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How To Utilize Your Competitors to Boost your PPC Strategies

Phillip Reinhardt

If your competitor has been slaying their PPC game and grabbing all your prospects, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get serious. It’s tough to find time to do the in-depth research that is required to find and then continually test and tweak to get the right keywords for your PPC campaign. Each time you work with a keyword list that isn’t fully optimized, you could be spending more for each click than is really required — and who can afford to waste marketing dollars? Fortunately, there’s a much more efficient option: learn from successful, well-established competitors. No, we’re not recommending corporate espionage. This information is freely available online, but only if you know where to look. Get the details on how to take the competition’s turf by poaching their keywords (and finding some underused options, too!)

Hijack Their Brand

Entering a new market with an established competitor already in place? Consider bidding on your competitor’s brand name. Yes, really! When you’re the new kid on the block, it can be tough to get your name out there. However, your competitor’s already well-known in your space. Why not leverage some of their brand awareness to give your PPC a boost? Bidding on a local competitor’s brand name is almost always cheaper than bidding on a generic keyword due to the reduced competition in the bidding wars of pay-per-click advertising. One note of caution: this strategy works best when you’re bidding on a local competitor’s name as national or international brand names can be have a higher cost per acquisition.

Get Our Your Spy Glasses

Researching The Best PPC Keywords

SpyFu and iSpyionage are two competitive analysis tools that are available that actually give you details into the ads your competitors are running as well as their keywords. While you’re likely to get a great deal of information, the difficult part is going to be filtering out the dreck and finding the keyword sets that will truly boost your website traffic. It’s crucial to grab the keywords that have the highest purchasing intent, as you don’t want to be paying top dollars for people who are only interested in a quick browse about a particular topic.

The quickest way to see if a keyword is going to hit and be affordable is to test it — the easy way. This doesn’t include setting up a campaign, running it for a week and then adjusting your ads and trying again. Nope, think simpler. Plug your potential term into your favorite search engine and see what happens! If major brand are squatting on that keyword and popping up ads left and right, keep looking for a PPC term that’s going to be a little more open for competition while still having a great search volume.

Tweak, Rinse, Repeat

Marketers often find that as few as 6-10 percent of their keywords drive 100 percent of sales — wow! That means it’s critically important to allocate a decent portion of your budget to testing keywords to determine which will be the most effective for your needs. This also means that even with research, a little creative “borrowing” of your competitor’s keywords and your own intuition, you’ll still need some testing funds available. Some businesses find that the ideal percentage for ongoing testing is approximately 20 percent of your PPC advertising budget, but you can adjust up or down as needed. Testing should include not only the keywords, but the ads themselves and most importantly — the landing page! Your landing page is what truly determines whether or not your customers will actively convert or just keep browsing, so don’t get lazy there!

Hopefully this blog has helped shed a bit of light into the dark corners of PPC advertising and keyword selection. This digital marketing topic and more are covered on a regular basis on our blog.