17 Jun How to Analyze Your Competitive Ad Environment
5 important insights you can learn from your competitors’ PPC ads
While it can be difficult to monitor all of your competitors’ marketing efforts, tracking PPC ads is a quick and easy way to gain insights into how your competitors are marketing themselves. These insights can help you improve your own PPC ads to help you stand out from the crowd and get more clicks and leads from online searchers.
In particular, you will learn 5 key pieces of information about your competitors that will help you refine your PPC strategy.
1. Which of your competitors are advertising on search engines?
By looking at the website addresses on each ad and by visiting each website (Type it in directly to your browser. Don’t click on the ad itself), you will quickly discover which of your competitors are marketing themselves through PPC advertising. Essentially, you quickly find out who your competitors are in this advertising medium.
2. How aggressively is each competitor bidding?
For each keyword related to bankruptcy, firms advertising decide how much they are willing to pay per click. Generally speaking, the higher the bid, the higher Google and Bing rank the ad on the search results. So competitors with ads appearing towards the top are bidding higher and spending more per click than competitors whose ads appear lower on the totem pole.
Type in 5 or more keyword phrases (Ex: jacksonville bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy lawyer, chapter 7 bankruptcy, wage garnishments, bankruptcy) and pay attention to which law firms’ ads are appearing high or low on the search results. This will help you gain an understanding as to who are the most aggressive competing firms in your area and decide how high you should bid on keywords. You may decide that you can compete at the top and bid more aggressively, or you may decide that you should be more conservative and have lower bids. If your website has a high conversion rate of traffic into leads and if you are good at closing leads, it makes sense to push for an aggressive bidding strategy and have your ads appear highly. If not, you should aim for a conservative strategy and lower your bids.
3. What benefits do competitors focus on?
Each of your competitors’ ads is trying to entice searchers to click on it. They usually do this by focusing their ad text on benefits of their services or what makes their firm unique. A few benefits that firms may focus on may be price, convenient locations, offering information about bankruptcy, experience of the attorney, how bankruptcy helps with garnishments/foreclosures/levies, how caring and friendly the lawyers are, how quickly they can help the person, etc.
Understanding the benefits of your competitors’ ads can give you ideas as to what benefits you can include in your ads. For example, you may decide to write an ad that focuses on your competitive prices, your high success rate of filing cases, or your weekend/evening consultation availability. Whatever you decide, make sure that your benefits are compelling, unique, and interesting enough to get clicks from searchers.
4. What calls to action do competitors focus on?
Often times, ads will include a “call to action”, or an invitation for the searcher to act in some way. Examples may include calling the attorney, filling out an online consultation form, learning more about the bankruptcy process, watching videos, or downloading an eBook. By analyzing your competitors’ calls to action, you can find opportunities to be unique in your own ads’ calls to action.
Most often, attorneys focus heavily on “free consultations.” When most attorneys focus on this call to action, it can make all of the ads feel very similar to each other. Consider being more creative in your phrasing if you use the same call to action, or also consider making your calls to action unique. For example, instead of “Call today!”, you could say, “Call for a quick, 5-min. consultation.” Instead of “Free consultation” you could say, “Watch our 12 helpful bankruptcy videos.” The more creative and unique you are in your phrasing and calls to action, the more your ads will stand out from the crowd.
5. What creative approaches do your competitors use?
Often times, competing ads use creative methods to entice searchers to click. These may be phrases that gain attention in unique ways. For example, “Featured by CNN and Entrepreneur.com” adds credibility to the ad. “Overwhelmed with Debt?” appeals to emotion. “Destroy Your Debt” invokes a powerful metaphor. However your competitors use creativity, you can gain ideas for how you can make your own ads more creative and compelling as a result.
You should make your ads different from your competitors’ ads. You may decide to use questions in your ads, such as “Need to avoid foreclosure?” or “Worried about your credit?” You may use compelling words that stand out, such as “Get a fresh, clean financial start” or “We’re your #1 friend & ally.” However you make your ads unique, you will begin to stand out from the crowd and become more noticeable.
Remember that you should always test your ads. As you test new keyword bids and new ad text, monitor results in terms of click through rates, cost per click, and lead volume. Discontinue unsuccessful ads and replace them with new variations. This will allow you to constantly improve your PPC results over time.