If you have the History Channel, you have probably heard of or even watched the show Storage Wars. And if you have not, it is a show where auctioneers can bid on unclaimed storage lockers in cash-only auctions. Now, you are most likely wondering what this has to do with SEO (search engine optimisation) and you would be right to wonder.
A bidding war in this (weirdly) popular TV show is similar to the bidding wars experienced by those using Google Ads: two advertisers want to outbid each other for a certain keyword. This is done either to secure the top position in the paid search results or to increase the cost-per-click for competitors. When you are using Google Ads for your business, you need to understand what bidding is and why it is important.
Below we discuss what a Google Ads bidding war is and how to deal with this.
So…What Is A Google Ads Bidding War?
To explain what a bidding war is, you can think about it like this: imagine waking up in the morning, going online and searching for your business, and noticing that your competitor is now ranking in the number one spot for your keyword or business name. And the traffic they are getting from this is highly valuable as it is paid traffic. This is the result of them winning a bidding war.
Twelve years ago in 2008, Google lifted the ban they had in place that prohibited competitors from bidding on each other’s branded keywords. Since these early days, it has been acceptable for brands to bid against each other’s brands, granted you do not mention their name within your ad copy.
However, Google Ads bidding wars are diminishing, especially with the introduction of the quality score by Google Ads. It was quickly realised that when a paid search result position was based purely on bid value alone, the quality of the ad went down. This means that, now, the highest bid is no longer guaranteed the top position.
It is a method that is somewhat in the “grey area” of SEO, but if you are not the winner of a bidding war, this can be detrimental to your brand.
How To Remedy A Bidding War Loss
Now that you understand what a bidding war is, you are likely wondering how you can remedy it. Below we have some simple tips on how you can remedy the situation should it happen to you.
Acknowledge The Ad May Not Be Removed
Now, this might sound like a bitter pill to swallow, but your competitor is under no legal obligation to remove their ads if they are not using your business or brand name in the text. You might have to look at different keywords or phrases to use in your ads in order to drive more traffic to your website.
However, if your competitor is using your business or brand name or branded keywords, you can submit a request to Google for their ads to be removed, as it is an infringement of Google’s trademark policy. If this is not the case, you will need to change your own campaign and choose different keywords or phrases that your competitors cannot outbid you on.
Google is not the only search engine that you should be monitoring for branded ads, especially if you have more than one competitor in your industry. Google has search partners which could be used to drive traffic to your website…as well as your competitors. Some of the most popular search partners for Google are Ask.com, AOL.com, and Amazon.com.
You can go onto these websites to search for your branded keywords or for the keywords you are using to see where your ad appears. You can improve your results by choosing your ads to display on these search partners. This will help to improve your traffic as well as your audience reach, helping to ease the issues a bidding war could bring.
Improve Your Quality Score
One of the best ways to prevent a Google Ads bidding war from happening is to improve the quality score of your ads. The quality score shows you the estimated quality of your ads based on the 1 to 10 quality score for each keyword you use. A high-quality score means that Google believes your ad to be valuable and relevant.
You can boost your quality score by improving your ad relevancy and the landing page relevancy, adding ad extensions that relate to the ad, as well as ensuring the keywords are unique to your business. Using relevant keywords and links will help to ensure that your ad is placed for any search terms, but be sure to keep your list updated using data from real-time analytics.
Outbid The Best
A Google Ads bidding war might sound like a daunting prospect, but there are ways to prevent and remedy it. It is important to remember that the ad may not be removed and you will need to create new keyword lists in order to beat out your competitors. However, if a branded keyword is used, you are able to report this to Google itself.
If you would like to tap into the power of Google Ads for your business, drop NetMechanic a line today to find out how we can help you.