4 Ways To Do Competitive Analysis for Paid Search

by Amanda Brinkerhoff, PPC Account Manager, Milestone Internet Marketing

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors is essential to any paid search marketing strategy. There are plenty of useful tools to gain competitive insights, and here are several ways to study your competition:

  1. Analyze Competitor Ads
    • How many ads are they running? Try adding new ads into your campaign.
    • How often do they put new ads into rotation? Monitor their ads closely during the high season or if there’s an upcoming event.
    • What keywords, call-to-action terms, or rates do they mention in their ads? Write an ad that includes a call to action they use or a specific term your competitor is using.
  2. Landing Pages
    • How good is their landing page’s search engine optimization (SEO) and page construction? How does their website compare to yours? Can you implement minor tweaks to test out a new construction?
    • What sort of offers/calls-to-action do they use? Try moving the book now button or changing the image on the landing page.
    • How many landing pages do they have? Try testing different landing pages to see which landing page has a higher click-through rate (CTR).
  3. Extensions
    • Is your competition showing sitelink extensions, location extensions, or phone extensions? Apply these extensions to your Google AdWords account.
    • Refresh sitelink extensions frequently and monitor what sitelinks your competition is listing.
  4. Paid Tools
    • SEMRush: this tool provides analysis on your competitor with what keywords they are bidding on, the average cost per click (CPC) per keyword, adcopy, and destination URLs for the adcopy. SEMRush simple dashboard is easy to use and provides results quickly.
    • Spyfu: this tool allows you to see the average position of your competitors’ ads, their daily AdWords budget, targeted keywords, and other competitors. The data that Spyfu provides includes unique metrics and is valuable.

These are just a few starter questions to help you leverage your competitor’s campaign. Once you begin to understand your competitors’ strategy, you can begin to make decisions and changes effectively. Make sure you always test and monitor your campaign results and compare it to your competition.

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