Digital tools evaluation
Check what digital channels your competitors use to communicate with the audience and promote their product, which platforms they use. You can find communication channels on the company’s website – but these are free of charge platforms. For us it is important to find out which channels our competitors set up advertising. You can visit a website, search competitors in Google and monitor whether catch-up ads would appear on social media. Or find out where a company is running ads using services – for example, Semrush.
Digital advertising Analysis
It is quite difficult to track the performance and metrics of competitors. But at a minimum, it is important to understand which channels your competitors are present in. It is worth using all possible resources for analysis. Here is a list of services for ads evaluating:
- Semrush finds out what inquiries promote competitors, what keywords they use, what positions they occupy for each request.
- Similarweb.com. will show where the origin of traffic, how long an average visit is, users’ behavior on site.
- Facebook Library contains Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns data: if competitors use paid advertising in these channels and what creatives and for what regions they launch.
- Wordstat reflects the number and frequency of requests and the seasonality of demand. It is also useful when you need to find out whether competitors are using mass media campaigns to promote a brand. In this case, you will be able to monitor brand requests peaks during the periods that differ from the usual season.
- Google Trends will help to analyze the change in demand, media campaigns holding and understand seasonal fluctuations demand.
- Google Scheduler selects and groups keywords, provides a forecast for the budget campaigns.
- Crowdfire analyzes social networks – provides reports on channels and gives advice on how to fix bugs and increase efficiency.
- MySiteAuditor audits website technical parameters. Also you can see the competitor’s semantics.
Semantic core analysis
The better the semantic core is selected, the more likely it is to find a high organic SERP. It is necessary to determine the list of keys that help competitors to move forward. Keys can be searched using relevant services – for example, WooRank. It shows what request keeps the site at the top of SERP.
Also look for keys in Semrush and copy them to Excel, then remove duplicates and we get a ready-made competitor’s semantic core. Compare it with yours – there might be requests that you’ve missed and that help competitors in promoting. Optimize your semantics.
To make it easier to work with keys, they can be divided into three categories:
- High frequency – from 5 000 requests per month.
- Mid-frequency – 5 000 -10 000.
- Low frequency – less than 1000.
There is a struggle for high-frequency requests – they bring large, but expensive traffic. And low-frequency keys are cheap, but carry less conversion.
The division of keys helps to determine the competitors strategies – how many high-frequency inquiries are in the semantic core, whether they count on low-frequency keywords.
Find out what technologies and services competitors use — whether they test hypotheses, where they check statistics, what tags they use. This can be assessed using the services like Google Tag Assistant, Builtwith.com. A competitor’s ideas can be safely exploited if the competitor monitors statistics, tests hypotheses, and analyzes results.
Landing pages that ads lead to
Investigate the landing pages where competitors are driving paid traffic – are there separate landing pages or only the main site is used. Evaluate the landings – how convenient they are to use, what USP is emphasized, what forms of communication they offer. Landing page analysis will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your landing pages – what needs to be implemented to increase conversion, and what can be abandoned.
Perhaps you will find competitors’ sales cases from landing – then you will have figures for analysis that are hard to get.
Checklist for evaluating landing pages:
- СTA (Call To Action)
- Text and headlines
- Widgets: online chat, call-back
- Is call tracking used.
Budget for Google Ads
You won’t know the exact figures of competitors in terms of budgets, but forecasts are enough. They can be obtained from contextual advertising settings systems of ads accounts. We need to upload the list of keywords that we received from the analysis services to Google Ads. Services will calculate the costs for contextual advertising, average bid and CTR. But, keep in mind, the results are approximate.
Strategies and locations
You need to determine what plan competitors’ marketers are working on: do they do seasonal marketing or prefer permanent distribution? You can get this information from WordStat. If you notice demand peaks for branded inquiries, and the product itself is out of season, you can assume that the competitor launched a major campaign during this period.
For analysis, select several advertising campaigns and try to find out their goal – to attract consumers, generate engagement or increase traffic. Also check what competitors are doing to achieve each goal and in what channels – when they use personalized marketing, when they use remarketing, and when they use social media advertising.
Google Ads auction position data
Auction statistics in advertising cabinets will show how effectively competitors advertise, what traffic their ads receive.
The services themselves will determine the sites that intercross with your semantic core. After analyzing the data from the auctions, we will understand how much traffic we get — are there growth points, do we need to change rates or not.
Ad Creative Analysis (Facebook Library)
Facebook has a handy tool for evaluating ad campaigns — the Library. Look for competitors and see if they use Facebook for paid ads. If yes, then check what ads they run — what they offer, how they compose an ad, what graphics they use, what landing pages they send traffic to. The goal is to learn trends, get good ideas and understand what not to do. Facebook library can be searched by keywords and sorted by region.
Reports on competitors from advertising platforms
Google can make contextual advertising research. You can find out:
- if the price goes down or goes up;
- how budgets change;
- what advertising formats companies choose.
The advertising campaigns of the customer and its competitors are compared in this analysis, like the formats used, devices, regions, budgets, rates and CTR.
Reports on competitors from advertising platforms
At the current stage of the analysis, you should get an overview of the channels where competitors are providing paid advertising. This will help to select unoccupied channels and adjust our digital strategy.
It is worth collecting conclusions on the contextual advertising strategy separately. To do this, include data from services and advertising accounts. You will find out if your rates are optimal, how to build location strategies – whether to use only frequency keys or vice versa low-frequency keys, if there is a possibility to win the auction and at what bid.