SMX East: Competitor PPC Analytics

By Jessica Davidson | Oct 3, 2012
More Articles by Jessica


Number Munchers Game OverUnderstanding your PPC analytics and successfully munching your own numbers is only one part of the equation. But, to be a truly successful marketer, you must learn about your competitors’ PPC efforts to avoid being gobbled up by your competition in paid search. In this session, Daniel Owen, Lyena Solomon, and Matt Van Wagner offer techniques to gain insight about your competition’s paid search efforts in order to give yourself the competitive edge.

Daniel Owen, VP of Search Marketing, Direct Agents (@DirectAgents)

Daniel Owen suggested utilizing a wide variety of competitive analysis tools to find opportunities and weaknesses of your competitors to capitalize on. A couple of tools noteworthy of mentioning include:

SEM Rush: With this tool you can find the keywords of your competitors and their keywords with the most traffic. Obtaining keyword data allows you to discover overlap in your keywords as well as any keywords that you may not be tracking yet. The tool also offers media spend trends, which provides great insight about your competitors’ media spend over time.

Google AdWords Auction Insights: This tool provides insight as to how you size up against your competitors on the keyword level for the following metrics: impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate.

The Search Monitor: This tool will provide day parting reports containing the ad positions of you and your competitors’ ads different times during the day. It will also track when your competitors test new ads and send you alerts when new ads are ran.

Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool: By setting devices to “mobile” or “tablet” you can determine whether or not your competitors are bidding on mobile and tablet traffic.

MOAT: This tool will display your competitor’s image ads so you can determine how to differentiate your image ads to attract more searchers.

Lyena Solomon, Web Optimization Analyst, Yo! Yo! SEO (@lyena)

Lyena Solomon provided a competitive analysis model and process for paid search ad optimization as follows:

  1. Ad analysis of competitors - Note the ads’ features, benefits, messages, offers, and advantages and look for trends to spot ad copy opportunities to differentiate your ads
  2. Persona analysis - Develop a profile of the targeted searcher, including their traits, personality and the benefits they seek from your product or service
  3. Create ad copy -Determine opportunities in ad copy not capitalized on by your competitors. Look for ways to think differently and stand out from competitors. Keep this mantra in mind to steal clicks from your competitors:

      “Stand out, be awesome.”

Be Awesome

Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster (@mvanwagner)

Matt Van Wagner offered three tips to avoid getting bogged down and obsessed with your competitors’ PPC activity:

  • Be sensible – Worry less about competitors and more about improving yourself
  • Be aware of the limitations of competitive intelligence
  • Be ethical – Avoid clicking on your competitors’ ads

By utilizing the tactics discussed in this session, you are sure to successfully gain a competitive edge over your competitors in paid search.

Number Munchers Winner

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