While starting a new PPC account or beginning a new segment within PPC, competitive analysis is on top of our minds. Though with time, we get so involved in our own stuff that we tend to forget to come back to this zone. We either skip or overlook it.
The whole idea is not to blindly follow the competitors but be updated. Just because your competitor is trying some xyz idea, you don’t have to forget and throw away what you had decided. You should definitely know what they are up to, the strategies that are being used, the ideas, but then do what is right for you. See, if it goes well with your accounts.
This enables one to keep improving and come up with better concepts. Without knowing what’s happening around, one can never explore. It can also help one to drive conversations with clients if the competitor is taking up a large amount of market share. These days, there are many ways to analyse the competition. You can choose as per your preference, from free to expensive or from anonymous to a specific competitor’s data.
In this post, I will discuss some of the best PPC competitor analysis tools available. Let’s start!!
1. AdWords Auctions Insight Report:
With the Auction Insights report for search campaigns one gets the access to look at others who might be bidding on your keywords. The users are provided with six different statistics: average position, impression share, top of page rate, position above rate, outranking share and overlap rate. Users can generate a report for ad groups, campaigns or one or more keywords,. You can either segment your report by device and time. Only those search campaigns that meet a minimum threshold of activity get the Auction insights data. It can be used to earmark additional ad spend or devise new tests. Let’s say, you found that your top competitors actually have higher impression shares and higher average positions, then you would want to start experimenting with increasing your ad position and visibility for this particular keyword set. The situation could also be a little different. You could figure out that your top competitors are not visible for keywords that you have been dying to achieve ROI goals with, and you may eventually decide to reduce your bids as well.
This report gives users the information on other advertisers who had participated in the same auctions just like you. For this reason, this isn’t an effective way to assess new keywords or campaigns that you may want to bid on in the future.
To check and understand the auction insight report in a better way follow the steps which I mentioned below.
1. Click on that Campaign whose auction insight report you want to check. Then click on keyword tab. You will see the page like below attached screen shot.
2. Click on "Details tab" like above attached image. Then click on "All" and it will redirect you to the Auction insights report.
There are certain rumours doing the rounds that the reports regarding the tool’s inaccuracy to predict keywords, budget numbers and traffic. Though we can’t deny that it gives information related to certain keywords that the competition might be bidding on and actually succeeding as well.
You can also view actual ad copies of previous month. Just type the web address of one of your competitors and you’ll get to see ad position, clicks per day, estimated budget, ad texts and keywords.
The paid version too gives you access to about 90% more data, including CPC estimates, keyword overlap, and other advanced keyword statistics along with the ability to track your own performance.
SEMRush is quite similar to Spyfu, which provides most crucial information about competitors to your brand. Through the free version, you can check your competitor’s website and whether you are a part of their competitor’s list or not.
You can also check average position for the top keywords, ad texts, the percentage of their total budget and traffic allocated to those keywords. Whereas with the paid version, the results and statistics get increased so that you can see more data. It also allows users to track information related to your competitor’s Video advertising, PLA Research and more. Check the given below image.
iSpionage povides users quite a lot of information for free, and that quantity automatically increases with the paid version. It’s not just the ads the competitors are running with ranking information, keywords your competitors are bidding on but with the upgraded version you can even build new campaigns with the information you find.
One begins with completing the keyword research phase based on the information that one discovered from competitors, then audit that keyword research, group the terms together and finally build out the actual campaigns to be uploaded to Google or Bing.
Utilising the Research:
It might sound weird and confusing but then you don’t need to fully trust all the research you just did. It’s true. The reason being that none of the softwares that we have discussed have direct access to your competition’s accounts. The entire information is simply the compilation of data from the search engines and making that available to you. And not to forget, using the free versions of these PPC softwares may not really allow you to get a full view of what’s going on.
Hence, I wouldn’t suggest anyone to completely rely on these softwares for PPC and rather limit their dependence on them only to a certain extent. Take the help of these tools but then follow your instincts and go with what you feel is best for you. What works for a certain company might not work for you. Use your knowledge and information to make decisions. Don’t stop yourself from trying new things.
Make sure that you are always aware of what’s going on and what you competitors are up to. Keep an eye on them, stay focused. There is no need to feel that you are copying them or stealing their ideas. This is a way to gain insight and understand what's working in the market. The best use of competitive research is when you use it as a part of the strategy and not as the only way to move forward.
Hope, you enjoyed reading the article. Tell us your views on the various tools. Which one is your favourite? You can also mention if there were any issues. Let us know what you feel.
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