In Part 1 of this blog series, we covered the first two questions to ask when conducting competitive PPC research:
1. Who are your competitors?
2. What are they saying?
Now that you know who your competitors are and what they are saying, you can dive deeper into understanding more about them and how to use this information to better reach your audience. Here are the final two questions to ask when conducting your competitive PPC research.
3. How well are they doing?
While it is important to know who your competitors are and what they are saying, it is also important to understand how well they are performing. This allows you to benchmark your own account’s performance. By looking through the Auction Insights tool (mentioned in Part 1) in any window within the AdWords interface, you can have insight into several metrics comparing your campaigns to those of your competitors, including overlap rate (the percentage of times your competitor’s ad was shown on the same page as your ad) and position above rate (how often your competitor’s ad appeared above your ad). Additionally, you have insight into your competitors’ impression share, average position and top of page rate. By comparing these metrics to those of your own campaigns, you can determine how well your account is performing, as well as areas to improve on and key competitors to keep an eye on.
4. How can you stand out?
As discussed previously, it is important for your ads to stand out and attract the attention of searchers. By understanding how your competitors are attracting attention to their ads (through the use of sitelinks or innovative ad copy), you are better able to develop ads that are successful.
Taking the previous example’s top three ads, you can see that the first and third ads utilize a few ad extensions available through AdWords. The first ad uses sitelink extensions, which allow the ad to take up more valuable real estate. It also uses a review extension. As you can see from the screenshot above, these extensions set this ad apart from the other ads and draw your attention to it. In order for your ad to stand out if you are bidding on this term, it would be wise to utilize extensions in your ads as well.
Also, avoid using generic copy with typical “sales-y” jargon such as “Low Prices” and “Shop Now” if you can. One way to stand out from competitors is to offer innovative ad copy that catches the attention of searchers. You can do this by using symbols, punctuation and effective calls-to-action. For example:
Promotional Items Rock!
Not Just Your Everyday Promo Items.
Use Code PromosRock1 & Save 10%
This type of ad would stand out amongst the others and grab the attention of searchers. With so many ads competing for searchers’ attention, it is vital to grab their attention and ultimately, their clicks.
Competition Brings Excellence
Pay-per-click advertising can be an extremely competitive marketplace, and more and more companies are entering the arena. It is important to conduct competitive PPC research regularly, as the environment changes daily. This constant competition ensures that all advertisers are forced to stay on top of their game or risk being left in the dust.