PPC Competitor Analysis - Efficiency Through Spying

PPC Competitor Analysis – Efficiency Through Spying

If you want to run a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign that succeeds, you will need to get really good at doing PPC competitor analysis.

You can find a variety of tools available for this purpose, many of which are branded with the word “Spy” in the product name.

And for good reason — Keyword Spy types of products can provide invaluable information about how competitors use PPC to drive leads.

You don’t have to create and test campaigns in a vacuum. Capitalize on the investment, time, and effort that your competition has already experienced.

For this post, let’s dig into PPC competitor analysis in more detail.

When used properly, this practice can help you boost the efficiency of your campaigns and take down the incumbents in short order. Let’s get right to it!

Identifying Competitors

Define Your Niche

To effectively identify your competitors in the PPC space, start by defining your niche.

Ask yourself, do you fully understand who your target audience is?

And do you have an idea about what sets your products or services apart from others in the industry?

If you are fuzzy on either of these questions, you’ll need to get crystal clear before you can proceed.

By homing in on your unique selling points, you can pinpoint key players that are vying for the same audience’s attention.

Research Industry Leaders

For a more comprehensive view of your competitive landscape, start by researching the leaders of your industry.

Look for companies that:

  • Consistently rank high on search engine results for relevant keywords
  • Have a strong social media presence
  • Are recognized for their innovative marketing strategies

Then, study their PPC campaigns. This will provide you with valuable insights on what works well in your industry as well as what you can do better to compete with them.

Analyzing Ad Strategies

Ad Copy Analysis

With so many changes to the various PPC platforms over recent years, ad copy has become even more important to your success.

This is one area where you can get a wealth of benefit from competitive analysis.

You’ll want to pay attention to attributes such as:

  • What messaging they are using to drive clicks
  • How they’re differentiating themselves
  • What Calls-to-action (CTAs) they use to drive interest

By analyzing their ad copy, you can gain valuable insights into what resonates with their (YOUR) audience and tailor your own ad copy accordingly.

Landing Page Optimization

For you to really succeed at driving leads via PPC, you’ll need to get good at optimizing landing pages for conversion.

Again, this is an area where you can learn a lot from the competition.

How are they structuring information?

What Visuals are they using?

What action-based language, colors, and other elements are they using to create urgency?

A well-optimized landing page can significantly impact your conversion rates and ad performance.

Of course, you’ll still want to test your own landing pages to see what works for your own business.

You can rotate in items such as headlines, images, forms, and more to see what gets the best results.

In any case, you can start from a much better spot by analyzing competitor landing pages before diving in on testing your own. Take advantage of that opportunity from the start.

Uncovering Keyword: Best Kept Secrets

As the granddaddy of PPC input points, keywords can make a huge difference in your rate of success.

Be sure to figure out what your competitors are targeting for your own benefit.

There are two angles here: Which terms do they target that you can also use, and which terms are they using that you should avoid?

This strategy is all about reducing risk and improving your odds of success. You’ll want to observe both types of keywords when building out your own campaigns.

How can you find these terms? Simple answer: You need the right tools.

Here are some of the most commonly used keyword research tools for this purpose:

  1. Google Keywords Planner – Built right into the Google Ads interface, this tool is great for determining what keywords are relevant to any URL or domain of your choice
  2. SEMrush – As my own favorite keyword research tool, SEMrush can provide you competitor keyword for both organic rankings and nationally targeted PPC campaigns
  3. Ahrefs – This platform is neck-and-neck with SEMrush for best paid platform in the market. Their competitive analysis tools are equally useful for this exercise.

And here are a few niche tools built tailor made for PPC Competitor Analysis:

  1. SpyFu
  2. Keyword Spy
  3. iSpionage (a TapClicks subsidiary)

If you need a more robust solution including SEO and other metrics, go for one of the paid tools in the first list.

But if you want a very niche / pointed solution, stick with Google Keyword Planner (GKP) for free with any PPC account on the platform.

Or pay for one of these three to get more extended data reporting as compared to GKP’s more limited insights.

Conclusion: PPC Competitor Analysis

When you are building out any new account of campaign, you can depend on PPC competitor analysis to help shorten the time to launch.

If you get your hands on a good tool or two, you can learn exactly what they are doing by spying directly on their deployed campaigns.

Learn from competitors — what does and does not work — copy what you want, and improve upon it.

In the end, you’ll find that PPC Ads Spying is a winning strategy for launching great campaigns, even in highly competitive niches.

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As Founder and President of Return On Now, Tommy Landry provides the vision behind our SEO and SEM methodologies. With over 25 years of business experience and a deep understanding of modern internet marketing techniques, he spends his time providing hands-on consulting, insightful content, and engaging public speaking appearances to Online Marketers of all skill levels.
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