How To Identify, Analyse And Outsmart PPC Competitors In 5 Easy Steps.
Digital Marketing, just like traditional advertising, can be a dog-eat-dog world. More and more advertisers are joining in the PPC game, with over 70 million businesses using PPC for marketing and 64% of brands planning to increase their PPC budget in the next year (State of PPC 2019/2020, 2019).
Competition can be fierce, but don’t let this discourage you. PPC competitor analysis is at the heart of search engine marketing and can be the thing you need to outrank your competitors. But unlike in sport, where the fastest and strongest usually wins, competing successfully for the top three spots in a search engine rank often comes down to tactics, and having the tools and the ability to outsmart the competition.
Here are the steps you can take to beat the PPC competition:
1. Analyse and track your competitors
The first step in PPC competitor analysis is to research and understand who you are up against. Get to know who you are directly competing with in your line of business: it isn’t always the companies you may think of at first. Ask yourself the following when researching your competitors:
- Who is selling a product or offering a service similar to yours?
- Are they targeting the same audience as you?
- Are they located within your area or competing for business in your area?
Once you’ve established who your direct competitors are, you need to track their PPC activity to better understand their strategy. However, this can take a lot of time and energy. Consider hiring a PPC marketer with experience in your field – they will probably already know who your competitors are and how best to work against them.
2. Find the keywords your competitors are bidding on, and ones they’re not using
The most competitive aspect of PPC is keyword bidding. You can use PPC competitor analysis tools such as the Auction Insights feature on Google Adwords, SEMrush or Microsoft Advertising’s competition tab to get a clearer view of the keywords that competitors are bidding on. It may be a better use of your PPC budget to look for gaps in keyword usage, rather than bidding against keywords that your competitors are using. Are there any holes you can fill? Think creatively – look for less used phrases, words or even themes that you can slip into, use and monopolise.
3. Analyse their campaigns and display ads for inspiration
When tracking your competitors’ activity, take careful note of their campaigns and display ads. If they’re outranking you in the auction, ask yourself: what is it about their ads that attracts your target customer? Is it a strong headline? Their choice of image? Learn what is working well in their campaigns and use this as inspiration for your own ads.
4. Offer your customers something your competitors don’t
The best way to set yourself apart and gain market share is to identify your key selling point. What can you offer to potential customers that your competition can’t (or don’t)? Are you a locally owned business? Are your products better value and/or higher quality than your competitors’? Once you work out your KSP, use it as the main focal point for your PPC campaigns and headlines. This should drive more customer attention to your products and services and enable you to increase sales and market share.
There are many possibilities for developing your brand and your website. Keep in mind that every step in development is another step to achieve your goal. Your value proposition should be supplemented with an intuitive and fast website, unique design and responsive customer service, and many more. It is worth planning in a budget proper steps to overtake your competitors. one of the best platforms to find a talented developer to improve the quality of your website is SoftwareSupp.
5. Last and most importantly, improve your quality score.
Google ranks your Ads by giving your keywords a quality score which determines how you will position in a bidding auction. There are 3 key factors that improve your quality score with a score of above average, average, and below average, as well as a score between 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest).
There are the 3 elements that can affect your quality score:
- Expected click through rate: depending on the product, and the auction you are competing in, Google score your ads’ expected clicks compared to their set standards. If a normal click through rate is 5% in your auction, and you’re likely to receive 6%, your score here will be consider above average. But if it’s under 5% then your score will be considered below average, and can affect your rank negatively. Some of the best practices to improve CTR is to write strong ad copies with call to actions, and a bid high enough to ensure your Ad will be shown on the top of the first page.
- Landing page experience: Google will use its tools to provide a score based on your landing page’s speed, user friendliness and the way users can interact with your business. This is why it’s important to consider increasing your website’s speed fast and ensuring the UX design is very user friendly and provides useful information.
- Ad relevancy: It’s very important for Google to make sure your keywords and what you are advertising on your ad copies provides a link to the relevant landing page. For example, if you are selling men’s and women’s clothing, and your ads are specifically for women you will receive a better score if your links direct the user to the women’s clothing category landing page, rather than the homepage or the incorrect destination. If your ads specifically mention women shoes it’s also important to make sure that the user is sent to women’s shoes landing page, rather than the general women’s category. This also works vice versa; if you are advertising clothing in general that is not specified for men or women, you’re likely to receive a better score if you send your users to the homepage, rather another category page.
So you may ask how this will help beat the competition? Well, in a nutshell if score below 5 you are going the get lower position in the auction and your CPC will be more costly. But if you receive a quality score more than 5 you will likely receive a high rank in searches and you will get a discount on your CPC.
For more information on quality scores, we will go into more detail on the logic behind quality score, for next week’s blog post.
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