No one exists in a vacuum on the Internet. And if you are a business, you risk being left behind if you skip competitor analysis. Fortunately, you can hire a pay-per-click (PPC) partner to do the critical activity.
This blog post shares the top reasons you should analyze your rivals and the basic steps paid advertising firms take to provide you with the right information.
5 Top Reasons to Perform PPC Competitor Analysis
The idea of spying on your competition sometimes feels uncomfortable. But once you get past it, it provides extensive benefits, especially if you are doing PPC campaigns.
By knowing what your competitors are doing, you can:
- Take advantage of missed opportunities. These include underserved demographics, seldom-used PPC marketing techniques, or poorly optimized keywords. The information helps you position your ads more effectively.
- Differentiate your brand. You do not want to drive an audience to your ad. You should look for quality leads. These are people willing and ready to pay for what you offer. One of the best ways to achieve that is through market differentiation using the data from competition analysis.
- Use your budget wisely. Analyzing your competitor’s performance helps you identify places where they are overspending or focusing their resources on. Now, you can better decide whether to go head to head and increase your allocation in these areas, pivot, take a different path, or maximize the missed opportunities we mentioned.
- Jumpstart your PPC strategy. Starting paid advertising can easily become overwhelming. If you want a shortcut, looking into your competition is ideal. You can learn from their mistakes, get inspired by their effective techniques, and develop a more targeted message.
- Stay updated with trends. Whether these are new techniques, tools, or policies, competitor analysis keeps you on your toes and challenges you to do better.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), understanding your competition ensures that you are ready to tackle the challenge, keep up with the pace, and even take the lead.
How PPC Partners Analyze—and Beat—Your Competitors
While PPC competition analysis matters, doing it requires time, a deep understanding of your niche and audience, and technical knowledge. That is why working with a paid advertising firm is more sensible than going the DIY route.
These partners may have various approaches to competitor analysis. However, a PPC marketing template usually involves the steps below.
1. Identify Your Competition
As Sun Tzu says, know your enemy, particularly their PPC activities. Right off the bat, you already have some ideas about competing brands. But cyberspace is huge. You could be missing more.
How do you find your PPC competitors? Your PPC partner may look for them using:
- Google search
- Social media channels
- Competitor analysis tools
- Keyword and site audit platforms
- Polls and surveys
- Industry trade shows or events
- Industry associations
- PPC management applications
Just because another business uses the same keywords does not mean they are immediately your competitors. The best PPC partners consider several parameters. These include:
- Do you belong to the same area? Are you serving the same places?
- Target audience. Are they marketing to seniors, millennials, or Gen Zs? How about their ideal leads’ income, pain points, and interests?
- Products and services. Do their offerings converge or diverge from yours? For example, do they offer the same item but with different features?
- Ad types. Are they using display ads, video ads, or lead generation?
- Do they keep track of PPC trends? How do they apply these?
- How much do they spend on advertising?
- Ad placement. Where do you find their ads? On which sites and platforms?
- Marketing goals. What do you hope to achieve from your PPC campaigns? Which among your competitors also share the same objectives?
2. Know the PPC Keywords the Competitors Are Using
The keyword research tool of your PPC partner helps you identify the terms used by each competitor. It further reveals:
- Search volume (SV). It refers to the number of queries for a particular keyword in a month. A high SV usually means more people are looking for the product or service. Your competitors may also pay handsomely to rank for these terms.
- Bid range. It means the average cost per click (CPCs) range for that keyword. The more competitive it is, the higher the cost you need to pay for each click.
- Click-through rate (CTR). It is the ratio of clicks to impressions. A high CTR often suggests that your rival is doing well in attracting leads to view their ads.
- Organic keywords. Which words or phrases are your competitors ranking for in the search results? It is possible they are targeting the same for their PPC programs. You can then apply them to yours, find other terms you can exploit, or combine them with yours.
3. Analyze Their Ad Structures and Strategies
At this stage, your PPC partner is ready to dive deep into business research by breaking their ads apart:
- What ads have they been running? What are their landing pages? Are they a blog post, a sales page, or an opt-in form?
- What calls to action (CTAs) do they use? Are they “buy now,” “sign up,” or “learn more”?
- How do they write their ads? Are they conversational, professional, or technical?
- How are they using visual assets, such as videos or photos? Are they investing in their own media or buying stock?
- When do they publish ads?
- What is their conversion funnel, and do their ads match every buying journey? Can you run PPC campaigns that shorten each phase and encourage your prospects to purchase more quickly?
In other words, the paid advertising firm answers the question that sums up the above-mentioned points: what can you do to make your ads better—that is, more targeted, engaging, and converting?
4. Develop a Winning Strategy to Beat Them All
Now that the PPC firm has the information necessary to assess your competitors, they can develop a solid PPC marketing plan that allows your copies and brand to shine.
Depending on the results, your partner can:
- Create more highly targeted campaigns to reach the same audience
- Optimize keyword research with different terms and phrases
- Improve ad copywriting and visuals
- A/B test landing pages, CTAs, ad placements, and bids
- Refine your conversion funnel
- Design landing pages that promote a better user experience (UX).
- Seamlessly integrate your PPC marketing campaigns with other digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing
- Take the PPC plan in a new direction, perhaps with different leads or marketing goals
5. Monitor Your Competitors’ Performance Regularly
The best PPC partners know that competitor analysis should be an ongoing activity if they want to ensure their clients stay ahead or are not left behind.
- Continuously monitor the campaigns of your competitors and determine whether they are making adjustments or changes to their PPC advertising strategies
- Adjust your own PPC marketing campaigns accordingly
- Compare performance data over time (e.g., every month, quarter, semi-annual, or annual)
- Regularly review their ads and landing pages
- Stay abreast of any new trends in paid search, including platforms, algorithm changes, and more
- Develop strategies that continuously increase or maintain good ad quality scores
Competitor analysis is a must for organizations of any size that want to stay ahead of their rivals in the online space. A PPC partner can act as your eyes and ears and help you study the ads, keywords, and strategies of your competitors. It will provide you with insights to outperform competitors and drive more conversions.
While PPC marketing firms follow a template in analyzing rivals, they adjust it to fit your needs and craft a strategy that works for your business.