There are many ways to analyze competition, ranging from very expensive to free tools and from anonymous to a specific competitor’s data.
When you already have acquired some experience with Google AdWords you can interpret different elements in your competitors’ campaigns with just a little common sense.
But all these competition analysis tools can be of great help. The question is: What are you going to do with the data or information gathered from these tools?
In this post, I will look closer at 3 tools I’ve personally used in this past year and how you can use them to your advantage too. Take a moment and listen to Andrew, our PPC guru, talk about the importance of competitor research tools and the 3 platforms he recommends.
Competitor Research Tools
SEMrush is a tool that provides detailed PPC and SEO competitor analysis. New features that SEMRush added in 2016 can also help you with social media and brand monitoring. SEMrush is a great, all-inclusive tool and is definitely a must for any online marketer.
You Should Invest in SEMrush if:
- Your job revolves around search marketing
- You need highly specific SEO traffic data about your own website, as well as your competitors’
- You rely on your blog for income and want to up your game
- You run an ecommerce website and want to improve your rankings
- Pro for $99.95 per month
- Guru $199.95 per month
- Business $399.95 per month
The Organic Research tool shows you what is working for your competitor’s website and how you can apply it to your own efforts.
By allowing you to spy on competitor websites, see how they rank organically and identify their top-performing keywords you can determine how to optimize your own website. SEMrush provides the following snapshots of what the feature would look like:
The Advertising Research tool helps you identify all keyword queries against which a competitor is running paid search ads for using Google Adwords or Bing.
Use this tool to estimate how much traffic a site is receiving via paid search ads and the keywords they are targeting.
SEMRush can also help you track organic keyword position changes in Google. This way you can keep track of how well your website or your competitor is doing in organic search for specific keywords.
- An intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface
- Get an overview of your top keywords and ranking
- Analyze backlinks, ad performance, and more
- Keep a close eye on your competitors
- Relatively expensive basic level service
- Places too much emphasis on total Google results, perhaps making some keywords less difficult than their rating provides
SpyFu is a Search analytics company that shows the keywords that website advertisers buy on Google AdWords, as well as those on organic searches. This is what the main control panel looks like:
You Should Invest in Spyfu if?
You have very little core data – for example, seeking out a competitor list, gathering a comprehensive keyword or ad group list or building out new campaigns. If you already have a lot of intel, SpyFu will regurgitate the same information.
- Basic: $39 per month or $33 per month (annual plan)
- Professional: $58 per month or 39$ per month (annual plan)
Just by typing in your domain or your competitor’s you’ll discover the most lucrative keywords you are both missing.
Discover competitor’s daily budget, bid prices, clicks per day, ad copy, and other interesting PPC facts & figures.
SpyFu Kombat lets you add 3-domains and helps you prevent overlooking any valuable keywords. It also brings you a clear idea of what to add next depending on the keywords your competitors are advertising on that you aren’t.
Tested Ad Copy from Ad History
Ad History shows tested ad/keyword combinations from advertisers, revealing their biggest hits and misses. This can help you achieve a higher ROI right off the bat.
- Researching your competitor’s historic ads gives you a great opportunity to tweak your own ad copy.
- Member discounts with other services (including AuthorityLabs)
- No local data: You can’t know if a site/keyword does better in one city than another
iSpionage is a useful tool for search marketers looking to get competitive intelligence data to improve or optimize their campaigns. It will also shorten the time it takes to create campaigns, especially for keyword research and launching campaigns in the three major search engines.
Who Should Use It?
PPC advertisers looking to gain insight into competitors’ effective keywords, ad copy, and ad budget.
- Starter: $42 per month
- Professional: $69 per month
- Advanced: $209 per month
- Enterprise: Custom solution
Keyword and Domain Research
This tool allows you to reverse engineer your strategy: learn what your competition is doing, duplicate their best ideas along with your own ways of making them better.
By entering a keyword or domain, you’ll learn which keywords your competitors are bidding on, the ad copy they’re using, and which landing pages they’re directing visitors to. The image was provided by PPChero.
PPC Campaign Builder
This tool makes campaign building easy. Here you introduce your bid prices for each respective match bids, set up your ads, input the URL, and then export for either Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft PPC campaigns. Image provided by CrazyEgg.