The Best Supplement to Any Internet Marketing Campaign: Competitive Analysis
In order for an Internet marketing campaign to be overtly successful, businesses should always take a comprehensive look at all aspects of the campaign and evaluate precisely what they hope to achieve in the long run. Some may believe that the sole use of a primary tool such as AdWords will succeed in providing sufficient results; however the addition of complementary methods can assist in making it even more effective.
There are numerous additional resources that can be utilized when it comes to Internet marketing tactics; they merely need to be sought out. Utilizing Google AdWords is of course a beneficial approach, but having the ability to view everything that your competitors are doing with their own marketing operations can only amplify the success of a campaign.
For example, if we are to complete a search for the simple keyword of flower delivery, a substantial 42.6 million results are presented, and a couple of competing companies such as 1800flowers.com and teleflora.com are bidding on it:
To explore further into these bidding habits, an additional tool must be employed in order to do so. Whether you want to determine which keywords your competitors are bidding on, what percentage of their budget is allocated to their marketing approaches, or a variety of other valuable information, discerning the trade secrets of competitors can do wonders in facilitating a more prosperous campaign. To begin, we can locate and notice something as straightforward as the cost-per-click for the keyword, approximately how much volume it receives per month, and the number of results, as the screen shot below displays:
In correlation with the examples above, perhaps you are a flower distributor and one of your main competitors is 1800flowers.com. By utilizing some simple competitive analysis, you can discover information such as which keywords your competitors are bidding on, related keywords, what ads they are actually running, and other domains that are purchasing the same keywords as 1800flowers.com.
KEYWORDS FOR 1800FLOWERS.COM
The image above depicts the search terms bid on and relative to 1800flowers.com, including other relative and important information such as which position the terms are in, the volume of searches that they receive per month, cost-per-click, URL, et cetera.
ADS FOR 1800FLOWERS.COM
As displayed above, it is incredibly beneficial to be able to see the exact ads that your competitors are publicizing on the Internet. Take a look at the ads that 1800flowers.com, for instance, is running. Being able to view the precise ads that your competitors are administering provides a detailed awareness of what ad copy they are using.
COMPETITORS FOR 1800FLOWERS.COM
In addition, you can also discover who the principal competitors are in organic search and complete equivalent research from there on each of these said competitors. The information that can be discovered with such a minimal amount of research is extremely accommodating and seemingly limitless.
SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC COMPARISON
What about being able to view the search engine traffic for different competitors? This information provides an idea of how many users are visiting these sites over a four year time-period and viewing such a simplistic and informational graph provides an accurate and easy-to-understand representation of exactly where the search traffic is. In the example above, search traffic seems to be higher but fluctuating for 1800flowers.com, consistent for Teleflora.com, and there are gradual increases specifically for proflowers.com. These results can lead us to conclusions such as that proflowers.com is doing something right with their advertising that assisted in developing an increase in traffic.
PAID SEARCH COMPARISON
In addition to the first graph, look at numerous other comparisons that can be completed such as the number of ads that assorted competitors are running, in this case 1800flowers.com, Teleflora, and proflowers.com once again. By viewing graphs such as these, you can analyze trends over the course of time displayed and see when there was more expenditure versus when there might have been decreases in spending, or if trends were relatively stationary. In this particular case, it looks as though all of the companies started around the same in paid search, but they all gradually increased with Teleflora.com, in particular, consistently spiking their paid search during the holiday season. These are just bits and pieces of the types of information that you can find using competitive analysis and ultimately, the possibilities are endless.
Competitive analysis is strategic and a clever addition to any Internet marketing campaign. Take a moment to imagine what being able to utilize all of the tools described above and beyond could do for your Internet marketing and business overall. Being able to dissect and understand the advertising successes and failures of your competitors can only make your own business decisions easier to make and more profitable in the long-run. While AdWords is an extremely beneficial tool to utilize in an Internet marketing campaign, there are supplementary tools out there such as SEMrush that provide imperative information that can reveal the trade secrets of your competitors. Information such as this can only succeed and assist in providing your company with an absolute advantage over the competition so that you are always one step ahead.
About Suren Ter-Saakov
Suren Ter-Saakov is chief operating officer at SEMrush and a long-time SEO practitioner. Read his full Pubcon speaker biography here.