Can I Use Trademarks in Adwords?

Did you know you can increase your click-through rates by including trademark and registered symbols in your ad copy? Or that you can even use trademarked terms that you don’t own? Trademarks may be a complicated area, but there are some things you can do to make the most out of trademarks and your use of them in your AdWords strategy.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Using the TM and Register Symbols Effectively

startup-593327_1280As you’re drafting your perfect AdWords copy, consider using the trademark and registered symbols for your brand in your copy. While this may seem like a nit-picky thing, there is evidence showing that it makes a difference.

Many PPC and AdWords professionals agree that adding the TM or Registered marks in your ads will increase your click-through rates. Some have said they’ve seen a CTR of 4%. By including these simple symbols, you’ll stand apart from your competitors in search results and be seen as more professional and an ‘expert in the field.’

Using Competitor Trademarks as Keywords

An effective way to incorporate competitor advertising into your strategy is to use trademarked terms as keywords in your AdWords, even if you don’t own the trademark.

You may question that since the terms are, indeed, trademarked, they are then off limits, but that’s actually not the case. Google allows trademarks to be used in keyword targeting. This allowance is to create relevance within ads, such as if you’re marketing a WordPress Plugin, you can bid to use the term ‘WordPress.’

However, if your competitor has enforced their trademark usage with Google, you may hit a roadblock when trying to use it in your ad copy. Trademarked terms can only be used in ad copy under three situations: he copyright holder has given you permission to use the term, you are a reseller of the product, or it is an information page dedicated to the product. The enforcement of this policy is by Google’s policy team, so be prepared to create alternate ad copy or landing pages. Also acceptance of the trademark usage does not protect you from litigation from the trademark holder.

Also, there may be repercussions with bidding on competitors’ branded keywords – remember, they can do the same to you! And if you’re looking to build a relationship with that competitor at any point down the road, you don’t want to burn bridges now.

To Use or Not To Use

There are arguments for and against using trademark and registered symbols in ad copy. Doing some research and determining what is best for your company is important to ensure consistency and protection.

Many choose to not use the trademark because it just doesn’t look great. If you’re writing ad copy or designing an advertisement, having those symbols can alter the look of the design or the layout of the text. However, if you fear trademark infringement or can anticipate having to fight for your trademarks in the future, it’s best to use the symbols when you can.

If you decide to use the trademark, registered and copyright symbols in your copy, here is how you create them:

Trademark Alt + 0153 or Option + 2 on a Mac
Copyright © Alt + 0169 or Option + G on a Mac
Registered ® Alt + 0174 or Option + R on a Mac


Adding these symbols to your ads can help boost your CTRs and conversions. But if you don’t believe us, try out a test! This would be a perfect reason to try A/B testing – test out an ad with the symbol and another without, then compare the results.

If you need help determine when and where to use these symbols in your campaigns, Seapoint Digital can help give you a leg up. Call today to see how we can help!At Seapoint Digital, we're proud to