Search engine marketing can be a tough business, particularly the paid side of search. If you are in a competitive niche then the cost of running a PPC campaign can be huge. There are some ways around the problem and one of your biggest allies could be your rivals.
One of the most important aspects of search engine optimization is research – the same is true of search engine marketing. Part of your research has to involve your competitors. You need to know what sort of keywords they are targeting and what sort of ads they are creating. The benefits of this knowledge are wide ranging – here are just a few.
Learn from their mistakes
They will make mistakes. Poorly worded ads, wrong keywords, the list can go on. The most difficult part is discovering those mistakes. Keep watching and see whether or not ads get pulled or modified. Examine the ads yourself, sometimes the mistakes can be obvious.
In niches where the search marketing is highly competitive, look for long tails that are little less competitive. What keywords does your competition tackle – do you need to fight for those keywords or should you leave them to it and target keywords they are not targeting?
Read their ads
This is one of the most important. Closely examine their ads to see if there is anything that you can take on board. Their ads may just inspire you to write something that will attract the search traffic. Compare their ads to yours – which is going to inspire the click if they are alongside each other?
Check their meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are frequently used by search engines as snippets in organic search results. Check out your competitors to see what sort of snippets their web pages have. Be sure to write meta descriptions that are at least competitive against those snippets.
If you can remain competitive with your rivals then you will at least be in with a shot of winning that valuable traffic. Lose that competitive edge and you will find yourself being left behind very quickly.