – reach out to our sales team (they'd love to hear from you).

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