Competitive advertising observations helps marketers make more strategic decisions. It is one of the most useful and important sources that can identify your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) targets and provide fundamental input to improve your overall marketing strategy.
The analysis can turn complex depending on the factors you choose to take into consideration. In order to expedite this process and make it easier to replicate, supervise, and compile the data, we’ve broken down the SEM workflow into four phases:
1. Identify your top keywords
Digital marketing begins with being noticed. And getting noticed begins with SEM. In order to use competitive data to its maximum potential, you need to identify a keyword subset to focus on. Your target is to ensure that you have a defensible position on your best performers and to take that enhance that defensible position by winning on those keywords.
- Use profitable keywords: keywords with high traffic
- Strategic importance: you may be creating SEM for a client with a very low search volume, but high importance to their company. Regardless, it is a must to always include it.
2. Identify and legitimize your competitors
Bear in mind that the competitors you’re looking for are not necessarily limited to the companies or websites that produce the same kind of content, service, or products that you offer. You’re targeting websites that compete with you in the search results for your keywords.
Once you’ve collected a number of potential competitors from a variety of different yet relevant sources, it's time to authenticate them. To do this, you must:
- Analyze and filter which of these companies and websites are currently ranking
- To which degree are they ranking for the same keywords you are targeting
Additionally, at this stage, you’ll also broaden your list of potential target keywords by doing keyword research.
3. Analyzing quantitative results
After thorough research of your primary competitors, the next step to take to defeat them is to compare your quantitative results against theirs.
The important metric for this analysis is called search marketing visibility. For each of your profitable keywords, it tells you who is more visible, you or your competitors. Search marketing visibility is a combination of ad-serving frequency and ranking. The better the combination of these two data’s, the more visible you are.
With your single visibility score in hand for each keyword, except the ones with lower visibility than your competitors, apply the following fixes:
- Improve rank. If rank is the issue, improve your rank either through bidding more aggressively or improving your landing page so that it is as relevant as possible, thus improving your quality score and rank.
- Increase exposure. If your impression share is too low, improve this by increasing your budget on keywords where the competition is outpacing you.
4. Review and target your keywords
Finally, the time has come for all the gathered data to be put into action. Make sure your keywords are those with the highest relevance, search volume, and profitability. The best starting point is in rankings where you are competitive from a popularity and content standpoint.
Hopefully, this article has given you an insight towards developing your own SEM competitive analysis. If you’re still wondering about SEM, its functions, and suggested tools to optimize it, contact us!