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How to Perform a Competitive Analysis for PPC

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Ann Davis is an avid HubSpot-certified Content Marketer in the Technology, Health and Wellness, and Home and Lifestyle niches.

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Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are competitive, and for a reason. Google set them up as part of Google ads management strategy. With this format, the company makes money while pushing advertisers to adhere to the adaptive search environment's best practices. Most people don’t like competition, but it is healthy since it sparks innovation.

For businesses, PPC competition can be hard to manage, especially without the help of a PPC agency. The situation can worsen if you don’t know who your competitors are or you don’t track competitor impacts on your PPC campaigns.

PPC advertising is fiercely competitive, and not doing an analysis could harm you more than you think. Remember that your competitors are using the same tactic as you and you risk missing the return on investment. Competitive analysis for PPC works, and this guide outlines how to do it right.

Why is PPC Competitor Analysis Important?

Competitive analysis launches you deep into your competitors' world. It opens your eyes to the marketing strategy they use to compete against you. With these insights, you can strengthen your existing strategy or design a better plan. Checking their messaging approach and possible targets can boost your creativity when you least expect it.

Look closely enough to identify the keywords they’re bidding, and which you've probably not been utilizing. If the competition is taking up a large share of the market, a competitive analysis can help you drive up conversions. Consider investing a little more of your marketing budget to tackle that share of the market as well.

Performing an In-Depth Competitive Analysis for PPC

You can do so much while performing a PPC audit, but you should limit it to the much you can act on. The limit depends on the resources you have. For example, do you have a team of PPC experts to help you with the process? If it’s just you, consider aiming for one or two hours of competitive analysis weekly. Here’s what to do.

Define the Market & Competitors

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Your competitors differ across a broad range. As such, you must go beyond the big brand names within your sector. You need to look at the full scope of companies with the potential to impact your success.

Your competitors are either direct or indirect. The direct competitors are those that come to mind first when you think about competition. They’re in the same sector as you, marketing the same products as you.

The indirect competitors serve the same customer needs as you but in a different way. Their target audience and yours differ slightly but could overlap. Keeping an eye on the indirect competition prevents you from being caught unaware if they move into your niche.

Google Ads Management through Auction Insights Report

According to the Auction Insights Report, you need to focus on six crucial areas in your competitive analysis strategy. These are:

  • Overlap rate
  • Average position
  • Impression share
  • Outranking share
  • Top of page rate
  • Position above rate

A clear definition of each of these terms is available to show you several factors concerning your competition. You’ll better understand who your competitors are and how much coverage they have. All this is crucial as an indicator of the quality score of the competitors.

This way, you can benchmark your performance against your leading rivals. This will help you see how successful they are across your target keyword groups.

Simple Google Search for Better Analysis

A simple Google search on your competition reveals a lot to help you create stronger PPC campaigns. It will help you review benchmarks by identifying the channels that work best for your competitors.

You can also establish a pattern in the latest market and industry trends, especially those that reoccur yearly. While checking out for these, be prepared for the peaks and declines in the competitive landscape.

Your search should also help you learn the new best practices, mistakes to avoid, and provide insights to update your marketing mix. With all these in place, you’ll be better equipped to refine your marketing goals and better manage your Google ads.

Competitor Price Comparison Analysis

While price isn’t everything in business competition, it plays a crucial role in your Google ads audit. Price comparison analysis will help you establish where you fit in the marketplace to fine-tune your messaging strategy. You can tell if your business is in the lowest, middle, or highest-priced spectrum through the analysis for better positioning.

With this approach, you may have to request pricing from the competitors. Since not every business advertises its prices on their website, you may have to conduct a secret inquiry.

Study Your Competitors’ Unique Value Propositions

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You need to establish how your unique value proposition compares to that of your competitors. Check their websites for the UVPs and keep in mind that it differs from the tagline or homepage headline.

How do other brands create an emotional connection with the market? What value do their products or services offer their customers?

Once you analyze this, take the time to create your unique value proposition or work around the existing one to make it better.

Continue to Monitor the Competition

Learning all these steps to effective competitive analysis won’t mean much to your business if you don’t implement them. Implementation is an ongoing process that demands that you continue to monitor your competition.

Your competitors will launch new products, update their messaging, change their pricing, or update their value proposition. You should be the first to know when they make any changes. Ensure you use competitive intelligence tools to take the manual work out of the process.

Use campaign watch software that lets you see when any competitor launches new landing page offers or ads. You can also see how ads look on SERPs from different locations and times.

PPC Competitive Analysis: Final Thoughts

Competitive analysis is an ongoing task that should be on top of your mind when opening a PPC account. When done the right way, the process can help drive conversions with clients where the competition is stiff. Enlist the help of a credible PPC agency in your competitive analysis for PPC. This way, you’ll be on your way to beating your competitors.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Ann

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