— January 16, 2019
Analyzing your competitors pay per click strategies is just as important as an athlete constantly looking over his shoulders in a race.
You probably have seen athletes in a 100 Meter dash constantly looking over their shoulders. Do you know how important that is to the race? You see, looking over the shoulder helps an athlete avoid a situation where at the last moment, a competitor comes out of nowhere and snatches the victory, the athlete also can determine if it may be necessary to stick their neck or foot forward to claim victory.
You too need to constantly keep a tab on your competitor’s progress to ensure you adjust your own strategies to remain ahead in the game or catch-up with the rest. Here are the key things worth analyzing in your competitors’ PPC strategies.
Even though you may already have a ton of keywords that you may already be used effectively, your competition may still have some you missed out on. You need to know what keywords they are utilizing and how much it is costing them to use those words. You will also need to widen this intelligence to incorporate:
- How cost effective the particular keywords would be for your business
- If the competitor or any other player is playing by the rules or breaking the rules along the way
- Forecast when the competitor will use certain keywords
In the long run, your goal is to expand your keyword pool with more search terms so that you can reach more of your prospects and get better ranked.
Your competitor could be using your keywords to advertise and you may not know unless you are keeping track of their ads. There are tools that can help you see what ads come up when your keywords are searched. But that is not the only reason to keep an eye on the competitor’s ads. Even you can benefit from this analysis. You can see what are the top performing ads in your category, you can trigger your creativity by seeing how your competitor is advertising and where. There are many tools you can use to get analysis on ads right from when they were put up, how long they stay up, how much they cost, and the impact they have
By analyzing ads, you can improve the way you advertise and learn what the competition is emphasizing, for example, free shipping, discounts or improved products.
While you study how they are using keywords and how they advertise, you should also study how they keep track of these. What tools are they using to track their ads? Are they actually tracking these or are they just putting them out there and hoping for the best? This will help you know if you are following a competitor who knows what they are doing or they just take one any strategy and do not care how it performs. You will also be able to get ideas of other analysis tools you can use as well.
Find out how the competitor is using their landing pages, do they have just one or many? Are they effectively leading to conversions? Is there a way you can copy their use of landing pages to improve the effectiveness of your own? What is the pattern for updating these pages?
Mobile Vs Desktop
With the way people use mobile devices and desktops, you may need to see how your competition is responding to that. Some ad words that may be used on desktops may not be as effective on mobiles, you do well to find out what ad words the competition is using successfully on particular devices and then you too can use them the same way or better.
You should note that the industry you are in may determine which media you will need to use more frequently, for example, people involved in software business will get more benefits from desktop advertising compared to people selling clothes who get more traffic from mobile devices. Your competitor’s use of this can help you figure out how to go about it.
You may find yourself in a situation where you are ranking high in a particular organic search and you may wonder if you should go ahead and pay for that keyword. Analyzing how your competitor handles their organic and paid words may help you make a decision on the same. Sometimes even when a business is getting organic traffic, they may go ahead and pay for the same keyword to boost it even more, that may give them an edge over you so it would be a good idea for you to go ahead and do the same. Analyze what tactics they use often and what their weaknesses are so that you can do better than them.
Do not expect everyone to play fair, there are a number of competitors who do not follow the books. One of the more common underhanded tactics employed by competitors in the PPC jungle is to click on competitors ads just to push up your advertising cost. Keep track of repeated clicks from the same IP address that could be your competitor clicking on your ads. You may also need to check if the competition is outrightly copying your content onto their site.
Knowing where your competition is and where they are registering best success is also something you need to closely analyze. You will find for example that certain areas are actually cheaper to advertise than others, you may also notice that there is more response to ads from particular areas. This will help influence your decision to concentrate on particular areas that seem more receptive and provide more return on investment.
The grounds are not level in this industry and you constantly need to try and get ahead of your competition. Paying close attention to what they are doing and how they do it will give you that competitive advantage. Like the athlete in the 100-meter dash, keep tabs of who is coming up close and make decisions that will help you win the race if even by a toenail.