Do you use competitive intelligence data to spy on your competition?
Competitive spying tools allow you to quickly evaluate which keywords, ads and landing pages your competitor is using but let's take it one step further. In order to dominate the market, you need to focus on differentiating your product or service. How can you separate yourself if you don't know what the competition is offering?
Most PPC managers use AdWords' Keyword Suggestion tool to evaluate keyword opportunity and study the trends. You can also use AdWords Auction Insights to see who else is buying the same keywords. The problem is, unless you manually search each keyword and click on a competitor's ad, you don't experience the true funnel that someone goes through when searching your keywords.
For example, mobile search funnel optimization is a huge, growing opportunity. Mobile SERPs are the battle ground and will soon be how the majority of users come to your website. So what have you done to optimize your mobile user experience? Have you closely compared your keyword funnel to that of your top competitor? If yes, which keyword? Did you evaluate a brand keyword, non-brand or a competitor brand keyword? I'm going to explain why you need to do this, how to do it, and which tool I use to save time, gain insights, and take action.
Reason 1: User Experience and Conversion Optimization
By looking at keywords, ads, and landing pages in silos, you miss the true experience of someone in your search funnel.
Many PPC search marketers start with keywords and evaluate the SERP results. If someone searches that keyword, you only have two or three seconds to differentiate your ad. Most PPC mangers spend a lot of time testing and optimizing ad creative, but the most important competitive data can be found on your competitors' landing pages.
In order to put yourself in the customer's shoes, you must search the keyword, read the ads available, and see who sticks out. What are competitors offering? How can you write better ads?
Make sure you click through to the landing page, and study competitor messaging and offers compared to yours.
Reason 2: Find Opportunities or Threats
Are there any opportunities or market threats you should be acting on? What are your competitors' sales funnels, especially the landing page messaging?
Use this competitive data to jump on opportunities, versus just relying on keywords and ads. How would you rate their user experience, continuity and most importantly how does my UVP, unique value proposition compare? This UVP speaks to the question I may have and provides social proof with more than 20,000 businesses.
Reason 3: Don't Get Blindsided by Competitor Promotions
Tools that only give you research and analysis are great, but monitoring and alerts are a must for competitive industries. Alerts should be set up to notify you when a competitor changes ads or landing page offers so you can continue to re-invent, and stay fresh, optimized and high-converting.
Lesson #4: Learn from Larger Advertisers
I previously wrote about how to use keyword research to find new landing page ideas. Now, do the same thing, but evaluate the optimization that has been done on the entire funnel to improve your results. My company iSpionage's tool shows you the entire keyword, ad and landing page sales funnel. Seeing the clear winners these advertisers have found can be applied to your campaign, as well.
What Did You Learn?
I hope you see the importance of monitoring the competition entire sales funnel from this post. Don't forget to read about the five PPC spying strategies you can use to generate more profit for more tips and strategies to make you successful. Please share your thoughts and comments below.