If you need to analyze your competitor’s PPC strategy – these are the best tools:
- iSpionage – it gives you the competitor’s budget, their best performing keywords and ad copies, did I mention competitor’s budget ? yes, that is very important. I think the tool cost about $60 a month but if you are a medium size agency; this shouldn’t be a big deal.
- SEMrush – Hey wouldn’t it be nice if you know who will be your top competitor, that’s exactly what this tool does – you type in the keyword & it will provide the competitors list. Cost is about $70. I think worth it
- KeywordSpy – I like this tool a lot, it gives the details of your competitors PPC strategy & it provides the most productive combination of keyword & ad copy of your competitor – cost is about $90 bucks, not too bad
- Adbeat – it is same as KeywordSpy but the cost is bit higher about $100
For Keyword research here are few tools:
- I have to mention the Keyword Planner & Google Trends. They both are Google tools. I am sure most of you are familiar with them so I don’t have to explain them here but the essence is that Keyword planner give you similar keywords & Google trend gives you, how year over year search trends are for a given keyword
- LSIKeyword – it’s great tool, I use a lot. You can put 10 keywords in one time & it will give you the relevant keywords & it is FREE!
- Mergewords.com–this is not a keyword planner tool but it is very handy to merge keywords & gives you new combination of keyword
Bottom Line –If you want to beat your competitors then you must find the keywords, which your competitor has not been able to discover
Lastly the most important is the PPC campaign optimization tools (or Tips)
The main attributes of PPC management are ad groups, keywords, and ad copy
- The ad groups:- We should have maximum 5-10 keywords in an ad group. Note – you must make sure that the key words are similar; for example if the keyword is “soccer shoes” then most of the keywords should be related to “Soccer” and “Shoes” e.g. “Blue Soccer Shoes” but if you have “Soccer ball” in this ad group that means, it is not optimize.
- Clean-up the Keywords –Now a days we hear & see “Peel n’ Stick” terminology, as per Google, you want to remove poor performing keywords from an ad group & place them in a new keyword group or add them in other relevant keyword groups. This is sort of “house cleaning”. You must constantly remove the keywords, which doesn’t perform.
- Negative Keywords – This is my favorite; you must perform keyword audits& decide which keyword should be coded negative; once you have identified the list of keywords which are unnecessarily costing you then it is the time to code them negative so that they don’t unnecessarily drive the cost for you. Once you decided that you want to code the keyword negative then further you have choice to code them as “Exact” negative or “Phrase” negative. The rule of thumb I use is – if I code them “Exact” negative match type then I will lose less traffic, on other hand if I code it “Phrase” match-type then I will lose lot of traffic because the similar keyword phrases will also be blocked. You must have good business knowledge to make this decision
- Ad copy – Ad extension – this is becoming very popular now-a-days. Most of the ad copies are extended to present the social likes &promotional offers or pricing. This certainly attract more clicks – the conversion will depend on your landing page optimization
- Ad copy Testing– Perform A/B test & see which is your optimum ad-copy. Constant testing is required.
Bottom line – Focus on basics, choose the right keywords, code negative very intelligently, constantly test your ad-copies!