Competitive PPC Analysis

Doesn't matter whether you're an affiliate making money off of someone else's products/services or a merchant, you must do your research before starting any new campaigns. In earlier days of Google and other search engines, pretty much anything you threw at the wall would stick. People made sick ROI's and were riding the profit wave for a long time. Not anymore.

Now, you need to take time to investigate your competitors prior to starting a new pay per click marketing campaign. Even then, chances of instant success are very slim. Now people are usually losing money upfront to test and optimize, so they could later rip the benefits.

PPC Analysis - Where to Start?

If you think this doesn't apply to you because your niche is school planning software or sprained ankle treatment ebook, think again. Even the tiniest niche markets have competition. It's always useful to know what others are doing that you could do better. So, how do you do your pay per click analysis?

Well, there's simple and there's more automated way of doing things. If you're not experienced, then stick to the simple and FREE way of researching competitors. If you have money to invest, get one of the tools mentioned below.

  • The Simplistic Approach

    What you should do is go to Google or Bing, type some of your keyphrases you've chosen, and look who's advertising. Simple as that. If you don't see any competitors, that's a red flag. There could be no money and no market at all. Might be worth testing in case it's a golden nugget though.

    If you see competitors, visit their sites. See what they offer. What are the prices? No prices? Call them up pretending to be a customer and get that info easily. Compare that to yours. What are they doing better and what worse? Make changes to your campaign before starting.

    Scan SERP's for 7 days twice a day for your top keywords if you can. See what keywords they're running on. You might notice competitor stops advertising for a particular keyword after a while. That's a sign it may not be working for them, so don't start your campaign with that keyword.

    Finally, pick their keywords, pick their ads. Don't copy the ads, just make similar ads in terms of idea, angle, call to action. This is how you do the competitor analysis the simple way. Tedious huh?

  • The Advanced Way

    Instead of doing things manually, you can automate everything. There are tools on the market that are great for competition analysis. You can see what keywords, ads your competitors have been using in the past months, years. What ads work not and what keywords are profitable. These tools also predict (rarely accurately) how much competitors spend per day on search marketing.

    Take a look at some of the most popular SEM competition research tools on the market:

    • SpyFu – One of the older keyword research tools. Great price and lots of features. Visit the site to read more about them.

    • KeyWord Competitor – Solid service with many pricing options. Allows monitoring competitors, even affiliate marketers.

Final Thoughts

Every business thinks of ROI. The sooner you achieve good ROI, the more money you make. And the best way to make sure you start a search marketing campaign in the right direction is competitor analysis.

Sometimes it will only tell you what you already knew. But sometimes, it may require you to revamp your whole business model from the ground. But that's what it takes to become successful in pay per click search marketing at these competitive and challenging times.