There are many options for this. Let's consider two simple options. You can see this information in the Auction Statistics if you already have running ads.
Select the required period and click:
‘All campaigns’ → ‘Keywords’ → ‘Auction Statistics’.
The report will show you a list of competitors by main keywords and your ‘role’ among them. Find out what percentage of search query coverage you take away and work with further hypotheses.
It is essential to understand that sometimes your keys may show companies with a similar product or service or are from another country/city altogether.
Most likely, they just have a wide targeting setup. The percentage of such should be minimal. Therefore, review each site from the list separately and decide on further work with this competitor.
If you do not have ads in Google Ads yet, you can simply go to Google Search, enter your target queries, and highlight those shown on these queries most often. Yes, this method will take a little more time, but it is still quite simple.
For example, let's find competitors for an English language school:
So, now we have a list of our competitors. What's next? Then we can find out the following aspects:
1) What keywords are used by your competitors?
2) Quality of your competitors' ads.
3) Quality of your competitors' landing pages.
What keywords are used by your competitors?
Unfortunately, Google's capabilities are insufficient for this analysis, so we will need third-party services, such as Serpstat.
Select Keyword Analysis → PPC → Analysis → Competitors and enter some popular keywords for our business. For example, let's take ‘Learn English’.
Next, we see a list of companies that are also displayed in the form of this key phrase. We go to the first site. The table on the right shows a list of popular keywords used by this company. Click ‘Show All
In this report, we already see a list of all keywords for which this company is placed. For convenience, we can export the list to a separate file (Excel, Google Spreadsheets, or any other option convenient for you)
Then we collect all the lists of competitors' keywords, make one big file out of them, and select those that we could exclude and add to our semantic core.
You can also highlight the most competitive keys and adjust your settings appropriately (if, for example, you use manual bid management) to win more often in a particular auction.
As you can see, this tool can give much more than what we have just described.
Its functionality is much wider, but unfortunately, the tool is paid for.
Quality of your competitors' ads
To analyze the quality of ads, we again go to the search results and substitute the keywords of competitors one by one. We analyze the ads into components. We see if competitors use:
- Topic 3
- Description 2
- Additional links
- Phone number
- Structured descriptions
All these elements make advertising more visible and, as a result, more marked up.
The better the ad looks, the more creative it is written, and the more influential the call to action is, the higher the chance that a potential client will not pass by.
Do not forget that not all elements of the ad are shown in every search result. Mandatory are Title 1, Title 2, and Description 1. Google may or may not show the rest, so you should make several such checks.
For convenience, you can add all the information obtained during the investigation to a separate table:
Also, Serpstat can help to analyze ads. To do this, just go to:
Domain analysis → PPC analysis → Ads.
The results of this report can be exported to a separate file.
Quality of your competitors' landing pages.
As we all know, the quality of landing pages affects the quality score through which your ads are priced. We can analyze this category:
- Loading speed of competitors' landing pages.
- Sources of traffic to competitors' landing pages.
Let’s go step by step. Landing page loading speed is a critical criterion in the analysis because most users do not wait for the page to load for more than 3-4 seconds. If, during this time, the page they are interested in does not load, they will go to competitors. Google PageSpeed will allow us to determine the landing page's loading speed.
In the results of the analysis, we see the level of optimization of the landing page (the value is set from 0 to 100).
We can check the level of website optimization separately for computers and smartphones.
To check traffic sources, we will use the Similarweb tool. You must enter the domain of the site you are checking in the appropriate field and press Enter.
Thanks to this resource, we can analyze not only traffic sources but also the average session length, the number of pages per session and bounce rate, geo-indicators, and a graph of the total amount of traffic for a certain period:
We can also analyze the ratio of traffic sources (direct, search, media, and traffic from social networks):
This tool shows the share of organic and paid traffic in search, as well as the keywords that are most often used for both organic search and advertising:
In general, such analysis will help to collect basic information about the contextual advertising of your competitors. It will show their strengths and weaknesses. And most importantly, it will provide a source of hypotheses for tests and improve the positioning of your company in the market.
Do not ignore such an important stage of launching Google Ads and update the information about once a quarter. Good luck!
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