Wondering how to begin your PPC (pay-per-click) marketing endeavors? As with most things, research is key.
Whether you’re an advanced marketer or a total beginner, pay-per-click campaigns can be daunting to set up. Competitor analysis is a fantastic way to design your strategy and start off with a concrete plan.
But how do you conduct competitor analysis? I’m Hanna, and I’m here to help you understand PPC by harnessing my decade’s worth of digital marketing experience.
When I first discovered this concept, I couldn’t believe it either. But by the end of this article, you’ll have a fresh and comprehensive idea of PPC competitor analysis that will help you get your plans off the ground.
Let’s get started!
What is PPC?
PPC is a type of marketing that stands for Pay-Per-Click. The basic format of PPC is as follows: it’s a type of digital advertising wherein the advertiser must pay a small fee each time one of their ads gets clicked. In these cases, the advertiser pays for targeted visits to their website, app, or landing page.
In proper PPC marketing, the fee you pay is of less value than the click you receive. As such, you shouldn’t be losing any money. A $2 click is worth much more than a $200 purchase made as the result of that click.
PPC marketing is a stellar avenue for small businesses to gain traffic and attention to their brand. Without PPC, it’s challenging to get your ads featured on relevant websites and search results.
PPC ads have a ton of different looks. They can include text, videos, images, or a combination of all of them. These ads appear most often on search engines, near web content, and social media.
One of the most popular forms of PPC is search engine advertising, such as Google PPC ads, wherein advertisers compete for front-and-center ad placement on major search engines’ sponsored ads.
Essentially, you’re paying per click for an ad placement where you’ll likely receive traffic.
What is PPC Competitor Analysis?
PPC competitor analysis is a process of looking into what other advertisers are doing with their PPC campaigns. It’s an integral part of the research and strategy development phase for any advertising campaign, as it allows you to identify and learn from the successes and failures of your competitors.
In researching other PPC advertisers’ data insights, you can gain valuable information for your overall bidding and targeting strategies. When conducting competitive PPC analysis, look at your competitors’ copy, visuals, keywords, and design.
When conducting a PPC competitor analysis, most advertisers opt to use an analysis tool or enlist the help of a PPC agency. With both solutions, you can easily — practically automatically — collect data on your competitors.
If you’re interested in conducting the process manually, keep reading.
How to Do a PPC Competitor Analysis
Conducting a PPC competitor analysis on your own can be time-consuming, but it’s affordable and possible. Here are the basic steps:
Step 1: Create a Plan for Researching PPC Competition
.To ensure your analysis is thorough and comprehensive, start by mapping out a plan of action. Identify which competitors you’d like to target (both direct and indirect) and decide what type of data you want to collect, such as keyword research and ad copy comparison. Determine the tools or resources you’ll need to gather this information, such as SEMrush or SpyFu.
Step 2: Research Your Competitors
Now it’s time to get down to business. Start by researching each competitor and collecting as much data as possible about their PPC campaigns. Gather information on their keywords, ad copy, budgets, and traffic. Compare this data to your campaigns for a thorough comparison of each campaign’s performance.
This type of research is easier to do with a tool or agency, but if you pay enough attention, you shouldn’t have a problem doing it on your own.
Step 3: Determine The Types of Competitors You Have
Now that you’ve collected all the relevant information, it’s time to categorize your competitors. There are several types of competitors you may encounter in a PPC competitor analysis, including direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors offer similar services or products as yours, while indirect competitors can be anything from national brands to local retailers who attract customers in your demographic.
Ensure you identify the different types of competitors and their tactics in their campaigns. This is a fantastic time to get creative and reflect on the kinds of people engaging in your products or services.
Step 4: Review Your Competitors’ Ad Copy
Now that you have a broader sense of your competitors, you can review their ad copy more comprehensively. This is where you can get a feel for their tone of voice and the types of messages they are using to engage people. Are they using clever quips or sticking with more serious content? Are they targeting specific keywords or broad phrases?
By closely reviewing the copy of your competitors, you can start to develop insights into the language and terms they use. This is an excellent exercise for gathering ideas on creating more compelling ad copy yourself!
Step 5: Review Your Competitors’ Landing Pages
With an idea of the copy your competitors are using, it’s time to look at their landing pages. Landing pages are often the first point of contact with potential customers, so they should be designed to encourage people to stay and explore. Take note of any features or design elements that stand out – these could be ones you’d like to replicate in your campaigns.
Once you’ve reviewed the design of their landing page, take the time to read through the content and determine how they are describing their services or products. Determine if anything can be incorporated into your messaging for a better return on investment.
Step 6: Review Your Competitors’ Keywords
The final step of a PPC competitor analysis is to review the keywords your competitors are targeting. This doesn’t just mean looking at what type of words they are using but also the bidding strategies they have in place. Are they using broad or exact match terms? What kind of budget do they have for their campaigns?
By understanding your competitors’ keywords, you can find the gaps in their strategy and capitalize on them with your campaigns. It’s also a great way to gain insight into what people are really searching for when looking for services or products like yours, so take notes.
For more information, check out this guide to determining the best SEO keywords for your small business.
Step 7: Analyze the Data
The final step of conducting a PPC competitor analysis is to analyze the data you’ve gathered. Look for any opportunities or interesting insights which could be used in your campaigns. It’s essential to remember that what works for your competitors may not necessarily work for you, so always incorporate your ideas and tactics.
Why is PPC Competitor Analysis Important?
What is the point of doing PPC analysis instead of just creating and listing your own ads?
PPC competitor analysis can help you uncover trends in the market and determine what types of ads are performing best. By understanding how your competitors are approaching their campaigns, you can create a strategy tailored to fit your target audience’s needs.
