Google’s victory in the European Court of Justice is a double-edged sword for PPC advertisers.
It means that advertisers can carry on luring clients away from rivals by using their brand names as hidden PPC keywords (not visible ad text). But it also means their competitors can continue doing the same thing to them.
So what are the implications of using competitors’ names as keywords?
Firstly, you can expect a lousy Quality Score on that keyword because it can’t appear in your ad copy and is unlikely to feature on your destination landing page.
This very poor Quality Score means you will pay a high price for clicks on this keyword. And this will push up your cost per conversion. So using a competitor’s name as a keyword may not trigger the cheap conversions bonanza you were expecting.
Bearing this in mind, some PPC advertisers use their own brand names as keywords. The downside is that this can be deemed a “vanity conversion” – especially if your pages are already getting good page 1 rankings naturally without PPC.
The upside is that two entries on page 1 – a natural ranking and a PPC ad – can bring in more conversions because the double presence attracts and reassures customers.
There is also another benefit to using your own brand name as a keyword – it makes it much more expensive for others to do so.
Why? Well, you’ll be getting a high Quality Score because the keyword is your company name. However, your rivals will have to endure a truly awful Quality Score because they can’t use the keyword in their ads, and will therefore pay much more for each click.
Using a trademark as a keyword might still be legal, according to the European Court of Justice.
But is it right for your PPC campaigns?
That is a decision that only you can make, depending on your circumstances. Remember, we are always happy to advise!
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