6 Brand Protection Tips for Search Keyword Monitoring

Katie Spurkeland Mar 24, 2023

When allocating spend to paid search campaigns, marketers expect to expand their reach and acquire new customers to justify a return on spend for the channel. However, a disadvantage of paid search is that the channel’s payment model is based on clicks—a structure that creates a low barrier for entry to digital fraudsters and contributes to $1.4B dollars lost to affiliate marketing fraud annually.

BrandVerity’s “always-on” search monitoring solution implements the safeguards necessary for protecting brand integrity and marketing dollars. However, effective monitoring hinges on selecting and monitoring the right keywords. Consider these best practices when selecting your BrandVerity keywords:

  • Include your parent brand or brand name. Fraudsters bid on your brand name to appear higher in search results and generate commission from consumers that would have gone directly to your site. Ensure that you include your brand name and/or parent company name in keyword monitoring.
  • Input long-tail keywords. Suspect affiliates may try to divert trac from your site by bidding on longer tail terms, for example, ‘Nike Coupon’, Nike Offer, or Nike Discount Code. Include these or similar commonly used discount terminology after your brand name to protect against this type of affiliate activity.
  • Cover product names, sub brands or trademarked products. Consider your most popular products that may be searched by a consumer before your actual brand name. Alternatively, if your catalog includes sub-brands or collections, the same monitoring strategy applies.
  • Add domain names or website URLs. Violations are not limited to keywords, and you should also protect the integrity of your website. Monitor your URL as a keyword to protect against fraudsters that cannibalize sales from consumers that begin their buyer journey in search engines.
  • Incorporate common misspellings. Frequent misspellings or variations of your brand name including parent brand, sub brands or even website are attractive to fraudsters seeking to be under the radar of your manual audits. Safeguard yourself from unscrupulous trademark bidding by incorporating variants of your brand name in your compliance monitoring.
  • Monitor common misperceptions. Consumers may search for variations of a product name out of confusion or a misunderstanding. Using Nike as an example, monitor misconstructions of your brand name or popular products such as ‘Jordan Shoes’, actually branded as ‘AirJordans’.

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