Competitor Paid Search Analysis: Why Is It So Important?

This post was sponsored by Similarweb. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Having paid search as a part of your marketing mix provides a number of advantages, especially when it’s combined alongside your regular organic SEO strategy.

By researching and comparing your competitors’ paid and organic search efforts side by side with your own website, you will gain a good idea of which tactics are being used by them.

It will unearth the gaps in their keyword strategy and allow you to see where there are untapped opportunities.

Understanding which paid keywords competitors are going after, how they rank for them, and how much they cost should make up the foundations of your research into building an effective PPC campaign.

This will act as the best indicator of where to begin focusing your own ad spend for paid search activities.

The Tactical Approach

Paid search activity helps you to be tactical when needed. Some common tactical scenarios that you might find yourself engaged in might include:

  • Defending specific branded keywords.
  • Promoting campaigns targeted at relevant audiences.
  • Targeting competitors branded and high-ranking keywords and search ads.

All of which will help to drive new users, defend a particular brand strategy or attack a competitor’s own tactical positioning.

Similarweb’s Paid Search Overview tool gives you the ability to understand the budgets, keywords, search, and product ads driving their competitors’ paid search campaigns.

This opens the floor for planning their own paid search efforts in more detail as well as justifying their tactical spending decisions. Users can now quickly and comprehensively evaluate their competitors’ short-term campaign tactics or longer-term strategies with just a few clicks.

To get started contextualizing your paid performance and see how your competition measures up, check out our Marketing Channel Conversion Benchmarks report to get the most accurate benchmarks.

Screenshot from Similarweb Website Intelligence, Paid Search Overview, September 2021

They’re Spending How Much?!

The Paid Search Overview page includes our new PPC spend estimation metric – which joins our other powerful traffic and engagement metrics – providing a unique view of:

  • When competitors are investing in PPC campaigns.
  • How successful they are at driving traffic over those campaigns.
  • What paid channels they are pushing their campaigns across.
  • And more.

There is a huge number of metrics that you can focus on to improve your ROAS, but having an estimation of your competitor’s PPC spend will allow you to get a clearer idea of:

  • How much they invest in paid channels.
  • How consistent they are in investing in paid search campaigns.
  • How important PPC is in driving their overall search traffic as a part of their digital marketing strategy.

Screenshot from Similarweb Website Intelligence, Paid Search Traffic & Engagement, September 2021

The Bird’s Eye View

A holistic view of any website’s paid search activity over time is incredibly valuable.

By referencing that against core traffic and engagement metrics like bounce rate, visit duration, search traffic, and more, you get a clear idea of whether you or your competitors are winning or losing the PPC tactical battle.

Whether you decide your overall paid search strategy is based on targeting previously interested leads or customers, or pushing campaigns focused on nurturing prospects in the sales funnel with more personalized messages or ads, the Paid Search Overview page can help you pinpoint what has worked well elsewhere and give you an opportunity to refine your own tactics for success.

Screenshot from Similarweb Website Intelligence, Ad Creative Research, September 2021

Competitor Campaign Tactics Revealed

Taking the PPC Analysis a step further, you may be wondering: which landing pages and campaigns are most successful for your competitors?

If they’re spending all this budget on keywords and ads, then where exactly are they sending users?

This is easily answered with Similarweb’s Top Paid Landing Pages tool, which reveals the best performing paid campaigns for any website.

You will be able to review the landing pages that get the highest share of traffic on the target site, as well as drill down to uncover the ads and top keywords driving that traffic.

Not only this – you also get an estimation of the URL spend so you can see which campaigns are the big bets for any competitor and where they’re really putting their ad spend to drive visitors and conversions.

By seeing the ads, messaging and keywords that competitors have built their PPC strategy around, you have all the intelligence to ensure that your own campaigns differentiate and appeal to your target audience.

By having a view on the competitive campaign spend data, you can also begin to budget effectively and make the business case for investment into your PPC strategy so that you can compete effectively. You can even build out a predictable ROI on each campaign before you even launch it.

Screenshot from Similarweb Website Intelligence, Top Landing Pages, September 2021

You now have the opportunity to understand what paid search campaign messaging is working, consistent, coherent, timely, and accurately targeted at the right audiences.

This enhances and drives quality engagement, builds greater brand trust, and improves brand perception amongst target audiences and customers.

The positive knock-on effect of a well-researched, planned, and executed paid search campaign: increased purchases, advocacy from your customers, and (most importantly) customer loyalty and retention.

See what paid search insights you can find today, check it out for yourself now.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Similarweb. Used with permission.