Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Using Symbols in Ad Copy can have Dramatic Effects on...

Using Symbols in Ad Copy can have Dramatic Effects on CTR

PPC Hero wrote a nice article on adding Copyright and Trademark symbols to ad copy.

Do you or one of your clients have a registered or trademarked company name? If so, try putting the trademarked or registered symbol in your PPC ads to help increase click-through rates.

The reasoning behind this strategy and how it may help increase your click-through rates is two-fold:

1.        It will help your PPC ad stand apart from other competitor ads in the SERPs.

2.       It will help ensure confidence in consumers that you are a professional business.

Honestly, I wish they hadn’t written the post. I tested out adding symbols with a company in 2002 and found that in highly competitive industries it can definitely help CTR. In highly researched industries (such as b2b), it can make a critical difference in your ad copy success.

I’ve been using this technique for 5 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen someone actually write about it. While some have used it before, no one’s actually said that much about it. Since the cat is out of the bag, here’s some info to go along with their post:

The easiest way to enter these symbols into your ad copy is to hold down the alt symbol, type the below number, and release the alt key:

  • Trademark symbol ™ – Alt + 0153
  • Copyright symbol © Alt +  0169
  • Registered trademark symbol ® Alt + 0174

It’s worth split testing using a symbol in your ad copy.


  1. Jeremy Palmer
    January 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm · Reply

    Great article as usual. You can also insert special characters using the Windows Character Map. Just go to Accessories > System Tools > Character Map. It’s worth noting that Google may not let you use certain symbols. For example, I tried to use a music symbol in one of my ads and it was declined. Yahoo is pretty flexible, but they’ve also declined a few ads.


  2. Geno Prussakov
    January 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm · Reply

    I’ve been using this technique (precisely for a B2B campaign) for about a year now, and have also registered a better CTR in ad copies with the “symbols”.

  3. Internet Marketing Raleigh
    January 6, 2009 at 10:26 am · Reply

    Yes, I have seen this improve CTR dramatically for my clients!

  4. Amber
    January 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm · Reply

    Hi Brad, thanks for the comments on the post. Sorry I let your secret out! : )

  5. Jon Lee Clark
    January 6, 2009 at 4:40 pm · Reply

    I have always thought about testing these symbols in ad copy but never took the time to actually do it! I’m implementing a few A/B tests tonight for sure! Thanks for the tips!

  6. Gopikrishna
    August 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm · Reply

    I’ve been using this method myself for years. Apart from standard

    Trademark symbol ™ – Alt + 0153
    Copyright symbol © Alt + 0169
    Registered trademark symbol ® Alt + 0174

    I have used symbols like car, love and special characters and it really worked out not only in terms of CTR but also in reducing my overall CPA.

  7. justinvaira
    May 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm · Reply

    Since the names of these companies are copyrighted is it necessary to get permission from google to use them in adwords? I have run into this problem before when creating campaigns for pharmacies and using trademarked drug names in ads.

    • brad
      May 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm · Reply

      That will depend on the company and how they are protecting (or not) their trademarks. Some you can use – some you can’t.

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