In the online world, the threats to your brand are growing with no end in sight. You have Online Counterfeiting, Domain Squatters, Typo Squatters and all the rest. The gradual release of over 1,400 new gTLDs is only making your brand harder and harder to protect, as digital thieves are honing their craft to divert traffic from legitimate brand sites to their bogus sites.
On top of all these threats are violations to the very heart of a digital marketer’s ad campaigns, namely PPC Ad Violations. You see them on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. With all that’s happening out there, monitoring it all can take a team working round the clock. Online thieves are using branded keywords in PPC Ads that are directing consumers to their counterfeit sites, hence cutting into your traffic and stealing from your bottom line. Going beyond, this only hurts your brand’s Google ranking.
What’s worse is this is all happening while you sleep, not only stealing customers but also damaging your brand’s reputation as your traffic is diverted to irrelevant sites and ones selling cheap knockoffs. Here are some steps you can take to protect the brand you’ve worked so hard in building.
Planning a strategy to defend against PPC violations is critical to succeeding in combating this threat. You should be recording all instances of violations that your brand has encountered up to this point. You need to come up with an approximate dollar figure regarding how much money you’ve spent in countering these violations, so that you can weigh the benefits of implementing a brand protection tool. From what I’ve seen, the ROI you will gain is well worth it, as this is just one type of violation that the right tool can prevent.
Monitoring your competitors’ websites and seeing what keywords they may be using is paramount to protecting your brand against violators, legitimate and illegitimate. Abuse of your brand can be frustrating and it is becoming more and more common. In this respect, the space that your brand resides in requires round the clock monitoring for keyword violations.
Abuse Is A Mixed Bag
Brand abuse comes in many forms. When you use a brand protection tool, you will be able to monitor the keywords that your competitors are using. You might be surprised that a lot of legitimate brands out there are using the branded keywords of their competitors.
The number of counterfeiting websites are growing exponentially. These sites are professionally designed and use copyrighted images to give consumers the impression they are the real deal. Counterfeiters drive traffic via PPC Ads and by using other strategies. Often times, they can be using the Nike keyword in their ads, and at the end consumers will be redirected to a site that sells cheap sneakers made in Bangladesh.
Brands using competitor’s keywords in their PPC ads is not uncommon. This could be digging into your traffic and stealing sales. While e-commerce sales are rising with each passing year, consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated when they conduct a search using Google and the sites they are directed to, are for something that is totally irrelevant, often filled with ads or just keywords stuffed onto a page.
Being proactive is critical in meeting the various challenges of protecting your brand. As I said, PPC violations are just one of the many threats facing brands online today. The sooner you choose a Brand Protection tool, the sooner you will be able to shield your brand against damage to reputation and your bottom line.