Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is an art. It is a balance between effective keywords, search intent, budget goals, conversions, persuasive ad copy, and much more. One wrong keyword could soar the cost of your ad or waste your daily budget. The wrong target audience could gain traffic but not conversions. A successful ad campaign takes time, effort, and an understanding of best practices.

One of the questions we’re often asked is whether or not clients should bid on their competitors’ names. While it is ultimately up to the client on whether or not to bid, we do have some suggestions before making the decision. In this blog, we’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of bidding on your competitor’s name.


  • It is legal and somewhat common to use a competitor’s name as a keyword in pay-per-click advertising.
  • If a customer is searching for your competitor, they are likely searching for a product or service you also offer. In this case, bidding on your competitor’s name could bring more traffic to your website.
  • Brand name keywords can be really cheap if your competitor hasn’t bought their own name.
  • Relatively unknown brands competing in the same industry could benefit from bidding on a competitor name. If you end up above the fold on your competitor’s name and people previously didn’t know you existed, they may begin associating you with that result.


  • Your ad has the possibility of getting a lower quality score on Google Ads. Since your ad copy, URLs, and website content likely won’t have your competitor’s name in them also, an ad running with the brand name keyword will have a lower quality AdRank and ad score.
  • Competitor clicks could result in a high bounce rate. A bounce rate is the amount of time it takes for a customer to enter and leave your site. If a customer clicks on your ad but then immediately realizes it isn’t the brand they were looking for, there is a greater chance of them leaving quickly.
  • Not every business benefits from bidding on competitors. It can be expensive convincing customers to buy from your brand instead of the one they intended to search for. For businesses with a strict budget, money could be better spent somewhere else.


  • Once your competitor realizes you’re bidding on their name, you could enter into a bidding war. You’ll have to bid higher to rank higher for their name, and depending on your disposable resources, this could turn into a waste of time and money.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to Google Ads. However, never use your competitor’s name in the actual ad copy. This will bring on a whole new set of Google trademark issues. Implementing your competitor’s name as a keyword has its pros and cons, and it is ultimately up to the business and the budget whether to bid or not.

Interested in getting started with PPC? Have a campaign that isn’t generating revenue? Get in touch with us! Our PPC Specialist has worked with over thirty clients to build and run successful digital advertising campaigns. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (217) 222-1451 to learn more.