Monitor Search Changes
By regularly monitoring your competitors, you can stay ahead of any changes in the market. This way, you’ll be able to curb any issues before they become too big and cost-prohibitive. This also allows you to ensure that your campaigns are always up-to-date and relevant, so more people will likely stay and explore your website.
Competitors Spend & Keywords
Conducting a PPC competitor analysis helps you better understand your competition’s budget and keywords. You can use this information to adjust your campaigns and ensure you are always one step ahead. Plus, this analysis can help you uncover any potential opportunities that are being overlooked by other companies, which could give you an edge in the market.
What is the Most Important KPI For PPC?
So, what are some key performance indicators of a successful PPC campaign?
By using these KPIs as benchmarks while conducting a PPC competitor analysis, you’ll be able to devise a strategy that helps increase visibility, engagement, and, ultimately, ROI for your PPC campaigns.
One of the most important KPIs for any PPC campaign is ROAS, which stands for return on ad spend.
This metric measures the amount earned from an ad divided by the total cost spent. If you want to maximize the efficiency of your campaigns, it’s essential that you keep track of your ROAS and make sure that it is constantly increasing and helping you gain profit.
Average Click Through Rate
The average click-through rate (CTR) is also an important metric to track for PPC campaigns.
This measures how many people clicked on an ad out of the total number exposed. A higher CTR indicates that more people are engaging with your ads, meaning that the methods you’ve applied from your competitive research are working. Meanwhile, a lower one suggests they aren’t as effective in reaching your target audience. By understanding your CTR, you can make changes to increase engagement and potentially improve your conversion rates.
Impression share is a metric that measures how often users actually saw your ad. The higher the impression share, the more visible your ad is and the more likely people are to engage with it.
If you find that your impression share is low, then you may need to adjust your campaigns to make them more visible. Additionally, keeping track of this KPI can help you gain insight into which competitors have better visibility on specific platforms or keywords. This way, you can tweak your strategy accordingly and remain competitive in the market.
Average Cost Per Click
Average cost per click (CPC) is another key metric to monitor for PPC campaigns. This metric measures the average amount of money spent each time someone clicks on one of your ads.
It’s important to keep an eye on your CPC to make sure that you’re not overspending and not making enough off of the clicks to justify their cost.
Cost Per Action
Cost per action (CPA) is the last metric I’ll suggest for conducting a PPC campaign. This metric measures the average cost incurred each time someone makes an effort, such as purchasing after clicking on your ad.
Understanding this lets you adjust your campaigns and strategy to reduce costs and increase conversions. Ultimately, this should help you reach your desired ROI goals more efficiently.
How Do You Find Our What Competitors Are Spending on PPC?
Beyond gaining ideas for your ads, conducting a PPC competitor analysis can also help you see what competitors spend on their campaigns.
By looking at their budgets, keywords, and key performance indicators, you can gain insight into which strategies work for them and adapt your approach accordingly.
The good news is that this isn’t as complicated as it sounds! With the right tools and data sources, you can quickly compare your own campaigns to those of your competitors to stay ahead of the game.
Unfortunately, this process is much more difficult without a PPC agency or tool to help you collect data. Keep reading for some tool recommendations below.
How to Find Competitors’ PPC Keywords
Choosing the right keywords can make or break both your SEO and PPC game.
You’ll need to use certain tools and platforms to find out what keywords your competitors are using in their PPC campaigns.
First, you can look at search engine results pages (SERPs) to see which ads appear for different queries. This will give you insight into what terms they may target and bid on.
You can also use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush to get more information about the specific phrases in their campaigns. These tools will help you uncover additional relevant terms and related topics that could also benefit your efforts.
Finally, analytics platforms like Google Analytics provide comprehensive data about user behavior and campaign performance. By looking at this data, you can understand which keywords your competitors target and how they perform.
How Do You Analyze PPC Performance?
How do you know if you’re running a failing PPC campaign or a successful one?
The answer lies in analyzing the performance of your campaigns. To do this, you’ll need to keep track of the key performance indicators (KPIs) I mentioned above. These metrics will indicate how effective your ads are at reaching their target audience and converting them into customers.
Additionally, by looking at competitor campaigns, you can gain insight into which strategies work best for them and adapt your own approach accordingly. Using the right tools and data sources can help you quickly analyze parts of your PPC strategy to ensure it’s on track with your goals.
Best PPC Competitor Analysis Tools
Now, I’m going to quickly cover the best PPC analysis tools to help you understand where you stand and how to improve.
Spyfu is a marketing revenue engine that will help you boost profits for both SEO and PPC. To use it, enter a competitor domain, and you’ll quickly have access to an overview of their ads, changes in spending over time, and which keywords they’re using most.
SEMRush offers excellent competitor analysis capabilities, beginning on a generous free trial. You can narrow your search by industry, then enter a competitor domain and receive insights about site visits, traffic sources, spending, and more.
Serpstat offers unique features like organizing top competitors by keyword, domain rank, domain visibility, and backlinks. This platform doesn’t provide as many PPC-specific functions as it’s more SEO tailored, but its insights can still be helpful for keyword research.
I hope this article gave you a better grasp of the importance of competitive research for PPC campaigns. Not only does this kind of research give you a sense of the overall PPC landscape, but it can also help you understand your own insights and gain information about how to transform your strategy for additional traffic and profit.
Overall, conducting a PPC competitor analysis is essential for businesses looking to stay competitive in the digital landscape. By closely monitoring your competitors’ activity and understanding their strategies, you’ll be able to create more effective campaigns and optimize for better results. Use these steps as a guide and start leveraging the insights from your competitors today!
If you think I missed anything important or have any questions, please leave a comment below. Otherwise, until next time!