Assessing how the competition is handling its PPC (pay per click) advertising endeavours can lead to more success in your own campaigns, but how can you go about this without making a whole heap of extra work for yourself? These tips will set you on the right path to optimal PPC competitor analysis.
Choose the right tool for the job
Thankfully there are actually quite a few tools built specifically to streamline this process, although the sheer amount of options available might be a little overwhelming at first.
Some of the top choices available at the moment include SEMrush, SpyFu, iSpionage and KeywordSpy. It makes sense to compare SEMrush vs SpyFu to find out about the unique features that are available with each, but at the end of the day your choice may come down to personal preference.
For example, you could be won over by the intuitive and aesthetically pleasing look and feel of the interface that SEMrush offers. Alternatively you might prefer the wealth of convenient functions available in iSpionage, such as custom report generation and landing page screenshots.
Pricing will also come into play here, as each tool will have a different subscription charge to take into account as part of your calculations of its worthiness. The regions covered by a given tool are also relevant, so keep your target markets in mind as you make a decision.
Identify competitors worth analysing
Not all of your PPC competitors will be taking advantage of the best possible strategies, so you should not choose rivals at random to analyse since you might end up making the same mistakes as them.
For this reason, it makes sense to only try to emulate those who are managing to outdo the rest of the field with their current approach.
You can find this out using a PPC competitor analysis tool, specifying the keywords you are targeting and checking out the top performing sites in this arena.
It is worth remembering that it is not simply a case of choosing the top ranked rival and assuming that they are the best source for your analysis. Instead you need to drill into the data and find out which sites are targeting more keywords and seeing a reduced cost-per-click, since this is indicative of a strategy deserving of further investigation.
Check up on keyword bidding habits
After pinpointing a competitor to copy, you next need to see which keywords they are bidding on at the moment and see how each is performing. Keywords can be expensive after all, which makes careful selection vital.
The biggest players have the financial clout to experiment more readily with PPC keywords, so you also need to find out which of the keywords they target are netting them the most consistent ROI. The easiest way to do this is to see which keywords have been used most regularly over the past 12 months. If a keyword only crops up sporadically, it may be an experiment that is worth avoiding.
Of course there are also seasonal shifts in keyword popularity and effectiveness to take into account, so keep this in mind as you search and scrutinise the data from a competitor.
With a bit of detective work, you should be able to highlight some keywords to use in your own PPC campaign.
Aim to outdo rivals
Putting all your effort into scoping out how competitors are handling PPC is important, but you will stumble at the first hurdle if you fail to optimise your landing pages to capitalise on any traction you gain with your campaign.
This makes visiting competing landing pages sensible, since it lets you see what is on offer elsewhere and then allows you to tailor your own to outdo them. Doing so should set you on the path to achieving better PPC performance.