How To Stop A Competitor From Copying Your AdWords Ads

We’ve started our AdWords campaign a year ago. A few months ago we saw another AdWords ad identical to ours (as text and title) and still active. Our question is what can we do about it?

I presume from your question, that you mean the ad you saw has the same copy as your own ad but points to a competitor’s website.

If the copycat ad is infringing a copyright that you own or that you have exclusive rights to use, then you should contact Google Support in an email with all the relevant details. Should they agree with your complaint, then the copycat ad will be banned.

However, if there has been no copyright infringement, then there is not a lot you can actually do.

The truth of the matter is that this practice actually takes place a lot more often than you might think. Normally, advertisers are not so blatant as to copy an entire competitors ad. However, it is quite common practice for people to cherry pick the best bits of other people’s ads in order to create an ad of their own.

My biggest concern is that your question gives the impression you’ve been using the same ad for a year or more. To get the best results from AdWords, you should be split testing your ads.

Rotating two ads and picking the one that performs best will improve your AdWords campaign performance. Keep split testing and if your copycat competitor tries to follow your lead, they will always be one or two steps behind you and the ad copy you know really works best.

Local Extensions Get A Designer Make Over
We have posted about AdWords Local Extensions a number of times since they were first introduced last year. Everyone should therefore already be very familiar with the ability to include a business address within your AdWords ads.

Google have now announced an exciting extension to this feature. If you have more than one business address within the same general area you can now have AdWords show all of them.

For example, if you were searching for a Mc Donalds in your local town center, the ad can now show all the restaurants in the nearby locality so you can now find the one that is closest or most convenient.

This new feature can be used by any business that operates in any of the countries within which AdWords has made location extensions available, have enabled location extensions within their account and have listings in Google Places.

Why People From Outside Your Local Geo-Targeting Area Are Seeing Your Ads
I’ve 6 campaigns, targeting an area 50 miles radius of Manchester. Over the last month, an average of 60% of click through came from OUTSIDE this radius. We only offer our gardening service in that radius, so effectively we’re throwing away nearly two-thirds of our ad budget on totally useless clicks!

This is a common problem that AdWords users have when trying to geo-target an advertising campaign to a very small geographical area. The problem is due to the way that Internet access is provided and I’m afraid that there is no clear cut way of targeting your campaigns to completely eliminate your problem.

I could write here for you a full explanation on how geo-targeting works and why you’re experiencing such a high percentage of click-through from outside your geographical area, but I’m sure you’d rather I told you how to reduce your wasted click-throughs and make your advertising more targeted.