Each search query creates one or more electronic auctions where they bid for available ad slots on the search result page (SERP) being generated. Some bidders may represent advertisers with quite different business models. We call this “keyword silo overlap”.
This is the first step but we sometimes assess PPC competition even before taking on a project because some campaigns will face extreme levels of competition. If a campaign has to rely upon positive keywords that overlap with other business sectors, have low click volume, prohibitively expensive clicks, or other intrinsic issues – we scope that out as part of assessing the difficulty of dealing with competitive issues.
We identify direct and indirect competitors, familiarizing ourselves with their products, services, and positioning in the market. We look at the advertising history, ad copy, ad spend, and market positioning of the most significant online competition. While spidering their websites we gain a level of understanding which is uniquely useful in PPC campaign management.
Website landing page spider
What we’re driving for is both a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the competitive digital advertising environment. We want need to understand how your product is positioned against competitors; your unique selling position, and most effective features/benefits/characteristics. This informs our strategy in developing your campaign and allows us to ballpark a daily ad spend recommendation. We use tools to identify average click costs and conversion rates in the sector, vertical, and geo target the campaign will run in, along with other key performance indicators (KPI’s).
Search ad campaigns operate in a competitive environment online which is often different from the actual direct business competition. Often the same keywords and audience targeting are shared by different vertical markets, services, or products. This “keyword overlap” phenomena strongly impacts many ad auctions. So the online competitive environment can be quite different than the offline competitive environment. In PPC, whoever shows up at your auctions is in effect, a competitor because they are putting pressure on bids.
This step sets the stage for step 4, our keyword research process.