Adwords is one of the key digital marketing channels today for most businesses. While Adwords is generally pretty effective and delivers fast results compared to any other channels, advertisers must realize it is a data centric science and if the Adwords campaigns are managed systematically with data driven decisions, the effectiveness and ROI of the campaigns can multiply manifold.
Adwords performance and metrics are also highly dynamic based on the competition. Some of the key Adwords metrics like Max bid, Cost per Click, average position etc are all influenced by the number of competitors and their respective numbers. To elucidate with a over-simplistic example – you might be paying $1 CPC for Keyword A and your ad shows up in position #1, now if a new competitor comes in to compete on the same keyword and starts bidding $1.05 – all other things being equal, your ad will now slip to #2 ad position. So even though there was no change at your end, simply due to competitive dynamics your ad has now moved to position #2 from position #1.
While the above example is definitely over simplistic and there are way too many other factors and all of them inter-linked and influencing each other, the fact remains that having a thorough analysis of your competitor account can definitely give you a big advantage to improve your Adwords campaigns. Let’s take a look at 5 different aspects of Adwords competitor analysis and how they can help you better manage your campaign.
Keywords – Are You Missing Opportunities?
It is a given that you must have done a through keyword research before initiating your Adwords campaign but even after doing all your research it is not uncommon to find that you might have missed some not so obvious keywords which could actually be great additions to your campaign. Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could know all the keywords that your competitor is placing their ads for? Once you have your competitor keyword list, scrub it against your keywords and I am sure more often than not you will see that there are many opportunities (read keywords) that your competitors are leveraging but you are missing out.
Even if you are just starting off with your campaign, wouldn’t it be great if you could just mention your top three competitors and get a list of all the common keywords that they are betting on – obviously that would make your work so much more easier.
Cost Per Click – How Much Are They Paying?
Wouldn’t it be great to have an understanding of how much are your competitor’s biding for their keywords? You can definitely adjust your bids accordingly to make sure that you get the maximum out of your ad money. Yes, this information can also be tracked and extracted ☺
Which Ads Are Performing?
We all do a lot of experimentation with our ad copies to identify which ads work the best for us but wouldn’t it be great to see the various ads your competitors are using at one place and to know which of those are their best performing ads? Such competitor analysis would definitely going to be a big advantage, as that would give you a lot of insights on what type of messaging resonates better with your target audience, take away a lot of experimentation from your own account (save spending your own money on failed experiments) and you can leverage the insights gained from the historical ad performance data of the competitors to fine tune your ads faster and more effectively.
How to get your Competitor Data
By now you must be wondering that while all the above competitor research sounds as exciting as some serious corporate espionage how do you actually get hold of such competitor data? Well, my friends, there are various tools that allow you to get similar information. I have personally used many of them and can gladly recommend SpyFu, if you are specifically dealing in the US or UK market. I love the fact that they give you a free option to test the tool where they reveal partial data and you can always go for a monthly membership to get full access. In fact they can provide a bunch of other data points from your competitors Adwords account and also have some very useful SEO Intelligence tools bundled in the same package, which makes it even better.
Another fantastic tool doing a very similar job and covering a much wider geographic area ( besides US & UK, it also provides data for Canada, Germany , France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Australia ) is SEMRush. They also offer partial data for free and you can subscribe to get the full information. While both these tools give you almost similar data, if you would ask me, I am a little biased towards SEM Rush, primarily because I find their interface much more sophisticated and easy to use. Also they are a tad bit cheaper – starting at $69.95/month compared to Spyfu’s $79/month.
In the present competitive environment these competitor research tools are no longer restricted to the multinationals, they are a necessity for every business that is running an Adwords campaign. If you have not been using any of these tools, it’s high time you start – your competitor is probably already spying on you.