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PPC Brand Bidding Attack And Defence Strategies

What is Brand Bidding? Why should you bid on your own Brand terms? Learn how Brand Bidding impacts your Quality Score and what PPC advanced strategies are available.

Learn the strategies that are available to attack and defend your brand like a top general. Save time and risk when adopting these strategies.

Paid Search PPC Brand Bidding

In this post, we will set out the pros and cons of brand bidding. There is nothing stopping you from directly bidding on a competitor's brand name. The only thing you cannot do is pretend to be something you’re not. In this case, you cannot claim to be your competition by including their name in your ad. Fair enough! But there are a few exceptions to this if your competitor's name is something generic.

Being PPC Discovered - PPC Attack

If you decide to brand bid, you may want to limit the impact and stop your competitor finding out.

There are two main ways you can do this:

1. You can find out the postcode of your competitor and place a negative location at the postcode level within your location settings.
2. You can reverse engineer it and do an IP lookup of your competitor's domain. Then place an IP exclusion of your competitor website.

These are not perfect options and will not, in the long term, stop a competitor finding out and potentially doing the same to you. But it can expand that time frame and limit any negative impact.

Yes to Google Shopping

The Impact on Quality Score When Bidding Against Competitors

A big factor when bidding against a competitor is Quality Score. You are very likely to be hit by a very low Quality Score as you cannot include your competitor name as part of your landing page or ad. This is ⅔ of the ranking factors for a Quality score. You are also likely to suffer low CTR so in most cases your Quality Scores for competitor based bidding will be under 3. In my experience 2 is normal and 1 is not uncommon. Therefore these are not cheap clicks as you are dramatically overpaying market rate. Some people believe this to be a factor as to why not to bid on competitors, but this is dependent on the sector.

Therefore these are not cheap clicks in general as you are dramatically overpaying market rate, which some people believe to be a factor as to why to bid on competitors, but this is again dependent on the sector.


Targeting PPC Postcode Exclusion

This is a very nice strategy if you do not necessarily want your competitors to find out that you are bidding on their name, well not straight away anyway?

You simply find the postcode of your competitors and exclude the location using the location exclusion tool on AdWords. Simple but effective, but there is a PPC strategy not adopted by many.

IP Exclusion

You can also reverse engineer their IP address from the website and place an IP exclusion on this campaign. Both options are not perfect and over time they will find out, but it might delay them a bit longer and before they take action against you.

If you see that a certain IP address is constantly clicking your ads and not converting, and if you see that the IP is geographically located in the same area as a competitor, you’d want to block that IP address immediately. You’re probably both bidding on the same keywords. This could be a competitor who knows exactly how to trigger your Ad to show, and could easily click it.

PPC Strategy

RLSA For Competitor PPC Defence Strategy

Another good little tactic is using RLSA (Remarketing lists for Search Ads). This is where you can target customers who visit competitor websites.

What this means is you switch your marketing list to target competitors, but only if they have been to your website first.

This is where you use the targeting option in your Google ads campaign from observation, combined with competitor keywords. It’s a small but effective way of Brand defence and attack at the same time.

Exclude Remarketing audiences From Brand Traffic

A fundamental dilemma in AdWords is not wanting to pay for existing brand traffic. There are great advantages in brand bidding, in control the retail space, but the negative is cost, but if there was a way only to show to new customers only, would this be the ideal solution.

Well in principle you can! Where you can use your remarketing list in reverse and apply as an "Exclusion list in AdWords". This, therefore, would prevent existing site users seeing a ppc and saving that cost, and defending your brand against the competition form new users.

PPC Strategy

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