How Valuable Is Pay Per Click Intelligence?
This is where “spying” on competitors gets interesting because you can begin to answer these questions:
- Just how much money can be made?
- How invested in PPC are other competitors?
- Are we doing enough right now?
- Are your competitors testing new products?
Figuring Out Your Place
By collating and analysing your competitors, you can begin to understand how your competitors use PPC and more importantly, how profitable it is for them. Quite frequently, many companies display a herd mentality – making it easier to spot those profitable gaps your business can settle into without too much trouble.
Here is a list I use to discover just how a competitor is earning its money:
- Google (Discover their web footprint by typing “site:www.domain.com”)
- Annual Accounts (Very easy to get from sites like www.companieshouse.gov.uk)
- Alexa (Not a perfect tool by any means, works in 10% of Cases)
- Ahrefs (I look for Press Releases, Media Articles)
- Keyword Shitter (Uses Google’s suggest function and prints in order, great for brand Searches)
- Social Media (Twitter is the best for historical Content, followed by Google Plus)
- Google Alerts (Importantly my 5 cheeky uses of It)
- Local business citations (Read my primer on this Here)
- Tracking Day to Day Tactics
For most businesses, trade happens in seasons which generally means that companies plan their marketing weeks / months ahead of schedule.
It’s almost 4th Of July right now (Sorry for Mentioning!) yet many companies have been “4th Of July ” for months now – it’s a huge opportunity.
If you have a good PPC tracking program, you can discover within hours if a competitor is bidding on a new product. This is a handy tool because most companies will launch a new page, PPC it and then have to wait a handful of days to get it indexed by Google organically.
For discovering competitor product launches, PPC spying is the best!
Forensics (When your competitors play Dirty)
Sadly, nothing is fair in business – you’ve to play dirty or lose million of dollars in ad costs.
If you’re on top of your intelligence gathering, you’ll spot competitors using trademarks, duplicated content and the granddaddy of them all, Google Alerts. As with any shady corporate practises, the quicker you discover what’s going on the faster you can react and clean it up.
The Initial Study
Most business owners can conduct the initial part of the survey, to help get you started here is a list to jog your brain:
- Pay Per Click Ads
- How often are adverts changed?
- Are they always no 1?
- Landing Pages
- How many different landing pages do they use?
- Are they conducting an A/B split test?
- Are landing pages updated often?
- How good is their SEO and design?
- Do their pages have “SEO by” or “Web Dev by” in the footer?
- If so, what’s the quality like of the contractors homepage?
- Are they tracking clicks? Ads? Keywords? (Is Analytics code Installed)
- If so, what sort of analytics?
What Program To Use?
Honestly, there are tons of tools to track your competitors’ campaigns. There are different tools for Facebook Spying and a different set of tools for Google Ads Spying.
For Facebook Tracking
Its indeed the best Facebook campaigns tracking tool available in the market. It can track FB ads based on Keyword, Domain or Page. You will also get access to download competitor’s campaign’s assets like videos and images.
AdPlexity is indeed one of the greatest tool in industry of spying. I personally prefer using AdPlexity while creating campaigns for Search and Native more than Facebook.
For Google Tracking
AdPlexity works great with Google Ads. Just hit the keyword and you will get the results in no time.
Good tool for PPC intelligence tracking. It gives you a great idea before setting up the budget.
All the tools are excellent and both are work taking for a spin to see how they work for you. PowerAdSpy is really good for discovering what your competitor has done, SpyFu is probably a bit quicker to respond to recent events.
Like I said though, both are excellent and if you’re serious – buy both!