My Competitors Have Just Bought My Brand Keyword: What Should I Do Next?

My Competitors Have Just Bought My Brand Keyword: What Should I Do Next?

It is quite devastating to wake up one day, type your brand keyword on a search engine and find your competitors’ websites appearing at the top of the search results.

There’s nothing that search engines can do about this.

Several years ago, several search engines came up with the idea of removing restrictions on competitors buying brand keywords.

So now, the practice is not banned by any search engine. Thus, you cannot complain to search engines because this is no longer a violation.

But wait! Hear me out! I’m not saying there’s nothing you can do about it.

Here are five things you can do to turn a sour situation into something beneficial.

Take Ownership of Your Brand Name

Sounds weird right?

But this is among the few ways to protect your own brand keywords. Maybe your competitors’ sale of your brand keywords was a wake-up call.

Keep in mind, your competitors are able to see the keywords you bid. So, if you did not bid your brand keyword, you should not complain if they do.

But this is not what we came here to discuss about.

The thing is if you still have some brand keywords that you haven’t bid, be sure to do so. In a situation where your competitors have won the bid for your brand keyword, try to outbid them.

“But won’t this cost us a lot?”

It will. Remember, once your competitor notices you are trying to outbid them, they will pay a higher CPC. This means you have to be prepared to pay more.

But would you prefer losing out on leads because you want to “save up?” Of course not!

Brand keywords give you an opportunity to create the message you want to pass on. Also, you can test out several ads to see which one works best for you.

Talk to the Business

Your competitors bought your brand keywords, and thus, wouldn’t want a sit down with you.

But it doesn’t hurt to try.

Before taking any action, reach out to your competitors. Ask them to remove the ads. Doing this helps you clear your conscience so that when things become really heated, you know you tried taking the high road.

Also, in some cases, believe it or not, your competitors might not be aware that they bid on keywords. This is because, in such cases, the bid was done by an agency that did not reveal its plan to boost search engine results for your competitor.

If all fails, threaten your competitors with legal action (using a cease and desist order). This should motivate your competitors to shift their budget elsewhere.

File a Complaint with Search Engines

Before filing a complaint with search engines, be sure your brand name is trademarked (this option only works for those companies). Choose a trademark complaint and apply it to all advertisements. This will prevent your competitors from using your trademark in their sales copy.

Even though this might not stop every brand from using your brand keywords, it will prevent majority of the brands using AdWords.

Bid on Your Competitors’ Brand Keywords

If everything fails, you can always start bidding on your competitors’ keywords. Start by conducting a research. Check out the amount of traffic your competitors’ brand keywords are generating.

Tools like SEMrush should help you out in your research. Once you have identified and are satisfied with the results, start bidding on their brand keywords. Choose keywords that have a huge volume of monthly searches to leverage enough traffic.

Besides, this would spark some kind of contest. They wouldn’t want you to leverage their traffic. So, they will bid at a higher CPC forcing them to stop bidding on other brand keywords.

But keep in mind, you cannot use their brand keywords in your sales copy. You have to be creative when using their keywords in your ads.

Step up Your SEO and Online Reputation

Next, step up your SEO game. You can do this by either getting an agency to help out or doing it on your own. The key is to dominate search engine results so that when users search they are likely to land on your website. Besides, SEO will allow you to do have a long-term online reputation.

Need to hire an online reputation consulting firm? Look no further, contact us today.

Posted in SEM