Nothing will drive customer engagement, including website visits, registrations, and purchases quicker than a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign. However, in any competitive market, those small ads on the major search engines and social networks don’t come cheap and can quickly burn through your budget if you don’t get your campaign strategy right.
Before investing time and money in any PPC campaign, it’s important to do your groundwork to ensure you spend your budget wisely and identify potential opportunities to reach your audience. The groundwork often begins with competitive PPC analysis.
Competitive PPC Analysis Guide
Competitive PPC analysis helps marketers evaluate and analyze the strategy and performance of their competitors’ paid search campaigns across the major PPC networks, including Google Ads or Bing Ads. The insights from competitive PPC analysis can help you stay competitive, increase your PPC campaign’s efficiency, and make smarter, data-driven decisions. It also enables you to adapt to changing market dynamics, identify opportunities for improvement, and ultimately enhance the overall performance of your PPC campaigns.
How Paid Search Intelligence Informs Ad Campaign Performance
Competitive PPC analysis can be used to inform your paid search advertising strategy on several levels, including:
- Keyword Selection and Optimization: Identifying the keywords your competitors are targeting can help you discover new keyword opportunities and refine your existing keyword list. Analyzing your competitors’ keyword performance will also inform your bidding strategies and budget allocation, allowing you to focus on high-impact keywords that deliver on your objectives.
- Ad Copy and Messaging: Studying your competitors’ ad copy can give you insights into what messaging resonates with your target audience. Then, identifying gaps or weaknesses in your competitors’ ad copy will help you craft more compelling and potentially successful ad campaigns.
- Ad Positioning and Bidding Strategies: Understanding where your competitors’ ads typically appear in search results and how frequently they appear can help you refine your bidding strategies. If a competitor consistently ranks above you, you can adjust your bids or ad quality to improve your position.
- Landing Page Optimization: Reviewing the landing pages your competitors are directing traffic to can help you assess their user experience and conversion strategies. By comparing your landing pages to your competitors, you can identify critical areas for improvement and enhance your conversion rates.
- Budget Allocation: Understanding where and how your competitors spend their PPC budgets can help you allocate your own budget more effectively. You can adjust your budget allocation based on the competitiveness of specific keywords or ad positions in your industry.
- Performance Metrics: Comparing your campaign performance metrics, including click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per click, etc., with those of your competitors can highlight strengths and weaknesses in your campaign strategy. You can set performance benchmarks based on your competitors’ data and apply new marketing objectives accordingly.
- Seasonal Trends: Monitoring your competitors’ PPC strategies over time will help reveal seasonal trends and shifts in the competitive landscape. You can adjust your campaign strategies to capitalize on opportunities during these peak sales seasons and adapt to changing market conditions.
- Ad Testing: Studying your competitors’ A/B testing strategies or variations in ad creatives can inspire your own testing efforts. Test different ad campaign ideas based on what seems to work well for your competitors.
PPC Competitor Analysis Process
While competitive PPC analysis sounds complicated, the process is pretty straightforward. But as with many other online marketing strategies, if you want to succeed, you must commit to an ongoing, persistent strategy. Then it’s just a case of following these simple four steps:
- Research: Careful examination of your competitors’ ad campaigns, keywords, and copy needs to go beyond surface-level metrics. You’ll need to delve deeper into insights such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and quality scores.
- Continuous Monitoring: The PPC landscape is a highly dynamic market with constantly shifting trends. Constant monitoring will rely on cutting-edge software tools and analytics to extract actionable insights and identify strategic opportunities.
- Evolution: There’s no point in embracing PPC competitive analysis if you are unwilling to adjust your PPC strategies based on your research.
- Rinse and Repeat: Competitive PPC analysis is an ongoing job. You cannot keep referring to old data to keep up with ever-changing market conditions. So, after optimizing your campaigns, you better be prepared to start again.
Competitor Analysis Tools
The job of competitive PPC analysis is made easier with the right technology on your side. This is an area where marketers are spoiled for choice. Readily available software tools include:
- SEMRush: With SEMRush, users can conduct in-depth keyword research, track search engine rankings, and analyze their website’s SEO health. Moreover, it offers competitive analysis tools, allowing users to monitor and compare their online presence with their competitors.
- SpyFu: With SpyFu, users can uncover crucial data such as competitor keywords, ad campaigns, ad spend estimates, and top-performing organic search rankings. This information allows for informed decision-making when it comes to optimizing their own digital marketing efforts.
- BrandVerity: With BrandVerity, organizations can efficiently monitor the digital landscape, including paid search ads, organic search results, and affiliate marketing programs, to identify trademark infringements, unauthorized affiliates, and compliance violations.
- iSpionage: With iSpionage, users gain access to a wealth of data, including competitor keywords, ad copy, landing pages, and ad spend estimates across various PPC platforms.
- Ahrefs: With Ahrefs, users can access a comprehensive suite of features, including backlink analysis, keyword research, site audit, and rank tracking. Its vast database of indexed web pages provides users with in-depth insights into their website’s performance and those of their competitors.
- BuiltWith.com: With BuiltWith.com, users can uncover and track the technology stack used by any website, including content management systems, e-commerce platforms, web hosting providers, analytics tools, and more.
- Surfer SEO: With Surfer SEO, users can access features, including in-depth content audits, keyword analysis, and competitor research. It provides actionable insights on keyword density, content length, heading structure, and more, helping users create highly optimized and competitive content.
- BuzzSumo: With BuzzSumo, users can access valuable data on content performance, including social shares, backlinks, and engagement metrics, helping them refine their content marketing strategies and identify opportunities to create more shareable and relevant content.
- Google Ads Auction Insights: With Google Ads Auction Insights, users can access data on key performance metrics like impression share, average position, and overlap rate, giving them a clear understanding of who their top competitors are and how frequently their ads are appearing alongside them.
- Facebook Ad Library: With Facebook Ad Library, users can explore and analyze advertisements, providing insights into ad content, ad spend estimates, and the demographics of the audience being targeted.
Of course, all of these tools will only help you improve your marketing output if you have the time to use them properly, understand the information they present, and can implement their recommendations. In any busy marketing department, none of this is a given.
How Can emfluence Help?
When analyzing any aspect of your marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand how your findings relate to all the other marketing channels you use to promote your business. The marketing experts at emfluence can break your marketing data out of its silo and help you understand how it impacts your complete campaign strategy across the customer journey from discovery to advocacy.
To learn more about how emfluence can help you optimize your PPC advertising strategy and everything else you do to drive engagement, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.