As an internet marketer in the pay per click world, you know that the average cost per click that you pay is impacted by many factors. Let’s look at just some of the factors that play a part in the average cost per click you pay when advertising on Google:

  • Competition
  • Geo settings
  • Your max CPC setting
  • Keyword match type

There is also the Quality Score of your keywords, which is determined by many things, including the following:

  • Historical click through rate (CTR)
  • Overall account history
  • Landing page quality
  • Keyword relevance to the keywords in the ad group
  • Ad relevance
  • “Other” – the list goes on…

KAWinteractive | Brand Protection

By now, some of you are wondering what any of this has to do with “The War Against Affiliates”, as the title of this blog post suggested. If you are a brand who not only does PPC marketing (either in house or with an agency), but also has an affiliate program running – you need to make sure that your affiliates are not also your competition. You need to protect your Brand.

The price you pay per click on your brand terms is usually significantly lower than the price you pay for any non-brand, or generic, terms. The reason for this is fairly straight forward – all of the factors that go into your actual CPC positively impact your Brand keywords. Chances are no one will be more relevant, your CTRs are most likely higher than the competitors on your brand, etc. Chances are that you are paying well under $1.00 per click for traffic on your brand terms. Cheap CPCs… Quite an attractive item, no?

If your agreements with your affiliates (you probably pay them on a CPL basis) does not include language that prohibits them from bidding on your Brand, get that language in place ASAP. Especially if they are, in fact, bidding on your brand terms and using your brand in their ad copy. Bidding on brand terms is an attractive option for affiliates that are paid on a Cost Per Lead (CPL) basis because brand terms have a low CPC and a high conversion rate. Chances are your brand terms convert at a much lower CPL than what you pay your affiliate. Why let them get those conversions and charge you so much?  Easy… Don’t.

In one particular circumstance, one of our clients came to us to take over their AdWords program. After a quick audit, we saw that their was a ton of paid ads appearing when we searched for their brand name on Google. Through several cease and desist letters and filing several trademark violations through Google, we successfully cleaned up the search engine results page for our client. The result you ask…?

At the end of the clean up, our client’s average brand CPC went from $1.78 to $0.26.

To get these types of results by cleaning up all of the other ads that appear on your brand terms, here is what do you need to do from here.

  • Make sure your affiliate agreements contain language that not only prohibit them from bidding on your brand term or having your brand term in their ad copy, but also requires them to have your brand term as a negative keyword in their PPC campaigns.
  • Approach offenders yourself, on behalf of your brand, and if that doesn’t work…
  • File a trademark trademark complaint for each offender through Google’s Trademark Complaint form.
  • Monitor progress in the search results using the ad preview tool to ensure personalization isn’t impacting what you see.

Remember that Trademark violations truly only apply to use of your brand in ad copy, not keywords. If you need help cleaning up your brand search results, contact us today and we’ll get to work for you.