Online marketing is constantly changing. But there’s one thing that seems to remain the same and that’s competition.
If you want to keep your business growing, you need to keep finding new ways to stand out. Fail to do so and you're bound to be forgotten.
Here’s the good news. Success is in sight, with the right tools and approach.
One of those tools is Google Adwords, now called Google Ads.
It's proven itself as one of the most useful tools, allowing businesses worldwide to reach their audience. Researchers estimate in the US alone search spending will reach $45.63 billion by 2019.
Most companies use Google Ads to drive ready-to-buy traffic to their website. But did you know you can also use it to keep track of your competitors’ strategies?
There are several reasons why Google Ads competitors analysis matters for your marketing, and more importantly for your business.
Boosting the bottomline: Why keyword competitor research matters
1. You can take a shortcut to the right formula.
No matter your industry, there’s a high chance that you’re not the first one there.
In fact, leaders in your industry have probably “tried and failed” many times on their way to the coveted top position.
So looking at what they’re doing can simplify things by a lot. It can also help you avoid making the same mistakes they made.
This can save you time, money and untold levels of frustration! More importantly, it can help you find the right formula to quickly grow your business online.
2. You can scope the market for new competitors.
Ads allows you to understand the collective behaviour of your competition.
By using the right tools, you can learn who exactly you are competing with for consumers.
And even if you already know this, you can find some very interesting data about your competitors. You can look up new keywords, auction stats, and all kinds of useful information.
All of this will result in better preparation.
And preparation is paramount.
Once you’re familiar with what you’re dealing with, you can think ahead of others.
If this sounds appealing, keep on reading.
4 tips for effective Google Ads competitor analysis
Now that you know how beneficial spying on the competition can be, let’s go over the ways to do it.
The good news is it’s fairly simple and pretty much anyone can do it. And you can find lots of actionable information, if you know where to look.
1. Search for your main keywords
By now, everyone in the SEO world knows why finding the right keywords is a top priority.
The right combination of keywords can make or break your campaign.
Still, many people settle for the same keywords, meaning standing out from the crowd becomes all too difficult. The main challenge comes in finding great keywords that your competitors haven’t targeted.
So, here’s the first thing to do: search for your core keywords and see who shows up next to your ads.
Keep in mind that this is just something that you should start with. Your goal here is simply to see which businesses you’re fighting against.
Which competitors are vying for the top ad spots?
What kind of language are they using in their ad copy? Is it action-oriented? Aspirational or fear-driven?
Then you can dig deeper.
Do their ads match the language used in the query? If not, you may have identified an opportunity to create a more relevant ad that climbs above theirs.
What about their landing pages? Are they relevant to the search query? Relevance affects quality score. If you can build a more relevant landing page for a keyword than your competitor, you’ve identified a keyword to target.
You’re aiming to see who your competitors are and how much effort they're putting into targeting each keyword.
If you do this many times, you’ll hurt your own CTR, since you’re creating impressions that don’t result in clicks.
Once you’ve identified who they are, you can move on to the more detailed tools.
2. Use auction insights
As you already know, ads lets you obtain all kinds of useful information about your competitors’ campaigns.
Auction Insights in particular can prove to be very useful.
It helps you take a very close look at what the competition is doing, without the need for third-party tools.
You can access it by clicking on any active ads campaign and go to the ‘Auction Insight’ tab. Once you open it, select ‘All’.
This will give you a variety of useful reports.
Here are some of the things that you can find out about your competitors:
- Average ad position
- Impression share
- Quality Score
- Overlap rate (the frequency which your competitors’ ads show up next to yours)
- Position-above rate (the frequency which your ads have outperformed your competitors’)
You’ll get a report that’s easy to navigate and find the right information.
You can choose whether you want to see the reports at the ad group, campaign, or even the individual keyword level.
This will give you an insight into your competitor’s ranking, as well as the reasons behind it. For example, you may see that you have a low Positon-Above Rate compared to a competitor. That means they’re doing something with their ads that you’re not doing. You can then seek out the ad to check its copy and landing page.
You can use all of this information to jump ahead of your competition.
3. Use SpyFu to find your competitors’ keywords
SpyFu is one of the best tools for keyword competitor research.
It saves a load of time and gives detailed insight into your competitors’ campaigns. It’s a dedicated competitor research tool.
As a result, you don’t have to waste time wading through unnecessary information.
The tool gives you the insights you need right off the bat.
Here’s how it works.
All you have to do is simply enter the domain name of your competitor in the search box.
This is why the first step earlier in this article is so important.
After you’ve seen who your competitors are, you can then use SpyFu to get a closer look at what they’re doing.
By far the most useful feature that you’ll see is the History feature.
This is where you get to actually see what has worked for your competitors.
You’ll get insights into how their previous ads performed, as well as the most profitable and effective keywords that they’ve used.
This lowers the chance of you swinging and missing with your keywords, since you can know beforehand the best ones to incorporate into your campaign.
Just imagine the time and money saving this little nifty feature can deliver to you!
Another crucial piece of information are the paid keywords that your competitors have used.
If you look deeper into the reports, you’ll find a tonne of information that you can use.
One of the best things about this is that it takes far less effort than many other solutions.
That’s because there’s no manual keyword research.
Almost instantly you can get virtually all information that you need to tweak your campaign. More importantly, this is information that’s extracted from actual campaigns that your competition have invested money on.
4. Compare the Competition with SEMrush
If you’re willing to invest a little into getting even more data, SEMrush is the way to go.
It provides a comprehensive collection of tools that you can use to get valuable insights into your competition. Amongst dozens of features you get:
- Learn about new organic competitors
- Distinguish the keywords that have worked for them
- Uncover the keywords that didn’t
You also get a very detailed analysis that covers pretty much every aspect of your competitor’s keyword usage.
You can even get real-time updates on organic search results of all the keywords that you’re looking into.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Take a look below at how much information you can glean at a glance.
But it doesn’t end there…
Another extremely useful feature is the Topic Research button.
This is a great time saver if you want to craft new content on your website.
You just enter the search term, and SEMrush shows you the content that your competitors have already created on the topic.
It also gives you insight into the questions your customers want answers to. Which means it makes it almost effortless to decide what content to write about in order to bring in more traffic.
Normally, you’d have to manually go through your competitors’ content to uncover this information. But the Topic Research tool eliminates the need for this.
In summary, the tools you saw here can help you:
- Identify your competitors
- Learn about their previous campaigns and results
- Get all the information you need on the keywords that they’re using
- Use the data you collect to create a superior strategy
This is more than enough for you to stay in the game and become one of the best players.
Combining these tools can get you ahead of the competition and ensure that you stay there.
Interested in what OMG could potentially offer?
Let us help you make 10x your traffic, leads, and sales through the power of masterful SEO and PPC!
Here’s what to do next:
Step #1 — Click the button above
As Australia’s fastest growing digital agency with offices around the globe, we work on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the button below now to give yourself the best shot.
Step #2 — Fill out our short application form
We want to make sure you’re a good fit for us, and that we can deliver the results you need, so we’ll need to gather just a few pieces of information about your business.
Step #3 — Schedule your confidential call
Once we’ve had a chance to review your application form, we’ll contact you to schedule your confidential call and discuss the results of your FREE website audit (usually valued at $2,000).