Should I bid on my own brand name in Adwords?

On 21March 2013, Google announced a change in Trademark policy that applies to all advertisers in Australia. The policy came into effect on April 23 and has changed your competitor’s ability to bid on your brand name, having a number of implications for your Search strategy.

The changes are:

  • Google will no longer prevent advertisers from bidding on third party trademarks
  • Any trademark bidding restrictions currently in place ceased to exist on April 23
  • Google will still look into complaints over someone using your Trademark in their advert

This policy change has meant it is worth revisiting a commonly asked question from clients: ‘Should I bid on my own brand name in Adwords?’

In our experience, the answer to this question is ‘Yes’. There is a lot to be gained from bidding on your own brand name, and considering the minimal costs involved, you would be silly not to.

Here are some of the reasons we think you should bid on your own brand name.

To prevent being undermined by competitors

With the latest changes from Google, your competitors will begin to bid on your brand name whether it is straight away or sometime in the future. If your competitors’ ads are showing at the top they will get some of your customers visiting their site, undermining your brand. By bidding on your own brand name you can easily rank above your competitors, at a lower cost.

Low cost

Because you will have a very high click through rate on your own brand name, and the website address will match exactly, after the first month the cost of bidding on your brand name becomes very economical with average click costs averaging between 5c and 70c (depending on if your brand uses generic keywords).

Dominate the page

Even if nobody is bidding on your brand (yet), bidding on your own brand name is a smart way to dominate the page and ensure you get most, if not all of the search traffic. By bidding on your own brand name you will be able to own a larger amount of Google Real Estate, making it easier to see your ad and often enabling your business to look far larger than it actually is.

Tailor your message & landing page

Your home page is always going to rank at the top of your search results organically but what happens if you are running a promotion or sale you want to push for a short period of time? Bidding on your brand name allows you to tailor the message of your adverts and the destination URL a searcher is taken to. This messaging can be combined with Sitelinks which allow you to attach up to 6 additional links to your advertisement and are a great way to highlight particular parts of your website.

Increase traffic

While most people may find your business without you bidding on your brand name, some people react better to the visibility of paid ads, so for a small investment you will automatically increase the number of people who visit your site. A recent Google study showed that combining Adwords with an organic listing brings in a considerable amount of extra traffic, especially if you have a high organic listing already.  While we would recommend taking this study with a grain of salt due to the bias of the publisher, it is still useful to note.

Misspellings & new products

If your business has a name that is often misspelt, you should bid on the incorrect spellings of it. This way you will ensure that everyone who is looking for you finds you, even if they are not sure how to spell your name. If you are launching a new product which you are not yet ranking organically for you can also bid on this name to ensure that when people hear about your new product they can find you straight away.

Regardless of how large or small your business, your brand is everything, so make sure that you are in control of your brand name online by buying it on Adwords. This simple and inexpensive move is sure to both strengthen your brand and reinforce your online presence.

If you need help with Google Adwords, then get in touch with us today.

Duncan Jones

Duncan Jones

Head of CRO at Web Profits

Duncan has been building websites and online businesses since the days of the 56k modem. He is data-driven, insists on tracking everything and loves the thrill of launching online marketing campaigns, getting the first conversion and then rapidly optimising and scaling them.


  1. Robert Corse-Scott says:

    I had a win in court for a client in New Zealand, its actually against the law and probably still his here in Australia to target a competitors Name and them point the ad back to your website. Just because Google allows does not mean you can do it. I’d be very interested to see how this pans out.

    May 8th, 2013 at 10:17 am

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks that’s great to know. Do you know how long it would\might take for Google to review a complaint? Even a small window would give a competitor a great advantage. Great blog – love WebProfits videos\blogs!

    May 9th, 2013 at 11:04 am

  3. Geffrey says:

    I’m an Adwords newbie and I don’t have much experience on bidding on keywords. However, on my personal opinion, I think it is such a waste of budget? Correct me if I’m wrong. I know I am missing a lot of things here.

    May 29th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

  4. Charles, c/o, Valplan says:

    Maybe I am off track here, but I always prefer marketing my own products as opposed to other people’s products. I have also found that in AdWords, if you don’t know what you are doing, it can be a disaster. At least with your own brand, you have a little more control.

    June 3rd, 2013 at 8:04 am

  5. Glenn @ Socialr says:

    It’s just the bidding on keywords. Any company can still complain about their copyrighted name appearing in ad copies. Anyone can bid for the keyword “toyota” in Adwords but anyone should not use the copyrighted term “toyota” in their ad copies.

    July 17th, 2013 at 8:43 pm