How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (2023)

How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (1)

Hello, folks, and welcome to a new story in our “Learn from” series. Our guests today: SE Ranking, a very powerful SEO software, enjoyed by 500,000+ users. Irina from SE Ranking we’ll show us how to properly do competitors’ keywords and ads research, so that we can boost our paid ads strategy. Let’s roll!

The world of PPC marketing is a very competitive place. You need to stand out from the crowd in paid search if you want to be successful. The data you can get from competitor analysis will make your work a whole lot easier.

When you keep an eye on your competitor’s keywords and data, you can improve your own marketing strategies, increase your conversions, and avoid any possible problems presented by their experience.

You should understand that a PPC competitor analysis is not only about revealing new keywords, it also shows their target audience, content topics, website quality, conversions, and much more. It will give you a real insight into what works well and doesn’t right now in your market.

Analyzing your market with running a competitor analysis will allow you to evaluate your business against your main competitors and answer the following questions:

  • Who is dominating your industry now?
  • How can you improve your PPC strategy?
  • Are your competitors bidding on your branded keywords?
  • How do you measure up in the PPC battle?

Why Is PPC Competitor Analysis Important For Your Business?

How can you build a stable marketing strategy or create a better product if you don’t know what kind of strategies and products already use your competitors? That’s where a PPC competitor analysis comes into play. It will help not duplicate their efforts, but build marketing campaigns that are much better than the competition.

Here are some benefits you can get from a PPC competitor analysis for your business:

  • Reveal and adapt to new trends, changes, and ideas;
  • Adjust your marketing benchmarks;
  • Spy on seasonal or industry trends;
  • Waste money using snake oil marketing practices;
  • Achieve your marketing and PPC goals;
  • Find gaps in your PPC campaign.

Next, I want to share a step-by-step guide for an advanced PPC competitor and keyword research based on my experience and gain an advantage in the PPC advertising space.

#1. Identify Your Competitors in Paid Search

If you already know your competitors in paid search, you can skip this step. If you need help finding your rivals, you can use SE Ranking’s Competitive Research tool to find all the websites that compete with your marketing campaign for paid keyword rankings.

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Just go to Competitive Research, enter your website, and get an exhaustive list of your main competitors in paid search sorted by the number of paid keywords you have in common with your website.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (2)

The best thing about the tool is the ability to compare your website to any of the listed paid competitors based on the number of keywords you rank for, the total website traffic, its traffic cost, and its backlinks. Moreover, you can choose a time period of up to 36 months to see the results.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (3)

Once you have created a list of paid competitors, you can go a step further and analyze in more detail your competitors’ strengths and take advantage of their best strategies.

# 2. Find Keywords Competitors Are Paying for That You Can Rank For

Figuring out how your competitors are performing in terms of paid search efforts and which keywords they are bidding that you can rank for will help you see opportunities in your market and improve your PPC campaign.

To find competitors’ keywords directly to yours, go to the Competitor Comparison section and enter two domains of your competitors next to yours. Here you can compare your website’s keywords to any of your rivals to find keywords where every rival’s site has a ranking, where you have a ranking but none of your competitors do, and where you aren’t targeting yet.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (4)

The section only shows data for the current month. But if you want to get historical data, you can do it separately for each competitor.

#3. Analyze search result ads, UVPs, and calls to action

Analyzing your competitors’ ad variations is an important step to know what you look like in the market and how you can use that to your advantage. Figure out what ad copy they are writing to stand out, which discounts or special offers they’re running to grab the attention of your users to click through.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (5)

It can take some time to review the SERPs and detect what it will take to create one of the most effective offers in the search. The best way to do it, go to the Ads History section and better understand what ad copy variations were used to get results. How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (6)

Another important step is to analyze each competitor’s unique value proposition (UVP) to see how your website compares to the competition or create your own UVP. Visit your competitors’ websites in order to take notes of their UVPs. Once you do it, you can improve your value proposition and make your product valuable and unique.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (7)


#4. Dig into Google AdWords auction insights

Let’s say that you are already running your PPC campaign and bidding on AdWords terms, but you want to take a close look at details and track every little ad positioning change or impression share. You can go into Auction Insights to figure out where your competitors appear and what your impression share is.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (8)

Using a keyword tool, you can also evaluate each competitor from there and see all their profitable keywords, what landing pages are generating the most traffic, and what ads they are running. This is a great way to review beyond the ad campaign and figure out where you need to focus your optimization time.

#5: Deep dive into the conversion funnel

A lot of PPC marketers used to keep an eye on competitors’ keywords and ad copy variations. But I would love to take a close look at PPC competitors by comparing your conversion funnel to your rivals.

For that, I recommend using Finteza to track conversions not only by separate ads and keywords, but you can also look at their landing pages. It tracks all the actions taken by users before making a purchase and creates histograms to visualize tracked events. It will automatically generate funnels and save the data in the form of a report for further analysis.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (9)

You can easily find out how they are converting their traffic and what they are offering (a discount or a free guide) to make people click through from Google. Take notes on what you need to improve on your landing page or any ideas to test new ad copy variations.

#6. Analyze the seasonal fluctuation

One more important step to the success of your PPC campaign is the analysis of seasonality to better understand what keywords are taken most frequently by competitors during these months. This data can help you make informed decisions to achieve great triumphs.

The Competitor research section in SE Ranking is the perfect place to see all the seasonal fluctuations of your competitors and reveal what specific keywords perform in paid search. It shows you which months are the busiest in your industry regarding online advertising. It is a great way to plan your PPC campaign ahead of time-based on your competitors’ experience.How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (10)

#7. Improve your multi-device strategy

According to Smart Insights, users prefer multi-device usage, not simply a mobile-first website. It is important to build effective strategies to engage the multichannel switching behavior for your brand. People used to switch between desktop and mobile. So, if you want to stay ahead of the PPC competition in 2021, you should find out what works well and what doesn’t for mobile and desktop paid search.

Make sure that the keywords you target for mobile searchers may distinguish from the keywords used for your desktop searchers. Once you reveal the best strategies of your competitors, you can improve your marketing efforts and build a successful PPC strategy.

In Google Search Console you can look at your search analytics using the filter by comparing mobile and desktop. It will display a list of mobile keywords that trigger ads for the competitor’s website and compare it to those for desktop.

If you create both desktop and mobile ads, make sure that you need to tailor them to specific audiences. Because mobile and desktop users are two different personas.

Once you define what keywords you are going to use for mobile and desktop paid search, you need to create an effective Google Ads campaign. With Depositphotos, you can use or download royalty-free stock photos and pictures that will help your clients find more content options and quickly find exactly what they’re looking for.

#8: Continue to spy on your competitors

It is important to go on monitoring the competition in order not to miss anything of what they are doing in paid search. Whether they will launch a new product or service, update their unique propositions, or change prices, you should be the first to know what the changes have happened.

To automate the process, it is better to use competitor research tools like SE Ranking to instantly see how their ads look in the SERPS from different locations and times.

Wrapping up

If you are stuck in planning your PPC strategy, doing a competitor analysis will allow you to go a long way by providing you a real insight into what performs well and doesn’t in your niche. Your priority is to achieve great results for your campaign, and competitors can rock your boat and direct you in the right direction. I hope this guide will help you audit the competition and gain a competitive advantage.

How to Do PPC Competitor & Keyword Analysis - ColibriWP Blog (13)

Irina Weber

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Irina Weber is a passionate Content Strategist. She worked for enterprises and startups for more than 8 years, writing about online marketing, social media, conversion optimization, and business development. You can reach out to her via Twitter @irinaweber048.

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